Angels blow early six-run lead as bullpen falters in loss to Rangers

  • The Angels’ Albert Pujols watches the flight of his three-run home run during the first inning of Monday’s game against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas. The Angels took an early six-run lead but lost 8-7 in 11 innings. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 19: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a three-run homerun against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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  • ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 19: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a three-run homerun against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Texas Rangers relief pitcher Kolby Allard (39) walks back to the mound after giving up a three-run home run to Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, rear, in the first inning of baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. The shot also scored Kole Calhoun and Justin Upton. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 19: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates a three-run homerun against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 19: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates a three-run homerun against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Rangers starting pitcher Kolby Allard, a San Clemente High product, throws to the plate during the first inning of Monday’s game against the Angels in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani points back at Texas Rangers’ Jose Trevino after fouling off a pitch from starter Kolby Allard in the first inning of baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. Ohtani was awarded first base due to catcher interference. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 19: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates a run against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Rangers starting pitcher Kolby Allard, a San Clemente High product, throws to the plate during the first inning of Monday’s game against the Angels in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 19: Dillon Peters #52 of the Los Angeles Angels throws against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 19: Dillon Peters #52 of the Los Angeles Angels throws against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani hits a triple against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani slides into third base with a triple against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Fans look on as Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun makes a catch over his shoulder on a flyout by Texas Rangers’ Elvis Andrus in the fourth inning of baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun, center, is congratulated in the dugout after making an over-the-shoulder catch on a Texas Rangers’ Elvis Andrus flyout to end to bottom of the fourth inning of baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Los Angeles Angels shortstop Wilfredo Tovar sprints to field a groundout by Texas Rangers’ Elvis Andrus in the sixth inning of baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Angels relief pitcher Hansel Robles tags out the Rangers’ Jose Trevino down the first base line after Trevino hit a sacrifice bunt in the ninth inning of Monday’s game in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers erased a six-run deficit and won 8-7 in 11 innings. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani breaks his bat hitting into a double play as Texas Rangers’ Jose Trevino watches in the 10th inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani walks to the dugout with part of his broken bat after hitting into a double play in the 10th inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • The Angels’ Albert Pujols steals second as the Rangers’ Elvis Andrus is unable to handle the throw to the bag in the 11th inning of Monday’s game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • The Rangers’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa (9) and Scott Heinemann celebrate after Kiner-Falefa hit a run-scoring single in the 11th inning to give them an 8-7 victory over the Angels on Monday night in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Not much irritates a manager more than when his pitchers issue walks with a big lead.

On Monday night the Angels blew an early six-run lead and lost 8-7 in 11 innings to the Texas Rangers, largely because starter Dillon Peters issued four of the team’s nine walks.

“We walked too many guys,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “Simple as that. That was the game for me. We had the chance late, but to me the crux of it was we didn’t tack on and we walked too many guys.”

The Angels stopped scoring after taking a 7-1 lead in the second inning. Peters then let the Rangers get back into the game, pulling within 7-5 in the fifth. They tied the score with two in the eighth against Cam Bedrosian, who also walked the leadoff hitter.

In the 11th, Noé Ramirez gave up the winning run in the 11th. He walked Jose Trevino with two outs, then gave up a Shin-Soo Choo single that sent Trevino to third. Isiah Kiner-Falefa then hit a high chopper to Ramirez, whose throw was wild and allowed the winning run.

It ended a night that started off so well. The loss was especially tough for the Angels because their bullpen had to work so much the day before a doubleheader.

They scored five runs in the first, thanks to an Albert Pujols three-run homer. Shohei Ohtani tripled and scored in the second, pushing the lead to 7-1.

The Machine knows a thing or three about homers in Texas. pic.twitter.com/dk27XO8L2D

— MLB (@MLB) August 20, 2019

Even after the Rangers tied it, the Angels had chances to re-take the lead. In the ninth, they loaded the bases on three walks, but Luis Rengifo popped out. In the 10th, they had the bases loaded with one out, but Ohtani lined into a double play.

In the 11th, just after Pujols stole his first base of the season because the Rangers weren’t holding him at first, Luis Rengifo hit a 108 mph lineout to right field to end the inning.

It was the continuation of a frustrating night for the Angels, who failed to score after putting up seven runs in the first two innings.

They scored all seven runs against left-hander Kolby Allard, a San Clemente High product making his fourth big league start.

Peters, who had posted a 3.38 ERA in his first nine games with the Angels, could not hold the Rangers.

Although he had a five-run lead before he threw his first pitch, he still walked four, two of whom scored. Peters needed 106 pitches – a career-high – to get 12 outs.

“He didn’t look like he had a good feel for much,” Ausmus said. “He didn’t have his best stuff or his best command.”

Peters also didn’t get much help from his defense. Second baseman Rengifo booted a ground ball that allowed a run in the first, and Mike Trout dropped a fly ball in the fifth, although it was ruled a hit.

PREPARING FOR THE HEAT

The day portion of Tuesday’s split-admission doubleheader will be played with a heat index exceeding 100 degrees, which will create challenges for the players.

“Gotta stay hydrated,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “There is talk about doing some things to keep the guys from getting overheated. Maybe not have the relievers go out to the bullpen right away. Kind of be on alert. It’s going to be 104 for the Rangers as well.”

Ausmus recalled especially hot days from his playing career, such as when players’ plastic cleats began to melt on the sizzling artificial turf. Ausmus said it was especially tough as a catcher.

“Your chest protector soaks all the way through and ends up weighing probably 2 pounds heavier than when the game started. It’s not pleasant and there’s a not pleasant smell that goes with it.”

ALSO

Right-hander Jaime Barría will be recalled to start the day game on Tuesday. The rules allow the teams to also add a 26th man for the doubleheader, so the Angels won’t necessarily need to open a spot for Barría. …

Catcher Kevan Smith, who is on the injured list because of back spasms, has taken batting practice two days in a row and is nearing a return. Smith is eligible to be activated on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Angels (LHP Andrew Heaney, 2-3, 4.76 ERA and RHP Jaime Barría, 4-6, 6.62) at Rangers (LHP Joe Palumbo, 0-1, 11.00 ERA and LHP Brock Burke, MLB debut), Tuesday, 11:05 a.m. and 5:05 p.m., Fox Sports West, 830 AM

Nice Katch Kole 💪pic.twitter.com/b8FQ15XiXj

— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) August 20, 2019

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Rams lose linebacker Micah Kiser to pectoral injury

Second-year Rams linebacker Micah Kiser, projected as a likely starter this season, will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a pectoral injury and will be out indefinitely, the team announced Sunday night.

Kiser, a fifth-round pick of the Rams in the 2018 NFL Draft, was injured in the Rams’ 14-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in an exhibition game Saturday in Honolulu. He underwent an MRI Sunday, and the results apparently revealed the need for surgery.

With Kiser out, four-year veteran Bryce Hager is likely to move into Kiser’s spot as a starting inside linebacker next to Cory Littleton in the Rams’ 3-4 alignment. Hager, a seventh-round draft choice of the St. Louis Rams in 2015, has contributed mostly on special teams during his first four seasons.

Before learning the extent of Kiser’s injury Sunday, Rams coach Sean McVay was asked about Hager’s ability to play a bigger role in the event Kiser were to miss extended time and said Hager is “capable of being a starting player in this league.”

“In practice, you certainly feel his ability to play at a high level, understand some of the intricacies of that inside linebacker spot and what that entails from a communication standpoint from the adjustments that are necessary based on what offenses present,” McVay added. “He’s a guy that we do have a lot of confidence in and that’s exactly why we re-signed him in free agency this year.”

 

Micah Kiser will undergo surgery on Tuesday + will be out indefinitely.

— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 19, 2019

 

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High School Football Preview 2019: All of our stories, lists, rankings, photos and more

This is the place to find all of the Register’s high school football preview content for the 2019 season.

All of the stories, rankings, lists, photos and more.

Make sure you check it out before the games begin.


Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now



The Southern California News Group’s High School Football Preview magazine is included for subscribers in the Sunday, Aug. 18 edition of the Orange County Register. The magazine is also available for purchase at the Register’s office in Anaheim during regular business hours.

The Southern California News Group’s High School Football Preview magazine was published Sunday, Aug. 18 and was available to subscribers.

PLAYER RANKINGS

OCVarsity Hot 150: Our list of the top impact players for 2019

Top Quarterbacks

Top Running Backs

Top Wide Receivers

*More position rankings coming soon.

 

TEAM RANKINGS


Mater Dei football players Myles Murao (74), Kody Epps (4), Dean Neely (52), Bryce Young (9), Tai Marks (73) and Nate White (20) in Santa Ana, CA, on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

No. 1 Mater Dei

No. 2 JSerra

No. 3 Mission Viejo

No. 4 Corona del Mar

No. 5 Servite

No. 6 Villa Park

No. 7 Los Alamitos

No. 8 La Habra

No. 9 Orange Lutheran

No. 10 Tesoro

*The full Orange County Top 25 will be published Monday, Aug. 19.

 

NEWS, ANALYSIS & PREDICTIONS


A Santa Ana fan waves a school flag during the CIF-SS Division 12 quarterfinals game against Godinez at Santa Ana Stadium in Santa Ana on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

The Best of Friday Night Lights: Where are the best places to watch HS football?

Top story lines for the 2019 season

Week-by-week look at the top matchups

Preseason All-County Team

New CIF-SS playoff format designed to deliver exciting competition

 

UNDER THE RADAR 2019

Under the Radar Teams

Under the Radar Players

 

MEDIA DAYS

Fryer on football: Trinity League media day was lively, informative

Fryer on football: Public schools accomplish their goals with own ‘media day’

 

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Del Mar: Higher Power wins Pacific Classic

  • Hronis Racing’s Higher Power and jockey Flavien Prat win the Grade I, $1,000,000 Pacific Classic, Saturday, August 17, 2019 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA. (Courtesy of Benoit Photo)

  • Owner Kosta Hronis, left, has a hug for jockey Flavien Prat, right, after Higher Power’s victory in the Grade I, $1,000,000 Pacific Classic, Saturday, August 17, 2019 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA.. (Courtesy of Benoit Photo)

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  • Hronis Racing’s Higher Power and jockey Flavien Prat win the Grade I, $1,000,000 Pacific Classic, Saturday, August 17, 2019 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA. (Courtesy of Benoit Photo)

  • Hronis Racing’s Higher Power and jockey Flavien Prat win the Grade I, $1,000,000 Pacific Classic, Saturday, August 17, 2019 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA. (Courtesy of Benoit Photo)

  • Jockey Flavien Prat guides Higher Power to the winner’s circle after their victory in the Grade I, $1,000,000 Pacific Classic, Saturday, August 17, 2019 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA. (Courtesy of Benoit Photo)

  • Hronis Racing’s Higher Power and jockey Flavien Prat win the Grade I, $1,000,000 Pacific Classic, Saturday, August 17, 2019 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA. (Courtesy of Benoit Photo)

  • Jockey Flavien Prat guides Higher Power to the winner’s circle after their victory in the Grade I, $1,000,000 Pacific Classic, Saturday, August 17, 2019 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA. (Courtesy of Benoit Photo)

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DEL MAR — Who needs McKinzie, Gift Box and Catalina Cruiser when you have a horse that turns in the type of performance Higher Power did in Saturday’s 29th running of the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar?

Track management might have been a little disappointed when the aforementioned big three couldn’t make the race for various reasons, but Higher Power picked up the slack quite nicely, cruising to a 5 1/4-length victory over Draft Pick while scoring the first graded-stakes victory of his 13-race career in front of an on-track crowd of 20,686.

It was the first Pacific Classic victory in five tries for jockey Flavien Prat, who picked up the mount from Drayden Van Dyke after the latter had ridden the 4-year-old Medaglia d’Oro colt to a second-place finish in the Wickerr Stakes on July 21 at Del Mar and a victory in an $80,000 optional claimer on June 14 at Santa Anita, both on the grass.

“Flavien is the top rider here,’ winning trainer John Sadler said. “He’s having a great meet and he’s one of the real bright superstars coming up along the ranks. He won the (Kentucky) Derby this year and he’s just really doing great. It was just a trainer’s decision. He was available and I wanted to use the best rider for this horse today. He’s an up-and-coming rider, there’s no question about that.”

Prat’s agent, Derek Lawson, described his discussion with Sadler leading up to the race.

“I had John Sadler call me into his office and he said, ‘Listen, we’re going to run in the Pacific Classic because I don’t want to run Catalina Cruiser in there,” Lawson said. “He said, ‘You don’t have a mount in there,’ we didn’t, and he gave us the opportunity to work the horse first. Flavien came back after the work and said, ‘This horse worked really well over the main track.’”

Higher Power drilled 6 furlongs in 1:13.40 on Aug. 10 over Del Mar’s main surface, signifying the colt was ready to roll at the juicy price of 9-1.

“The work the other day was very, very important because he not only worked (great), but he galloped out close to a mile, and when (Prat) came off the horse he said, ‘Well that was really easy. This horse really likes the main surface,’” Lawson said.

Enough so that he registered the fifth largest victory in the Pacific Classic, behind only Accelerate (12 1/2 lengths), Game On Dude (8 1/2), Beholder (8 1/4) and Skimming (5 1/2) while earning an all-expenses-paid berth into the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.

Higher Power’s victory also gave Sadler and the horse’s owners, Hronis Racing, an unprecedented second consecutive Pacific Classic victory for trainer/owner with different horses after Accelerate’s smashing victory last summer. Sadler’s the first trainer to win in back-to-back years with different horses.

“The second time is just as sweet,” Sadler said. “It developed pretty much the way we thought. We thought there would be some speed on the inside (Quip set the pace from the No. 2 post) and the plan was to stalk. It came out the way we thought it would.”

Said Prat, who’s enjoyed a spectacular year by also winning the Derby via disqualification and one of Canada’s biggest races, the Queen’s Plate: “When we entered the backside he really grabbed the bit and I was travelling really well. Once the leader fell apart, he really jumped into the bridle and did everything on his own.

“I didn’t know if somebody would come from behind, but definitely I thought that was the right thing to do. It has been a great year so far and I’m really happy to win the Pacific Classic at this track. It means a lot to me.”

The victory also meant a lot to Team Sadler/Hronis, who have been on a roll the past 12 months with consecutive Pacific Classic victories and also a win in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Classic with Accelerate, giving Sadler his first Breeders’ Cup victory.

So what do they do for an encore?

“Let’s do that (again),” Kostas Hronis said.

Added Sadler: “What I’m so happy about this year, too, is that I don’t have to go through, ‘You haven’t won one (Breeders’ Cup race) yet. So you guys (reporters) are going to have to find some other angle to torture me with.”

Higher Power’s winning time of 2:02.43, over a main track that has played slow all summer, was the slowest non-Polytrack time in Pacific Classic history. It was the fourth slowest ever, counting the Polytrack years (2007-14).

Mongolian Groom finished third, a neck behind Draft Pick. Seeking the Soul, one of a race-record four shippers from out of state and the 2-1 favorite, finished seventh. The pacesetting Quip wilted to finish ninth in the 10-horse field, ahead of only 46-1 longshot For the Top.

Hronis’ wife had successful surgery Friday and he said he was going to skip the race, but his wife had other ideas.

“Higher Power was an appropriate name today,” he said. “I was going to stay with her today and she said, ‘No, you’re going to the race. If you don’t, I’m never going again.’ I called her right after the race and she was thrilled.”

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Edison football opens season with 52-0 victory against Baldwin in Hawaii

Mike Walters rushed for two touchdowns and Jacob Hanlon passed for two more to help Edison’s football team open its season with a 52-0 victory against Baldwin on Friday at War Memorial Stadium in Wailuku, Hawaii.

Walters scored the first two touchdowns to ignite a 21-point first quarter.

Edison led 42-0 at halftime, playing Hanlon and Braeden Boyles at quarterback. Both are juniors.

Troy Fletcher returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter for Edison.

The Chargers (1-0) were the first Orange County team to play this season. They have a bye week before returning to play at Carson on Aug. 29.

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As Team USA tops Spain, Kyle Kuzma makes his case for a final roster spot

ANAHEIM — If Honda Center had a say, it’d be a no-brainer: Kyle Kuzma would be on the team.

He was the clear crowd favorite among the traditionally Lakers stronghold of Anaheim, the audience rumbling with a rallying cry of “KUUUUUZ” every time he was featured for Team USA.

“Hearing Kuz every time I touch the ball,” he said, “it’s a friendly reminder how loyal the fans are.”

But the USA Basketball roster is not ruled by the mob – it’s up to a group of men led by the often inscrutable Gregg Popovich, who is in his first year leading the program. While Kuzma’s odds are as good as ever – the national team needs to make only two cuts to reach the 12-man group they’ll take to the FIBA World Cup in China – much of the buzz from a week of camp in L.A. indicates that he’s still squarely on the bubble.

Kuzma made some strides to help himself Friday night, in the USA’s 90-81 exhibition win over Spain, a slightly past-its-prime basketball power. But still sharing a court with NBA stalwarts such as Ricky Rubio and Marc Gasol, Kuzma held his own with seven points, five rebounds and three assists – potentially helping make his case that he belongs in red, white and blue next month on the international stage.

In a year in which his more heralded teammates LeBron James and Anthony Davis have bowed out of international duty, Kuzma has a golden opportunity to represent the Lakers on Team USA. Asked if he’s done enough to make the final roster, Kuzma said yes.

“I’m not one to really grade my performances, but I think my energy was at a high level,” he said. “That’s the only thing I can really control.”

While scoring has been Kuzma’s staple as a Laker, USA basketball coaches such as Popovich and Steve Kerr have told him to focus on the less flashy aspects of the game: defensive rebounding, guarding his man, going after loose balls, making the right pass. The messages seemed to seep through: Kuzma shot six times, but also added five rebounds and three assists in his 17 minutes of play, leading several fast breaks off of rebounds or deflections.

With Kuzma on the floor, the USA outscored Spain by 13 points – a higher plus-minus rating than any other player.

It wasn’t a perfect effort. The 24-year-old also had a pair of turnovers on fruitless drives to the rim, as well as an inbounds pass to an empty stretch of the sideline that made Popovich’s shoulders slump.

Few know what Popovich’s body language and tics actually mean in relation to his player assessments, much less how that will influence roster decisions. But over the course of two weeks on the court with the Spurs coach, Kuzma said he’s gotten a good feel for what’s expected.

“At the end of the day, as long as you’re playing hard, playing defense, rebounding, that’s what (Popovich) wants,” he said. “That’s what he kind of prides all his teams on. As long as we do that, we can kind of stay on his good side.”

The team will take all 14 current players to Australia before making final cuts, needing all the depth it can get with P.J. Tucker’s decision to bow out with an ankle injury. Popovich called the exhibition a “baptism” for a group that is relatively inexperienced in international competition.

The few All-Stars who remain on the roster had good nights: Kemba Walker had an effortless-looking 11 points and eight assists, crossing up even the best Spanish guards. Khris Middleton had an efficient 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

Among the younger generation, Donovan Mitchell led the Americans with 13 points – rivaling the 16 points scored by his former teammate Rubio. Walker’s new Celtics teammates, Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown, combined for 20 points as Team USA shot 55 percent from the field while holding Spain to 41 percent.

It was enough to remind the basketball world that even a less star-studded USA team is still a formidable opponent. Still, Popovich marveled at the offensive gel of the Spanish team, hoping that with time, the Americans will find a similar kind of chemistry.

“We hope to get close to something like that offensively,” he said. “It was a great experience for us.”

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President Trump not afraid to stand up to China: Letters

The recent announcement of another round of tariffs on China and their response appears to be a further step in our full-fledged trade war. And this has provoked the predictable round of criticisms of the president’s policy.

What always seems to be lacking, though, is the offer of any credible alternative. By credible, I would not include the economic Armageddon of total cessation of trade between the two biggest economies in the world.

It is illuminating that China is fighting so hard against, among other things, giving up the practice of intellectual property theft in the furtherance of their goal of world economic domination. Of course, we could just roll over and let them take it, but President Trump has taken the courageous step of standing up to them, which other presidents have either failed or declined to do.

The point is that we are all in this together and our economy is stronger now than at any time in recent history. So the question we must answer is: “If not now, when?” If we present China with a more united front in this war, we will stand a much better chance of ending it sooner and on better terms.

— Ed Klopfenstein, Brea

Build the cemetery

Re “Paperwork for another ballot measure filed to change veterans cemetery location in Irvine” (News, Aug. 12):

I think it is shameful that Larry Agran and other politicians who avoided serving their country, militarily, can delay a veteran’s cemetery for so long.

I am an 88-year-old Korean War vet who does not want any family members who wish to visit my grave, have to travel over two hours each way. Please push the project forward and stop the nonsense and delaying tactics. Build the cemetery.

— Art Schlosser, Laguna Woods

Carnage will continue

Re “Looking for answers after mass shootings” (Editorial, Aug. 8):

With a racist and hater in the White House and the NRA in his pocket, nothing will be done. We need to ban the sales of assault rifles. Period. No citizen needs that kind of rifle, except to kill people.

We, as Americans, need to ban together to outlaw assault weapons. Until that day comes, the carnage will continue. Next time it will be in your hometown or mine. I don’t want to wait that long.

— Carrie Chotiner, Laguna Niguel

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Horse racing: Bob Baffert and McKinzie have deep emotional ties

DEL MAR – Bob Baffert loved Brad McKinzie. He believes the late longtime Los Alamitos executive, who died in 2017 at 62 after a battle with cancer, is watching over him.

Perhaps the most emotion Baffert has shown in public in recent years came earlier this month when the 4-year-old colt McKinzie, named after Brad, won the Grade I Whitney Stakes at Saratoga. Baffert was getting misty eyed while being interviewed by Laffit Pincay III in the winner’s circle.

“They know I’m a big softy and all that,” Baffert said this week at the post-position draw for Saturday’s $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

He’s especially a big softy when it comes to Brad McKinzie.

“(Brad) meant a lot to me,” Baffert said. “All my brothers and sisters, he was like a brother to me. I really miss him. We all miss him dearly. He was one of the funniest guys I’ve ever been around.”

He was also one of the kindest you’ll ever meet. He showed the type of person he was in 2016 when he put his pal Baffert ahead of his own health.

The Hall of Fame trainer was scheduled to receive an award from the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation that summer, and McKinzie was hell-bent on being there.

“We found out later he was supposed to have a kidney removed that was cancerous and he prolonged it two weeks so he could speak (at the dinner),” Baffert said. “That’s the type of guy that he was. He prolonged it just to be there for me. He was like my biggest fan. He was a special, special guy. He’s looking out for me.”

McKinzie would be running Saturday as the likely Pacific Classic favorite if not for a narrow loss in the Met Mile at Belmont Park when he got a brutal trip and finished second behind Mitole.

“The plan was, if we won the Met Mile, I was going to stay here in California (and run in the Pacific Classic),” Baffert said. “When he got beat in the Met Mile, I wanted to run him in the Whitney, and so everybody was on board with it.

“I wanted to win in New York … I’d never won the Whitney. It’s one of those (prestigious) races.”

Along with Baffert and McKinzie’s owners, Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman, all of whom were Brad’s friends, the Street Sense colt has at least one other huge fan – Brad’s mother.

“I just talked to his mother today and that horse is keeping her spirits up,” Baffert said. “She told me, ‘That horse gives me will to live.’ She says, ‘I’m so proud of him.’ That horse is special to a lot of us. I’m glad he turned out to be a good one because sometimes you name ’em and … it’s been a fun ride. He’s a really good horse.”

One that’s won seven of 12 lifetime starts with four seconds. The only time he’s been off the board was last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, when he finished 12th behind Accelerate at Churchill Downs.

He’s scheduled to get another shot at the $6 million Classic again Nov. 2 at Santa Anita. Plans to get him there in good health are underway now.

“I’ll probably keep him here and run him at Santa Anita (Awesome Again Stakes on Sept. 28),” Baffert said. “I don’t know if I want to ship him another time.”

The Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on the same day as the Awesome Again is not an option for McKinzie’s final Breeders’ Cup prep.

“No, I wouldn’t take him back there again,” Baffert said. “He’s a light horse, he’s shipped a couple of times now. The main thing is the Breeders’ Cup Classic, to have him healthy for that.”

In the meantime, everyone who knew Brad McKinzie will continue to miss him while also remembering all the good times, of which there were many.

“It’s very emotional for me, that horse, with Brad McKinzie and all,” Baffert said. “I’m sure he’s watching every move I make, and my gut feeling says keep him home (for his next race).”

If McKinzie wins this fall’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, break out the tissue. There won’t be a dry eye in the winner’s circle.

Baffert might be the most emotional of all.

Follow Art Wilson on Twitter @Sham73

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores a pair of goals to help Galaxy snap three-game losing streak

CARSON – Zlatan Ibrahimovic wears his emotions on his sleeves, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise Wednesday night when he angrily kicked the post after a Galaxy teammate failed to get him the ball.

However, moments later, all was forgiven.

In the 68th minute, Jorgen Skjelvik fed Ibrahimovic from the left flank and Ibrahimovic took care of the rest, slotting it by sprawling FC Dallas goaltender Jesse Gonzalez for the opening goal.

The goal was the 17th of the season for Ibrahimovic and, more importantly, helped the Galaxy snap a three-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory in front of 19,653 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

“We had a little bit more confidence than we’ve had lately and I think we did a good game today,” Ibrahimovic said. “I think last game (2-1 loss to DC United) was also good, but we didn’t score goals and today we got the three points that we deserved.”

Ibrahimovic wasn’t finished, as he converted a penalty kick in the 81st minute for the 2-0 lead with his 18th goal. Cristian Pavon was fouled in the box and referee Ismail Elfath didn’t hesitate pointing to the spot.

The Galaxy (13-11-1, 40 points) had slipped to fifth place in the Western Conference following their three-game losing streak. All three games were on the road, and the losses were by a combined score of 9-1.

“We’re still grinding, we still work hard and we do the best in the situation,” Ibrahimovic said. “We played good, under control. They had one chance and they hit the crossbar in the beginning. For the rest of the game, we were solid and stable and we controlled the game and in the end we were the stronger ones.”

With Wednesday’s win, the Galaxy moved into a tie with Real Salt Lake for third place.

“We played a very good team,” Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said. “They are fighting like us for the playoffs.”

There is no margin for error in the Western Conference, with just five points separating second place from eighth place. Only the top seven teams in the each conference will qualify for the playoffs.

The Galaxy started fast, as they’ve done in recent weeks, but didn’t have anything to show for it in a scoreless first half.

Schelotto tried to inject some life into the attack in the second half, sending on Uriel Antuna and Favio Alvarez in the 53rd and 61st minutes, respectively, replacing teenagers Efrain Alvarez and Julian Araujo.

The move paid off as Ibrahimovic opened the scoring seven minutes later after Alvarez help start the attack.

The game was the home debut for new addition Pavon, who had made his Galaxy debut last Sunday in a 2-1 loss at DC United.

Pavon helped spring Skjelvik free down the left side with his through ball that eventually led to Ibrahimovic’s first goal.

In the first half, the Galaxy needed some skill and luck to keep the game scoreless. First, FC Dallas had a shot from approximately 10 yards out hit the crossbar.

Later, in the 33rd minute, Sebastian Lletget came up with a last-minute sliding tackle of Michael Barrios as Barrios was preparing to shoot with an open look at goal in the 33rd minute.

“I think we played well, it will be very clearer because we know that from now on until the last game, it will be very even because everyone needs points and everyone is thinking about getting something to get into the playoffs,” Schelotto said. “Today, I think the team worked very well, thinking about managing the ball and moving.”

There isn’t much time to celebrate for the Galaxy, who will be back at home Saturday against the Seattle Sounders.

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Poor pitching sends Angels to second straight loss to Pirates

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun, right, slides before being tagged out by Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings while trying to score on a ball hit by Matt Thaiss during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates’ Josh Bell, right, is congratulated by Starling Marte after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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  • Los Angeles Angels’ Luis Rengifo, left, is forced out at second as Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Adam Frazier throws out Max Stassi at first during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates’ Josh Bell, left, rounds first as Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols stands near the bag Bell hit a solo home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates’ Bryan Reynolds is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the seventh inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Bryan Reynolds can’t reach a ball hit for a triple by Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, scores on a single by Albert Pujols as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings stands at the plate during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, is safe at third for a triple as Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Colin Moran waits for a late throw during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates’ Josh Bell is congratulated by teammates after scoring on a double by Colin Moran during the third inning of a baseball game agains the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, left, is safe at first as Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jose Osuna takes a late throw during the inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun, right, slides before being tagged out by Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings while trying to score on a ball hit by Matt Thaiss during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout watches a ball hit by Pittsburgh Pirates’ Bryan Reynolds go out for a solo home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Griffin Canning throws during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani watches his triple during the second inning of the team’s baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, walks away after striking out as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings, center, and home plate umpire Laz Diaz gesture during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates’ Josh Bell, right, is congratulated by Jose Osuna after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates’ Pablo Reyes, right, scores on a double by Adam Frazier as Los Angeles Angels catcher Max Stassi waits for the ball during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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ANAHEIM — A night that began so well for the Angels ended up as yet another another ugly loss.

Despite taking a four-run lead after two innings, the Angels lost 10-7 to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night, allowing 10 runs for the second night in a row to a team that came to Anaheim 21 games under .500.

The good feelings from the Angels’ two-game winning streak over the weekend in Boston have vanished amid two straight nights of poor pitching, with a sprinkle of poor defense too.

The hitters at least showed up, generating a quick 4-0 lead, with two of the runs coming home on a pair of extra-base hits by Shohei Ohtani. They scored two more in the ninth, when they were down by five, to finish with seven runs on 10 hits, including four from David Fletcher.

But it wasn’t enough to overcome the issues on the mound, mostly caused by Griffin Canning and Taylor Cole.

Canning, who pitched six scoreless innings on July 30 in his last outing before being sidelined with elbow inflammation, struggled through the first inning, throwing 30 pitches before escaping without allowing a run.

“I threw a lot of balls,” Canning said. “Just my first game back in a while, Just kind of getting back into that rhythm and that feel.”

He had a 4-0 lead when he took the mound in the third, which included one particularly ugly sequence.

Josh Bell dropped a bloop single into left, driving in the Pirates’ first run. Left fielder Justin Upton, who slid to attempt the catch, then threw to third to try to get Bryan Reynolds, but no one was covering the bag because Fletcher, the shortstop, and third baseman Matt Thaiss had also gone out to left to try to make the catch.

As the ball dribbled into foul territory, Bell went for second. Canning, who had been backing up third, chucked the ball into right field, allowing Reynolds to score and Bell to take third.

Bell then scored on a clean hit by Colin Moran, which made all the runs earned.

Canning bounced back to pitch a scoreless fourth, but then his night was over with 80 pitches, nearly his limit in his return from the injured list.

“His stuff looked really good but the pitch count got up,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “A little trouble locating the ball. Obviously the error really hurt him but overall more importantly he looked healthy, looked strong. Maybe too strong. Sometimes when you’re too strong you have trouble commanding the baseball.”

Canning left with a 5-3 lead, but Cole then entered and allowed the Pirates to score four runs in the fifth. It marked the third time in his past five games that he’d allowed at least four runs in one inning or less.

“It’s very frustrating,” Cole said. “It’s tough to swallow, a tough pill to swallow. I feel like I’ve thrown the ball a lot better than these last five games. It’s not one or two runs, it’s four or five. One of those is enough. To have three of them, obviously I just think I need to make an adjustment mentally when maybe guys get on or whatnot. Maybe subconsciously I’m doing something different that I’m not recognizing but I need to recognize it and figure out what it is.”

Cole, who had worked an encourage 2-2/3 innings of scoreless baseball in two games in Boston over the weekend, gave up a single to Starling Marte and then a game-tying two-run homer to Bell.

Moran shot a single up the middle and he scored on Jose Osuna’s double down the left-field line. Cole got the next two outs, including a 100.7-mph lineout, before Pablo Reyes singled up the middle, putting the Pirates up 7-5.

The Angels had a shot to get at least one run back, but Kole Calhoun was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a fly ball to center fielder Marte.

The Pirates, who had 17 hits on the night, then added three insurance runs against Luís García and Jake Jewell.

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