Angels blow two more late leads on their way to their fifth straight loss – Orange County Register

Angels blow two more late leads on their way to their fifth straight loss – Orange County Register

ANAHEIM — The Angels can do nothing right in the late innings these days.

The Angels blew a late lead — two of them, actually — for the third game in a row, losing a grueling 11-10 game to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon.

“We’ve played well enough to win at least three of these games,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “We actually were in good shape for three games. And then a bunch of guys that have been really good collectively, all of a sudden, it’s difficult. And I don’t have any answers for that.”

The Angels were swept in the four-game series against Toronto, running their overall losing streak to five games. Although plenty has gone wrong lately, their biggest issue is a failure to close out games with a lead.

After trailing by four runs in the third inning, the Angels rallied on the strength of Shohei Ohtani’s second homer of the game, and a two-run Taylor Ward homer to take a 9-6 lead by the sixth.

Oliver Ortega and Ryan Tepera gave up three runs in the seventh, an inning in which they walked three.

Just after Max Stassi hit a homer to give the Angels a 10-9 lead in the bottom of the inning, Tepera and José Quijada turned that lead into a deficit.

Tepera gave up a game-tying homer to Bo Bichette. Quijada, in his first game off the injured list, gave up another run on a pair of doubles, including an opposite field grounder from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. with two outs.

“To be honest, man, it’s unacceptable,” Tepera said. “Just lack of command and walking guys. That can’t happen. We’re just not getting the job done right now. Something has to change. We’ll take the day off tomorrow and kind of reset, refresh and and you know to start over, man. We’re in a little bit of a rut right now. It is what it is. Something’s got to be better. Somebody’s got to get the job done. Go back to the drawing board.”

After Quijada left the Angels with a one-run deficit, they came up empty in the eighth and ninth to drop the agonizing game.

On Friday night, the Angels had a 3-2 lead in the seventh and they lost, with the winning run scoring on an error in the ninth. On Saturday, the Angels also blew a pair of one-run leads. They had a 2-1 lead going to the seventh and then a 4-3 lead going to the eighth.

“We are playing well, but we just have one sector having a difficult time right now,” Maddon said. “We’ve got to fix that. How do you fix that? You continue to show confidence in them. You have conversations. If there’s little tweaking to do, you do that. But these are our guys, and I really fully well expect them to get the job done.”

By the time the 4-hour, 13-minute game ended, the disappointing performance for Angels starter Patrick Sandoval seemed a distant memory.

Sandoval had been arguably the Angels’ best starter throughout the first two months of the season, but he was charged with six runs, five earned, in just three innings.

He actually seemed to have good stuff — his velocity was higher than normal and the Blue Jays were swinging and missing at his slider — but he couldn’t throw strikes.

He walked three hitters in a row during the four-run third inning for the Blue Jays, including one with the bases loaded. He also gave up several hits on well-placed soft contact, and he was victimized by a rare error by slick fielding shortstop Andrew Velazquez.

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