By Pete Zarustica
For many of the recent seven losses out of eight games, the Los Angeles Angels have held leads, and then lost them in the late going. On Monday, they flipped the script and fell behind early and hung on … to the loss.
At the Big A, the Angels found themselves trailing the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-0 by the top of the fourth. The offense woke a bit after that, but the team ended up losing, 7-4.
The loss put the record at 38-35. In the American League West, it is in third, but are now 10.5 games out of first and 8.5 games out of a wild card spot.
“We need to get our own house in order,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re not looking at the standings. They’re irrelevant right now. Our direction is to, with the guys we have right now, become the best team we can and continue to move forward. That’s what we’re going to focus on. That’s what we’re going to do. I
“If you play well and some outside help comes, great, but right now we’re focused on the 25 we have now. That’s what our goal is. I think we have the makings to go on a run if we can put things together the way we can, get some guys back in the lineup. I think that’s what we’re going to focus on. We’re still a good club.”
Against the D-backs, the Angels actually outhit the visitors 12-10, but were only 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. They got back-to-back homers from in the fourth from Justin Upton and Albert Pujols, but that was more than offset by three home runs by Arizona.
Jaime Barria (5-3) took his second straight loss. He worked four innings and gave up six hits and six runs. He struck out five and walked one.
One bit of good news was that Kole Calhoun, who was having a grim year at bat, was back in the lineup and went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
On Tuesday the Angels will send Felix Pena (0-0) to the mound against Matt Koch (5-3).