By Pete Zarustica
An early 5-1 deficit was too much for the Los Angeles Angels to overcome as they fell 8-5 to the Miami Marlins Friday night, suffering their third straight loss. The defeat dropped the Halos to 25-26, tied with the Texas Rangers for second place in the American League West. Both teams trail the Houston Astros by nine games.
The Angels rallied for four more runs, including two in the top of the ninth, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Martin Maldonado hit his third home run of the season and newcomer Nolan Fontana his first, but the team overall was outhit 14-9. Two errors compounded the situation.
Jesse Chavez (4-6) took the loss as he lasted only 3.2 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits. He stuck out two batters and walked two. Chavez was touched for two solo homers by the Marlins.
“There was a lot going on in that first inning,” Chavez said. “At the end of the day, we talked about it, it was just a battle between myself and my mechanics. Trying to find that drive to each side of the plate, which wasn’t there, which led to balls leaking over the plate when I didn’t want them to.”
Maldonado had two hits for the Angels, along with Albert Pujols and Andrelton Simmons. Mike Trout was hitless in three at-bats, but walked twice and scored a run.
The Angels will try to halt their skid on Saturday at Marlins Park with J.C. Ramirez (4-3) getting the call for the Halos.