Thursday, June 20, 2024

Angels preach optimism as Royals hand them another home loss

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  • The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino, right, hits a two-run...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino, right, hits a two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Angels shortstop Zach Neto makes a catch for an out...

    Angels shortstop Zach Neto makes a catch for an out on a ball hit by the Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez during the second inning on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Angels starting pitcher Reid Detmers throws to the plate during...

    Angels starting pitcher Reid Detmers throws to the plate during the first inning of their game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Dairon Blanco, right, celebrates with teammate...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Dairon Blanco, right, celebrates with teammate Hunter Renfroe after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Dairon Blanco, center, is congratulated by...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Dairon Blanco, center, is congratulated by teammate Hunter Renfroe, left, after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Dairon Blanco, right, celebrates with teammate...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Dairon Blanco, right, celebrates with teammate Salvador Perez after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Dairon Blanco celebrates in the dugout...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Dairon Blanco celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Angels starting pitcher Reid Detmers throws to the plate during...

    Angels starting pitcher Reid Detmers throws to the plate during the first inning of their game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino hits a two-run home...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino hits a two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino watches the flight of...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino watches the flight of his two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino, right, tosses his bat...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino, right, tosses his bat as he begins to circle the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino, right, tosses his bat...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino, right, tosses his bat as he begins to run the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Angels starting pitcher Reid Detmers shows his frustration after giving...

    Angels starting pitcher Reid Detmers shows his frustration after giving up a two-run home run to the Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino during the third inning on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. Detmers allowed six runs (all earned) on seven hits in five innings. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino, right, is congratulated by...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino, right, is congratulated by teammate Maikel Garcia after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino, right, is congratulated by...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino, right, is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Michael Wacha throws to the...

    Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Michael Wacha throws to the plate during the first inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Michael Wacha throws to the...

    Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Michael Wacha throws to the plate during the first inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez, right, celebrates his RBI...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez, right, celebrates his RBI single in front of Angels first baseman Nolan Schanuel during the fifth inning on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Dairon Blanco, center, scores on a...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Dairon Blanco, center, scores on a sacrifice fly by Vinnie Pasquantino, right, as Angels catcher Logan O’Hoppe attempts a late tag during the fifth inning on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Angels manager Ron Washington, front right, reacts on the mound...

    Angels manager Ron Washington, front right, reacts on the mound as he makes a pitching change as third baseman Cole Tucker, back, and catcher Logan O’Hoppe, left, look on as they trail 8-0 during the sixth inning on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez, left, is forced out...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez, left, is forced out at second base as Angels shortstop Zach Neto drops the ball and is unable to throw out Michael Massey at first during the seventh inning on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Kansas City Royals third baseman Maikel Garcia fields a ball...

    Kansas City Royals third baseman Maikel Garcia fields a ball hit by the Angels’ Zach Neto during the seventh inning on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. Neto was safe on the play. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • The Angels’ Logan O’Hoppe, right, heads home to score after...

    The Angels’ Logan O’Hoppe, right, heads home to score after a bases-loaded walk to Luis Guillorme, left, during the seventh inning of their game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Jo Adell, left, scores on a bases-loaded walk...

    The Angels’ Jo Adell, left, scores on a bases-loaded walk to Cole Tucker as Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Michael Wacha, right, looks on during the seventh inning on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Michael Wacha, center, reacts as...

    Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Michael Wacha, center, reacts as he is removed during the seventh inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Daniel Lynch IV throws to...

    Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Daniel Lynch IV throws to the plate during the seventh inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Zach Neto looks back as he scores on...

    The Angels’ Zach Neto looks back as he scores on a Nolan Schanuel sacrifice fly during the seventh inning of their game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino reacts as he enters...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Vinnie Pasquantino reacts as he enters the dugout after the third out of the bottom of the seventh inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Matt Sauer throws to the...

    Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Matt Sauer throws to the plate during the ninth inning of their game against the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Kansas City Royals second baseman Michael Massey makes a catch...

    Kansas City Royals second baseman Michael Massey makes a catch on a ball hit by the Angels’ Kevin Pillar to end their 10-4 victory over the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, left, and relief pitcher...

    Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, left, and relief pitcher Matt Sauer congratulate each other after their 10-4 victory over the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, left, and relief pitcher...

    Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, left, and relief pitcher Matt Sauer congratulate each other after their 10-4 victory over the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Dairon Blanco celebrates after the final...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Dairon Blanco celebrates after the final out of their 10-4 victory over the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Kansas City Royals’ Dairon Blanco, right, celebrates with teammates...

    The Kansas City Royals’ Dairon Blanco, right, celebrates with teammates Vinnie Pasquantino, center, and Michael Massey after their 10-4 victory over the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

ANAHEIM — The injuries, the waiver claims and the callups – from as far away as Double-A – keep coming and yet Angels manager Ron Washington continues to keep his eye on the prize.

Even as the Angels fell, 10-4, in the opener of a four-game series against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night, following an afternoon when the roster’s revolving door begged for grease on its bearings, Washington was preaching the goal when he first arrived.

While acknowledging a win-loss record below his own expectations, Washington is mapping roads to the playoffs. As the Angels entered the day as one of three American League teams with a winning percentage below .400, Washington remained unbowed.

The loss left them 4-12 at home, the worst start after 16 games in franchise history.

Asked if it was turning into rebuild mode or still “win now,” while trying to get to the playoffs, Washington answered simply by removing the question mark.

“Win now. We’re still looking to get to the playoffs,” Washington said.

The task no doubt will be difficult, with the Angels (14-24) falling Thursday as left-hander Reid Detmers was on the mound. Detmers entered as the only Angels starter who did not have a losing record, although Tyler Anderson sports a rotation-best 2.74 ERA.

“I’ve been thinking a lot,” Detmers said, after he gave up six runs (all earned) in five innings to lose his fourth consecutive start. “Everything feels the same. Body feels the same, pitches feel the same. I don’t know. I have to do a deep dive. I just have to go back and look at some stuff because everything feels the same. The results are not the same.”

To Washington, it was not so much a loss as another lesson learned. He came to the Angels, after all, just as one of baseball’s best hitters (Shohei Ohtani) was departing. And he remains in October mode as Mike Trout is rehabbing an injured left knee, with no timetable on when the three-time American League MVP will return.

“We’re trying to go out every night and win ballgames with the personnel that we have,” Washington said. “Our job is to get that personnel prepared to go out there and do what the game asks them to do. And if we got them prepared, and they can go out there and do what the game asked them to do, who says we can’t win?

“I know you’re looking at our record, and our record doesn’t look like anything, but that’s not how we feel. Inside here, we feel like every night we go out there we can win a ballgame.”

He continues to have faith in Detmers as well.

“I think the last two (starts) he had, it might have been one pitch and it cost him,” Washington said. “At the same time, we weren’t supporting him with any runs. Tonight was just one of those nights when he couldn’t land anything. And when he did make a good pitch, they found a way to put it into play.”

Finding enough offense to do the job will remain a challenge. Trout, Anthony Rendon, Brandon Drury and Luis Rengifo all are on the injured list. The Angels added utility man Luis Guillorme from the Atlanta Braves and recalled Kyren Paris, despite his .091 batting average at Double-A.

On Thursday, the Angels didn’t have their first hit off Royals right-hander Michael Wacha until a Logan O’Hoppe single with two outs in the fourth inning. They had just two hits through six innings.

The Royals took control for their sixth victory in their past nine games with a four-run third inning that included a two-run home run into the Royals’ bullpen from Dairon Blanco and a 442-foot, two-run blast by Vinnie Pasquantino four batters later.

Pasquantino had three RBIs on the night. Blanco and Maikel Garcia each had three hits and two RBIs, while Blanco scored four runs.

Detmers (3-4) gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks in five innings and has now given up 18 runs over his last three starts (15⅔ innings). His 2.12 ERA heading into an April 28 outing has more than doubled to 4.96.

As Detmers works on the mechanics of what has been happening in his recent starts, he will work on staying confident as well.

“Obviously, that’s one of the hardest parts,” Detmers said. “But I’m in a good mindset, I’m still confident, I believe in my stuff, I trust my stuff. I think it just comes down to making pitches and if there is something else, we’ll find it. That’s what we’ll be digging into and things will be turned around, hopefully pretty soon.”

The Angels’ offense finally got to a tiring Wacha in the seventh for three runs. Guillorme and Cole Tucker each walked with the bases loaded and Nolan Schanuel added a sacrifice fly to make it 9-3. Royals left-hander Daniel Lynch IV got out of the jam with an off-balance 1-4-3 double play.

Tucker added a sacrifice fly for a run in the ninth.

Wash talks about the loss@Angels I #AngelsLive pic.twitter.com/ZBLHeala47

— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) May 10, 2024

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