Bullpen can’t hold again in 7-6 loss

NOE RAMIREZ gave up two home runs in one inning as the Angels lost 7-6 in 10 innings on Sunday (Angels photo).

By Pete Zarustica

Ladies and gentleman, your fourth place Los Angeles Angels!

Well, no, not really. After losing two games in the late going, the Halos (41-37) are still in third place in the American League West, but just one game ahead of the Oakland Athletics (40-38).

There’s more than half a season yet to play, but the Orange County team will probably not be in the playoff race toward the end if it can’t solve the problem of a having a weak and inconsistent relief corps.

On Sunday, the Angels battled back from a 6-3 deficit to send the game into extra innings, only to see the contest lost 7-6 on former Angel Kendrys Morales’ pinch-hit homer in the top of the 10th. It was one of three homers hit by the Jays.

“I like to play here, mostly during the day,” Morales said through an interpreter. “The ball flies in the air, the ball travels a lot. At night, it’s a little bit different, but definitely during the day I like being here and like to play here.”

The most striking pitching stat for 2018 is this: the Angels are tied with the Detroit Tigers (36-42) for most blown saves in the American League.

For the Halos, the big gun was catcher Martin Maldonado, who drove in four runs on a double and a single. Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun each had two hits and scored a total of two runs and one RBI between them. One of Upton’s hits was a homer, his 17th of the season.

After a disappointing 2-4 home stand, the Angels will travel to Kansas City Monday for a makeup game of Jackie Robinson Day, in which all players will wear uniform number 42, in honor of the Hall of Famer who broke baseball’s color line.

On Tuesday, they will start a three-game series in Boston.

ALSO on Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers hit seven home runs in their 11-inning win over the New York Mets. They’re now 41-35, just 2.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West race.

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