By Pete Zarustica
It may be a case of too little, too late. On the other hand, for fans of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, better late than never. The “better” Angels beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 Wednesday night for their fifth straight win, and their eight victory in their last 10 games.
Ricky Nolasco pitched a shutout as the Halos swept the Reds at the Big A without Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, who were being rested.
Nolasco (5-12) got his first win as an Angel by giving up just four hits, walking nobody and striking out seven batters. “It’s definitely nice and a good feeling to be out there trying to get the last out,” said Nolasco. “I was just trying to be efficient and fill up the strike zone, not walk anybody. We made some good plays behind me and scored some runs when we needed to, and that was good.”
The game was scoreless until the sixth inning when C.J. Cron and Jefry Marte each drove in runs. Cron knocked in an insurance run in the eighth with a single as he pushed his batting average to .290.
Andrelton Simmons also had a pair of hits, drew a walk and scored a run as the Halos improved their record to 59-74. They remain in fourth place in the American League West. Third place might be out of reach – they trail the Seattle Mariners there by nine games – but who knows? There’s still a month of baseball left to play.
The Angels are now back on the road. They will travel on Thursday and start a three-game series in Seattle Friday, then travel to Oakland Monday for another trio of games. They’ll be back in Anaheim on Sept. 9 to host the Seattle Rangers.