Rare rough start for Dylan Bundy sends Angels to another loss

ANAHEIM — Dylan Bundy’s breakout season hit a speed bump.

Bundy, the most pleasant surprise on the Angels roster in this forgettable season, tossed a clunker in a 9-6 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.

  • Justin Upton #10 of the Los Angeles Angels is welcomed into the dugout after hitting a home rung against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the seventh inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 16, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Jo Adell #59 of the Los Angeles Angels catches a fly ball in right field hit by Daulton Varsho #12 of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 16, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

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  • Max Stassi #33 of the Los Angeles Angels watches as David Peralta #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits a home run in the seventh inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 16, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Dylan Bundy #37 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the first innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 16, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Josh Rojas #10 of the Arizona Diamondbacks stands on the warning track while Los Angeles Angels players in the bullpen try to catch a home run ball hit by Justin Upton #10 of the Los Angeles Angels in the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 16, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Stefan Crichton throws during the ninth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout reacts after flying out to Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Kole Calhoun during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, right, celebrates his two-run home run with Anthony Rendon, left, and Taylor Ward during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels breaks his bat on a pitch by Taylor Clarke #45 of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fourth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 16, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Justin Upton #10 of the Los Angeles Angels congratulates Max Stassi #33 on his home run in the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 16, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Jared Walsh, right, avoids a tag by Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed, advancing on a passed ball during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Jared Walsh #25 of the Los Angeles Angels rounds third base after hitting a home run in the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 16, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Caleb Smith #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 16, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Stephen Vogt #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks stands buy as Justin Upton #10 of the Los Angeles Angels congratulates Max Stassi #33 on his home run in the second inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 16, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels breaks his bat on a pitch by Taylor Clarke #45 of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fourth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 16, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels sits in the dug out in the first inning of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 16, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

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Bundy brought a 2.48 ERA into the game, having allowed more than two earned runs in just two starts, and only once allowing as many as four.

But he gave up that many in the second inning alone on Wednesday, failing to retire any of the first six hitters of the inning.

“It was just getting behind in the count and having to throw a non-competitive off-seed pitch or a fastball not located very well, and I got singled to death,” Bundy said.

Bundy was charged with two more runs after he left in the third inning, ending his worst start of the season.

It put the Angels in a hole they could not escape, as they lost for the second straight night to the last-place Diamondbacks. The Angels missed a chance to pick up ground on the Houston Astros, remaining 4 1/2 games back with just 10 games to go.

“It’s frustrating for everybody,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “The guys are engaged. It is frustrating but we gotta keep pounding on the door. Of course the opportunity is slipping quickly, but we gotta keep rolling. Our guys have been engaged. They are working. It just hasn’t played. We have to put ourselves in better position at the beginning of the game to grab a lead and hold on to it.”

The Angels had hoped that sending their best starter to the mound would be the ticket to a victory, but it didn’t work out.

Bundy pitched a perfect first, but in the second he gave up four singles and two walks to the first six hitters. Two more runs got tacked on to his line when reliever Hoby Milner issued a walk and gave up an infield single.

The Angels hung around in the game thanks to a few homers.

Max Stassi hit a two-run shot to cut the lead in half after Bundy gave up four.

Sizzling Jared Walsh then hit a solo homer in the fifth, his sixth homer in his last seven games. Walsh also had a single, his sixth straight multi-hit game. He is the first Angels player to have multiple hits in six straight games since Erick Aybar in 2014.

“He’s got electric hands,” Maddon said. “This is a moment for him to ascend and he’s taking advantage of it. I don’t think it’s a fluke. I think it’s how he’s capable of hitting.”

Justin Upton cut the deficit to 6-4 with a homer in the sixth. Upton also continues to climb out of his month-long slump. Upton is hitting .345 with five homers in his last 16 games.

Just when the Angels got back within striking distance, Patrick Sandoval gave up a two-run homer to Kole Calhoun and a solo blast to David Peralta in the seventh.

It was Sandoval’s first appearance since being recalled from Long Beach. Before the homers, he had pitched three scoreless innings.

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Fired clubhouse worker files suit against Angels

Brian Harkins, the longtime Angels employee who was fired in March because he provided a substance to pitchers to doctor baseballs, has filed a complaint against the Angels and Major League Baseball, according to documents reviewed by the Southern California News Group.

The complaint was filed on Aug. 28 in Orange County Superior Court, was first reported by ESPN. The complaint claims that Harkins was made to be a scapegoat by the Angels and MLB.

The complain alleges defamation and false light against the Angels and MLB, because of the public allegations that Harkins provided an illegal substance, and that he did so to the detriment of the Angels. The complaint also alleges labor violations against the Angels for his dismissal.

The Angels and MLB declined to comment when reached by ESPN.

The case has been scheduled to go before a jury on May 31, 2022, although obviously it could be settled or dismissed before then.

The complaint says that Harkins, better known as Bubba, never distributed an illegal substance to anyone, and was unfamiliar where the name “Go Go Juice,” which described the concoction, had originated. The complaint also says it was common knowledge around the Angels clubhouse that a mixture of rosin, pine tar and “Mota stick (hard pine tar)” could be useful to help pitchers grip the baseball, and it was used by Angels pitchers as well as visitors.

“Bubba Harkins was not a traitor to his team,” the complaint reads. “Many people within the Angels organization knew about the Sticky Stuff of rosin and pine tar Bubba used to make for pitchers. Year after year a hair-creme-sized jar containing the Sticky Stuff was included in the Angels bullpen bag, along with sunscreen and other sticky substances. Many Angels pitchers used it over the years. Many  Angels coaches have encouraged its use by pitchers over the years. Many Angels position players have encouraged its use by pitchers over the years. Why? It gives the pitcher better control of the pitch, and consequently, makes the game safer.”

The complaint details how Harkins came to create his particular mix of materials with the help of a former All-Star Angels pitcher who went to the Detroit Tigers in 2005. That description fits longtime Angels closer Troy Percival.

Harkins was fired on Mar. 3, 2020, after Major League Baseball circulated a memo describing a crackdown on the use of substances on the baseball. Harkins never received a copy of the memo, according to the complaint.

On Mar. 20, Harkins delivered a letter to Angels president John Carpino explaining the situation and requesting he be reinstated, but Harkins received no response, according to the complaint.

Harkins was interviewed by Major League Baseball on Mar. 26 and he was asked which pitchers had used the substances, according to the complaint. There has been no subsequent discipline against anyone else, the complaint says.

Harkins, better known as Bubba, had spent nearly 40 years working for the Angels, including the past 30 as the visiting clubhouse manager.

Pitchers and hitters alike have often said that it’s common for pitchers to use pine tar or other materials to help them get a grip on the ball, even though it’s against the rules.

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Anthony Rendon’s homer leads Angels to comeback and doubleheader sweep

ANAHEIM — It’s certainly too late for this year, but the Angels may be figuring out how to win.

Anthony Rendon’s three-run homer in the seventh and final inning gave the Angels the lead on their way to a 7-6 victory over the Houston Astros and a sweep of the doubleheader.

In the first game, the Angels blew a lead in the top of the seventh and then overcame a two-run deficit in the bottom of the inning to rally for a 10-9 victory.

After that game, Manager Joe Maddon said these kind of victories are an important stepping stone for the Angels to get back to contention.

“Once you get the mindset then we’re gonna win this thing somehow as opposed to lose it somehow, then you can get a lot of positive things,” Maddon said.

The Angels have now won four games in a row after the doubleheader, which was scheduled because the Angels and Astros had a game postponed last month in Houston as Hurricane Laura approached.

The Astros were the home team for the second game, so the Angels didn’t get the chance for a second straight walk-off victory.

Rendon, and seemingly a few of the Astros, believed the game was over when he hit his homer.

“Without a doubt,” Rendon said. “As I was rounding the bases I thought, ‘Wait, it’s not over yet.”

Trailing 4-0 after two innings, the Angels tied the game with a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Albert Pujols drove in three of them.

George Springer then blasted his second homer of the game — despite Jo Adell nearly robbing Springer of a homer for the second time in the day — to put the Astros up 6-4 in the fifth.

In the seventh, Justin Upton lined a one-out single against Humberto Castellanos. Mike Trout followed with a walk, the 12th time in 14 plate appearances in the series that he had reached.

Rendon then yanked a three-run homer down the line, putting the Angels on top.

Under normal circumstances, it would have been a walk off, but this time the Angels still had to finish the bottom of the seventh. They had been unable to close out victories when three outs away in each of the first two games, blowing the leads before coming back to win.

This time, Ty Buttrey — who gave up three runs on Friday night — got the save.

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Angels need 11 innings, but win on night Mike Trout equals Tim Salmon for team’s homer record

ANAHEIM — This wasn’t the way the Angels wanted to win on a night that should have been about celebrating Mike Trout for equaling the franchise homer record, but they aren’t in position to apologize for any victories in this forgettable season.

Ty Buttrey and Matt Andriese and combined to blow a three-run lead in the ninth inning, before the Angels came back to beat the Houston Astros 6-5 in 11 innings.

The Angels won for just the second time in seven extra-inning games. Andriese stranded the automatic runner in the 10th and 11th.

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout celebrates his two-run home run with coaches as he returns to the dugout during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Houston Astros, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Houston Astros’ Kyle Tucker watches his RBI double that tied the score during the ninth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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  • Los Angeles Angels left fielder Taylor Ward runs down a ball hit by Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel, making the catch for the out during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels singles during the sixth inning of a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 04, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Houston Astros’ George Springer watches as a ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout clears the wall for a two-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Houston Astros, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Andrelton Simmons #2 congratulates Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels after his two-run homerun during the first inning of a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 04, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, left, of Japan, safely slides back to second base as Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa applies a late tag during the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Houston Astros’ Kyle Tucker, left, reaches second base with a double ahead of the tag by Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Anthony Rendon #6 scores on a sacrifice fly by Taylor Ward #3 of the Los Angeles Angels as Martin Maldonado #15 of the Houston Astros awaits the throw during the first inning of a game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 04, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, right, and Andrelton Simmons round the bases after a two-run home run by Trout during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Dylan Bundy throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Houston Astros’ Carlos Correa hits an RBI-double during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel, left, is greeted by Aledmys Diaz after scoring on a double hit by Carlos Correa during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels rounds second base after hitting a two-run home run during the first inning of a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 04, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado points toward first base during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, watches after hitting a fly ball during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Houston Astros relief pitcher Luis Garcia throws to a Los Angeles Angels batter during the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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Trout struck out to strand the winning the run in the 10th, the first out he’d made all night. In the 11th he started at second and scored on Shohei Ohtani’s one-out single, his first career walk-off hit.

The Angels avoided what certainly would have been an agonizing loss on a night that Trout hit his 299th homer, equaling Tim Salmon atop the Angels all-time leaderboard.

Trout’s first-inning two-run homer against Lance McCullers Jr. sailed over the center field fence, pulling Trout even with Salmon in his 1,234th game. Salmon played 1,672 games with the Angels.

“Tim’s a great person,” Trout said on Thursday. “I got to know him over the years. It’s pretty cool. We’re always linked together because of our last names. Looking back on his career, what an unbelievable career. Just the way he represented the the Angels organization with such class. I hear nothing but great things about him. Every chance I get to talk to him when he’s around the ballpark, I take advantage of it.”

The moment was special for Joe Maddon, who often tells the story about how he helped sign Salmon when he was an Angels scout.

“This is just the beginning for Mike,” Maddon said. “I’m very happy for both these guys. It’s pretty cool, right?”

Trout’s homer, which gave him the major-league lead with 14 until the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. tied him later in the night, was part of a three-run first inning. Jared Walsh homered to make it 4-0 in the third.

After that, though, the game was a story of players overcoming adversity, which Maddon enjoyed thoroughly.

First was Dylan Bundy, who was in trouble in the fourth inning. He had allowed two runs, cutting the lead in half, and the bullpen was in action. Cameras showed Bundy visibly upset at the action in the bullpen, and he didn’t hide his displeasure later.

“It motivates you when you see the bullpen up in the fourth inning as a starter and you’re not happy,” Bundy said. “It fires you up. And who knows, maybe I needed it.”

Maddon later said with a smile: “He got better.”

Sure enough, Bundy escaped the fourth with two strikeouts, and then he worked three more innings in dominating fashion, including three straight strikeouts to end the seventh.

The bullpen then inherited a three-run lead. They nearly blew it in the eighth, with Mike Mayers loading the bases before Luke Bard escaped, with the 5-2 lead intact.

In the ninth, Buttrey got the ball and he gave up ringing base hits to three of the four batters he faced. Buttrey allowed the Astros to get within 5-4 before he was pulled with two outs to go.

Andriese then entered. He retired Yuli Gurriel on a fly ball to shallow left — a nice catch by Taylor Ward — but then he gave up a game-tying double to Kyle Tucker.

Andriese struck out Carlos Correa to preserve the tie, though, and he would pick up six more outs after that, all with the go-ahead run in scoring position.

“Andriese, you cannot give him enough praise for what he did tonight,” Maddon said. “Just one mistake to Tucker. … He did not cave. I’ve been around a lot of guys that once that gate opens, they lose a little bit. He got two more innings for us right there, against a lineup that was really into that ballgame. It was awesome. Andriese did a helluva job and it needs to be recognized.”

Andriese kept the game tied long enough for Ohtani to get a crack. He had struggled all year, especially against lefties, but with one out in the 11th, he lined a single into right field against lefty Brooks Raley, ending the game.

“I love it,” Maddon said. “I love when we get a bunch of guys like that, that are not going to be denied and that’s really what it comes down to. There’s no big secret. They came back. They’re a championship-caliber team. They came back. And once you’ve attained that, earned that heart in your chest, you play that way in the latter parts of games. That’s what we need to do.”

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Andrew Heaney and slumping hitters combine to lead Angels to victory

ANAHEIM — On a night that the Angels officially began working toward the future, they got the type of pitching performance they’d been waiting for throughout their monthlong collapse.

Andrew Heaney gave up one run in 7 2/3 innings of the Angels’ 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night, just hours after they’d traded Tommy La Stella to Oakland.

  • Shohei Ohtani #42 of the Los Angeles Angels steals second base while Shed Long #42 of the Seattle Mariners drops the ball in the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2020 in Anaheim, California. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Albert Pujols #42 of the Los Angeles Angels drives in a run in the sixth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2020 in Anaheim, California. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

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  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws to the plate against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Shohei Ohtani #42 of the Los Angeles Angels crosses the plate after being driven in by Albert Pujols #42 in the sixth inning as Austin Nola #42 of the Seattle Mariners looks on at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2020 in Anaheim, California. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Players from the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners, all wearing number 42, to honor Jackie Robinson Day, during the national anthem prior to a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Players from the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners, all wearing No. 42 for Jackie Robinson Day, stand during the national anthem prior to a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Seattle Mariners second baseman Shed Long Jr., center, relays a throw over Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, bottom, to get Angels’ Anthony Rendon at first, for a double play, with Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford watching during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani strikes out swinging against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Shohei Ohtani #42 of the Los Angeles Angels waves to Albert Pujols #42 who drove him in on a double in the sixth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2020 in Anaheim, California. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Shohei Ohtani #42 of the Los Angeles Angels steals second base while Shed Long #42 of the Seattle Mariners drops the ball in the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2020 in Anaheim, California. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Shed Long Jr. #42 of the Seattle Mariners tags out Justin Upton #24 of the Los Angeles Angels who tried to steal in the fourth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2020 in Anaheim, California. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Shed Long Jr. #42 of the Seattle Mariners tags out Justin Upton #24 of the Los Angeles Angels who tried to steal in the fourth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2020 in Anaheim, California. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, right, throws out Los Angeles Angels’ David Fletcher on a groundout, with shortstop J.P. Crawford, left, watching during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws to the plate against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Seattle Mariners players, all wearing number 42, to honor Jackie Robinson Day, walk out onto the field prior to a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • J.P. Crawford #42 of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by Kyle Seager #42 after he was driven in by Sam Haggerty #42 in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2020 in Anaheim, California. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Shohei Ohtani #42 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts to a strike called in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2020 in Anaheim, California. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Players from the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners, all wearing No. 42 for Jackie Robinson Day, stand during the national anthem prior to a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Andrew Heaney #42 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2020 in Anaheim, California. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels players meet before the National Anthem at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2020 in Anaheim, California. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

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La Stella, who is set to be a free agent at the end of the year, is exactly the type of player who gets traded away when his team is out of contention, as the Angels are after losing 22 of their first 32 games.

“It’s sad because it puts into perspective the kind of season we’re having,” Heaney said. “With a little bit of introspection, you’re trying to look at it like, ‘If I’d have pitched better, maybe my teammate would still be here.’”

The Angels’ biggest problem had pitching, but also poor performances from some of their key offensive players.

Three of them — Justin Upton, Shohei Ohtani and Albert Pujols — collaborated on the go-ahead rally in the sixth inning.

And Mike Trout, who had been in an uncharacteristic slump for a couple weeks, added an insurance in the eighth with a homer, his first since Aug. 17.

In the sixth, Ohtani, who had doubled earlier in the game, drew a walk to lead off the inning. Two outs later, Pujols drove him in with a double, tying the game.

Upton followed with a single into left, his third hit of the game, to drive in Pujols.

Upton’s three hits, including a double, represented one more hit than he had in his previous 45 at-bats.

“Last time I talked to y’all I didn’t get a hit for a month,” Upton quipped at the start of a Zoom conference with the media, before adding that he’s “just getting back to basics in the cage and working as much as I can.”

After Upton’s hit gave the Angels the lead, Heaney returned to the mound and managed a perfect shutdown inning, retiring the Mariners in order on seven pitches.

Heaney ended up retiring the first two in the eighth, finishing his best game of the season. He gave up just four hits, with two walks and 10 strikeouts.

The key may have been something Heaney discovered in his previous outing, a week ago in Oakland. In that game he gave up three runs in the first before making an adjustment and pitching much better.

It seems he began throwing more fastballs after that first inning, and he continued the trend on Friday night.

This time Heaney started out throwing a heavy dosage of fastballs the first time through the order, but then he mixed in more of his other pitches the second and third times through.

“I know this is the era of the breaking ball in regards to usage, but he’s different,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s got a different kind of delivery and the way the ball reacts in the zone. And actually I think when he goes to too many breaking balls, he is giving the other team more opportunity, so I love the attack mode tonight. In my mind’s eye, that’s what he can look like and how good he can be.”

Heaney stuck around for the first two outs of the eighth before giving way to closer Ty Buttrey, who went through the heart of the Mariners’ order to pick up a four-out save.

Buttrey gave up a run in the ninth, but he avoided more trouble when right fielder Jo Adell relayed to shortstop Andrelton Simmons to throw out Jose Marmolejos at third for the second out.

“That’s a big league play, brother,” Maddon said. “If we don’t make that play, there’s a chance of it being an entirely different ballgame, and that’s an understatement.”

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Angels lose again but show some improvement on the mound against A’s

The Angels did just enough to lose again.

Although Andrew Heaney was better than their starters had been recently, that was a relatively low threshold to exceed, as he gave up five runs in the Angels’ 5-3 loss to the A’s in Oakland on Friday.

Despite four more hits from torrid Anthony Rendon, the Angels have lost eight of their last nine games to fall to 8-19.

  • Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels gets hit with a pitch against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on August 21, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

  • Andrew Heaney #28 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on August 21, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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  • Stephen Piscotty #25 of the Oakland Athletics hits a two-run RBI double against the Los Angeles Angels in the bottom of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on August 21, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

  • Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics scores on a two-run RBI double from Stephen Piscotty #25 against the Los Angeles Angels in the bottom of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on August 21, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

  • Mark Canha #20 and Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates after they both score on a two-run RBI double from Stephen Piscotty #25 against the Los Angeles Angels in the bottom of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on August 21, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

  • Mike Fiers #50 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Los Angeles Angels in the top of the second inning at RingCentral Coliseum on August 21, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney works against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Stephen Piscotty (25) swings for a two run double off Los Angeles Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Mark Canha, right, celebrates with Matt Chapman (26) after both scored against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Oakland, Calif. Both scored on a double by A’s Stephen Piscotty. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Brian Goodwin (18) talks to the home plate umpire after being called on a strike thrown by Oakland Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers (50) in the first inning of their game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney, second from left, speaks with pitching coach Mickey Callaway, second from right, in the first inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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On this night, Heaney kept the game within the reach, and then the bullpen did its job, but the Angels couldn’t come up with the big hit when they needed it against Oakland’s strong bullpen.

“It just has to be that we get clicking on all cylinders,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “Overall the pitching was better tonight. … Overall a pretty well played game. No big hits tonight.”

The Angels ended their streak of eight straight games allowing at least six runs, but that was about all they accomplished. They still haven’t had a starter get through five innings in the last six games.

Heaney gave up a homer to the first batter of the game, Marcus Semien, and then he gave up two more runs on a two-out double by Stephen Piscotty. Trailing 3-0 quickly, Heaney then locked down though and gave his teammates a chance to get back in the game.

Heaney worked three straight scoreless innings, allowing only one hit, and he got the first two outs of the fifth.

Afterward, Heaney said he didn’t want to disclose what adjustments he’d made,

It ended with back-to-back doubles to Mark Canha and Matt Olson, the latter of which barely eluded Goodwin in left field.

“It’s not a routine play by any means,” Maddon said. “(Goodwin) is going out to the wall face first in that kind of a dark little corner in there, but he made a good effort. I was surprised he even got to it. I really was. When it was off the bat, I thought it was possibly over the wall, definitely off the wall. That’s what I saw from my vantage point.”

Reliever Mike Mayers then allowed a single to Piscotty to drive in the fifth run tacked on to Heaney’s line, putting the Angels behind 5-1.

The Angels had threats throughout the game, but could never put up a big enough inning to give themselves a chance to win.

In the first, Goodwin struck out to strand two, the first of his four strikeouts, including two others with runners on base. They loaded the bases in the fourth but Andrelton Simmons — in his first game after more than three weeks on the injured list — hit a flyout.

Rendon drove in their first run in the fifth with his third hit of the game. Rendon is 22 for 42 (.524) in his 11-game hitting streak, including multiple hits in his last five games.

The next time the Angels came to the plate, their deficit had grown to 5-1. They again loaded the bases, and this time Mike Trout shattered his bat on a ball punched to the right side, and the A’s couldn’t make a play, allowing two runs to score.

Rendon came up as the potential go-ahead run, and he hit a flyout to center.

Rendon led off the ninth with a single against closer Liam Hendriks, allowing the Angels to have three shots with the tying run at the plate. Hendriks retired Goodwin, Albert Pujols and Jo Adell to end it.

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Mike Trout’s second homer of the night completes Angels comeback

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, center, is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after hitting a home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, watches the flight of his two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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  • Oakland Athletics’ Matt Olson, left, scores on a triple hit by Matt Chapman as Los Angeles Angels catcher Max Stassi waits for the throw during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, right, watches as Justin Upton makes a fielding error while trying to catch a ball hit by Oakland Athletics’ Mark Canha during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, center, of Japan, is congratulated by teammates after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, left, chases Oakland Athletics’ Robbie Grossman to tag him out during the second inning of a baseball game, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Matt Chapman, right, celebrates his two-run home run with Robbie Grossman and Matt Olson during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols watches after hitting a sacrifice ground ball during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, is greeted by first base coach Jose Molina during the first inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Julio Teheran, right, chats with catcher Max Stassi during the second inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, center, is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after hitting a home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Matt Chapman watches after hitting a three-run triple during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Anthony Rendon, right, celebrates his two-run home run with Mike Trout during the first inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, right, and Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, celebrate the team’s 10-9 win against the Oakland Athletics in a baseball game, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Justin Upton #10 of the Los Angeles Angels drops a ball hit by Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics who drove in a run on the error in the fourth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 10, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Stephen Piscotty #25 of the Oakland Athletics scores as Julio Teheran #49 of the Los Angeles Angels covers the plate after a wild pitch in the second inning inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 10, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Stephen Piscotty, left, scores on a wild pitch by Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Julio Teheran, right, during the second inning of a baseball game, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics signals to Ramon Laureano #22 who scores on a three-run triple hit by Matt Chapman #26 in the fourth inning against the at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 10, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Matt Andriese throws during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Anthony Rendon #6 of the Los Angeles Angels is congratulated in the dugout after his first inning home run against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 10, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Matt Olson #28 of the Oakland Athletics congratulates Matt Chapman #26 on his two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels in the third inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 10, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ David Fletcher, left, scores on a wild pitch by Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sean Manaea, right, during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Stephen Piscotty hits an RBI single during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Matt Olson #28 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by Robbie Grossman #8, Ramon Laureano #22 and Sean Murphy #12 after being driven in on a three-run triple by Matt Chapman #26 in the fourth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 10, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Julio Teheran throws against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics hits a three-run triple in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 10, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Sean Murphy #12 of the Oakland Athletics reacts as Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels gets a walk in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 10, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • The Oakland Athletics cheer in the dugout before playing the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 10, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

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ANAHEIM — The Angels’ offensive slump had even hit Mike Trout, who admitted that over the weekend in Texas he had been “fighting through some stuff.”

Trout said it was only a five- or six-at-bat stretch in which he didn’t feel comfortable, and apparently a little extra pregame work on Monday took care of that.

Trout led the Angels’ offensive barrage with two homers, including a game-winning solo shot in the eighth, to lead the Angels to a 10-9 victory over the Oakland A’s.

The Angels overcame an early five-run deficit to snap the nine-game winning streak for the team with the best record in baseball.

Trout, who also had two singles, led a barrage that included two-run homers by Anthony Rendon and Shohei Ohtani.

Rendon and Ohtani both came into the game hitting under .200, part of a surprising offensive malaise for a team that figured to have a powerful offense.

“Coming into the season with the lineup we had on paper, it’s going to produce,” Trout said. “We haven’t been producing lately the last week, the tough stretch we had in Texas. But we came home and turned the page. It’s something we can build off. We have a lot of great hitters on this team. You saw what we can do tonight. We can score runs with the best teams.”

The first-place A’s had been running away with the division, and they seemed to be running away with this game before the Angels rally.

“I’m here to tell you, man, we can play with these guys,” Maddon said. “Absolutely, we can play with these guys. There’s no doubt in my mind. We got to go out there and we got to take it from them, they’re not going to give us anything. I like the way we responded today. It’s gonna be another battle tomorrow, but I have a lot of respect for Oakland but we can play with these guys, you can play with Houston, but we got to prove that.”

Rendon’s homer capped a first-inning rally that put the Angels up 3-0, and Trout and Ohtani each hit a home run during a comeback from a 9-4 deficit. Trout’s homer in the fourth made it 9-6, and Ohtani’s in the sixth tied the game at 9.

Rendon and Justin Upton both snapped 0-for-21 slumps; Rendon ended his with a homer.

“It definitely has to take a little bit of the load off,” Maddon said of Rendon’s home run. “It can lead to a pretty good hot streak for him. He’s one of those guys who can get hot and stay hot.”

Besides the Angels offense, their bullpen provided some of the quality relief that had been absent for the first week and a half of the season. Starter Julio Teheran was charged with five runs and Matt Andriese gave up four more, but then Noe Ramirez, Keynan Middleton, Felix Peña and Ty Buttrey blanked the A’s over the final five innings.

Maddon said Middleton, Peña and Buttrey have now emerged as his top three relievers.

“If they’re rested, you’ll see us probably utilize those three guys, not in any particular order, at the end of the game to win,” Maddon said.

The homer barrage and bullpen success covered over what had started as a sloppy game for the Angels.

Teheran returned to the mound after getting a 3-0 lead and suddenly couldn’t get an out. He allowed nine of the next 12 hitters to reach base and was knocked out in the third inning, with five runs on the board.

Teheran allowed both of Matt Chapman’s homers, blasts to straightaway center field. He also hit a batter, walked two and threw a wild pitch.

Maddon said Teheran is still behind, having missed two of the three weeks of summer camp while recovering from a bout with the coronavirus.

Tommy La Stella got thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double with no outs in the first and Trout coming up. Albert Pujols made an ill-advised attempt to get a force at second instead of taking the out at first. Upton dropped a fly ball.

The Angels also executed a rundown between third and home slowly enough that the A’s went from having runners at first and third to having runners at second and third.

“It was 9-4 and we looked up and it was still the fourth inning,” Trout said. “We had a lot of game left. We just keep fighting. We had great at-bats. We kept fighting, chipping away, chipping away and finally pulled ahead in the eighth.”

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Astros walk over Angels in a record-setting slog

ANAHEIM – Matt Andriese slammed his glove to the bench in the second inning Friday, his first start of the season over much earlier than he had hoped. He couldn’t find the strike zone. At least he wasn’t alone.

The Angels and Houston Astros combined for 19 walks in a nine-inning game that lasted four hours and 21 minutes, an Angel Stadium record. The Angels batted 18 times with runners in scoring position, but collected only three hits and lost 9-6.

Andriese, the first of nine Angels pitchers, walked three batters in 1 2/3 innings. Home plate umpire Cory Blaser was even stingier to the Astros, who issued 12 walks to the Angels’ 7. Yet only two of the Angels’ free passes resulted in runs.

  • Los Angeles Angels catcher Jason Castro, left, catches a ball that was fouled off the ground by Houston Astros’ Martin Maldonado, upper right, as home plate umpire Cory Blaser watches during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 31, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. Houston Astros’ Myles Straw advanced to second on the play. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon catches a ground ball hit by Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 31, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve was thrown out at second on the play to end the half inning. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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  • Los Angeles Angels’ Brian Goodwin, second from left, is congratulated by David Fletcher, left, as Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado, right, stands by and home plate umpire Cory Blaser wipes the plate after Goodwin hit a two-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 31, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros is unable to hold onto the ball while attempting to catch a two-run homerun hit by Brian Goodwin #18 of the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning of a game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 31, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Houston Astros’ Kyle Tucker, right, scores on a sacrifice fly by George Springer as Los Angeles Angels catcher Jason Castro takes a late throw during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 31, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels right fielder David Fletcher can’t handle a ball hit by Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, July 31, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Michael Hermosillo #21 of the Los Angeles Angels catches a fly out hit by Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros during the first inning of a game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 31, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, runs to first as he grounds out while Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado, center, and home plate umpire Cory Blaser watch during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, July 31, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • David Fletcher #22 congratulates Brian Goodwin #18 of the Los Angeles Angels after his two-run homerun as Martin Maldonado #15 of the Houston Astros looks on during the fourth inning of a game against against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 31, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon, left, takes starting pitcher Matt Andriese out of the game during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Friday, July 31, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Brian Goodwin #18 of the Los Angeles Angels rounds third base after hitting a two-run hjomerun during the fourth inning of a game against against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 31, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Friday, July 31, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani adjusts his gloves during an at-bat din the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Friday, July 31, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Kyle Tucker #30 of the Houston Astros steals second base as Luis Rengifo #4 of the Los Angeles Angels applys the tag during the fourth inning of a game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 31, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Matt Andriese throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Friday, July 31, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Houston Astros’ Kyle Tucker, center, scores on a sacrifice fly by George Springer as Los Angeles Angels catcher Jason Castro, right, takes a late throw and home plate umpire Cory Blaser watches during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 31, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Keynan Middleton #99 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches during the ninth inning of a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 31, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Brian Goodwin #18 of the Los Angeles Angels is congratulated at the dugout after his two-run homerun during the fourth inning of a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 31, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Cam Bedrosian #32 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches during the second inning of a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 31, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Matt Andriese #35 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches during the first inning of a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 31, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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Houston, meanwhile, took advantage of nearly every physical and mental error it was given.

In the seventh inning, Michael Brantley reached base when Luis Rengifo couldn’t field a ground ball cleanly in shallow right field. It was scored a one-base error. The next batter, Yuli Gurriel, hit a fly ball to shallow right field that glanced off David Fletcher’s glove as he charged in. Both runners scored on a Kyle Tucker single, and the Astros extended their lead to 8-6. Those runs proved to be the difference in the game.

Angel pitchers also hit two batters, and second baseman Tommy La Stella misfired a routine throw wide of first base, though these miscues did not result in any runs.

Brian Goodwin’s two-run home run off Lance McCullers Jr. highlighted his 2-for-3, three-RBI performance. Fletcher went 2 for 3 with a double.

Cam Bedrosian, Keynan Middleton, Ryan Buchter, Noe Ramirez, Mike Mayers, Hoby Milner, Kyle Keller and Jacob Barnes allowed only three earned runs over 7 1/3 innings of relief.

“It’s hard to piece together that many guys and hold the other team in check,” Maddon said. “Normally something is going to occur.”

The Angels struggled throughout the 2019 season to extend their starting pitchers deep into games. Over the winter they added Andriese, Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran to a rotation that used 19 different pitchers last season. Teheran has yet to pitch as he recovers from COVID-19. Andriese, a swingman for most of his five-year career, was hoping to be part of the solution.

“My stuff was working,” he said. “I didn’t have that one pitch that was really going to get me out of that (second) inning and allow me to go deeper into the game.”

Besides the absence of star center fielder Mike Trout, who is on paternity leave, Maddon attributed the Angels’ sloppy play to the unusual 2020 calendar. Players were expected to report to an abbreviated summer camp when the calendar turned to July. That was a month ago. Now is the equivalent of mid-March in a typical spring training.

Andriese admitted that Friday didn’t feel like July 31 – the date of MLB’s trade deadline in a traditional season.

“It’s definitely different,” he said. “Being that it’s a short season, you can’t feel your way through outings. You’ve really just got to hit it hard from the get-go and treat it hard like it’s mid-season. Command-wise, all of us are struggling just a bit.”

The Astros augmented their seven walks with 12 hits, including three doubles. Tucker finished 3 for 5 with four RBIs. George Springer and Jose Altuve drove in two runs apiece. Houston went 5 for 16 with runners in scoring position as a team.

For the Angels, time is of the essence. Eight days into the season, the Angels are already three games out of first place in the American League West. In theory, that’s a surmountable deficit, but a 60-game season is uncharted territory for everyone.

“I want to believe it’s going to turn and come back to us,” Maddon said. “It was actually really good energy in the dugout. It was great right up until the last out. We’re constantly fighting from behind, and that makes it difficult. We have to grab a lead and hold onto it.”

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Angels bullpen implodes, spoiling big offensive night

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, runs to first as he pops out during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Brian Goodwin (18) is congratulated by Anthony Rendon (6) and other teammates after hitting a solo home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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  • Los Angeles Angels’ Jason Castro, center, scores on a double by Brian Goodwin as Seattle Mariners catcher Joseph Odom, right, takes a late throw during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Seattle Mariners’ Dylan Moore, right, runs to first as he hits a three-run home run while Los Angeles Angels catcher Jason Castro watches during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Seattle Mariners’ J.P. Crawford, below, is forced out at second as Los Angeles Angels second baseman Tommy La Stella attempts to throw out Evan White at first during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. White was safe at first on the play. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, right, hits a solo home run as Seattle Mariners catcher Joseph Odom, center, and home plate umpire Edwin Moscoso watch during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels second baseman Tommy La Stella throws out Seattle Mariners’ Jose Marmolejos during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Seattle Mariners’ Dylan Moore, right, is congratulated by Dee Gordon, left, after hitting a three-run home run as Tim Lopes watches during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Seattle Mariners’ Dylan Moore gestures toward his dugout after hitting a three-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Seattle Mariners pitcher Nick Margevicius rolls after diving for a foul ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. Margevicius left the game after the play. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, center, is congratulated by teammates, including Mike Trout, right, after hitting a solo home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, right, hits a solo home run as Seattle Mariners catcher Joseph Odom, center, and home plate umpire Edwin Moscoso watch during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Justin Dunn throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, runs to first as he hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Justin Dunn throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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ANAHEIM — Mike Mayers and Jacob Barnes, a pair of relievers who had been favorites of Joe Maddon, endured a right night to cost the Angels a victory.

The Angels blew leads in the sixth and seventh innings on their way a 10-7 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.

Mayers and Barnes were charged with a combined six runs while recording just two outs. Maddon spoke often during spring training and summer camp about how much he admired those pitchers when they faced his Chicago Cubs, when Mayers was with the St. Louis Cardinals and Barnes with the Milwaukee Brewers.

They spoiled a night in which Shohei Ohtani hit a three-run homer, his first of the year, and Justin Upton hit the 300th homer of his career. Brian Goodwin also homered and had a two-run double.

All of that should have been enough after Andrew Heaney had allowed just one run through five innings. He took a 4-1 lead to the sixth, when the game began to unravel.

Heaney was in total control for the first three innings, facing the minimum and striking out five and needing just 36 pitches for nine outs.

His second time through the lineup was a little more challenging. He gave up four hits, but escaped with just one run on the board, in part because Dee Gordon was thrown out trying to steal third in the fifth.

Heaney walked J.P. Crawford to start the sixth, the fifth batter in the previous 10 to reach base, so Maddon pulled Heaney after 64 pitches.

“Just replay the fifth,” Maddon said. “It looked like he had a difficult time time getting through the fifth. He leads off the sixth with a five-pitch walk. It looked like he lost his rhythm. His velocity was coming down.”

Heaney’s final pitch was an 89.7 mph fastball. He had averaged 92 mph in the first two innings, then 91 in the third and 90 in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

Maddon said he did not pull Heaney with any health concerns in mind, in contrast to his 67-pitch hook on Opening Night. In that game, Heaney was coming off a minor bout with back stiffness that had resulted in him being scratched from his final scheduled intrasquad start.

On that night the Angels blew a seventh-inning lead and lost in 10 innings.

Heaney said he felt “fine” and “I was a little surprised to see Joe making his way out.”

“I understand analytically what the numbers say with third time through the lineup,” Heaney said, “but I felt like (Jason) Castro and I had done a good job of trying to sneak as many fastballs in there as we could early on in the game and given ourselves a chance to start mixing it up a little bit more the third time through and getting a better feel for some of those pitches.”

After Heaney was pulled, Mayers entered and proceeded to allow four of the next six batters to reach, including a three-run homer to Dylan Moore that put Seattle up 6-4.

The Angels immediately rallied with three runs of their own, on Upton’s homer and Goodwin’s double, to retake the lead.

Barnes then started the seventh and couldn’t get an out. He gave up a single and then back-to-back walks, loading the bases as Ty Buttrey was summoned to try to bail him out. Buttrey retired all three hitters he faced, but the first two outs pushed home runs.

“Walking too many guys, not being assertive in the strike zone,” Maddon aid. “We actually lined it pretty well. I liked what we had once we got through Andrew. Mayers just had a tough game…

“Mayers and Barnes we have a lot of faith in and anticipate a better result, just can’t pile on guys like that if they’ve had a bad night.”

The Mariners added some insurance in the eighth, when J.P. Crawford singled to cap a 10-pitch at-bat against Ryan Buchter and drove in two runs.

The Angels have now lost games when leading in the seventh inning or later twice in the first six games. It’s difference between a 4-2 start and a 2-4 start in this sprint of a 60-game season.

The bullpen meltdown spoiled a night that could have been about Ohtani’s offensive awakening.

Ohtani had started the season 1 for 12 before drilling a double off the right-field fence on Tuesday night. Maddon suggested that could give him confidence that would get him on a roll.

Sure enough, Ohtani smoked a 107 mph line drive in his first at-bat on Wednesday, only to be robbed of a hit by diving right fielder Tim Lopes.

In Ohtani’s next trip, in the fourth with two runners on, he fell behind Justin Dunn, 0 and 2. Dunn threw Ohtani a curve ball that ducked below the zone, but Ohtani golfed it over the fence in right-center.

Upton’s homer in the sixth, which cut a two-run deficit in half, made him the ninth active player to reach 300 homers.

“I think every milestone is special,” Upton said. “This one is right up there. It was a special night. I definitely wish we would have gotten a win but I enjoyed that moment.”

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Angels drop first game in major league history using new extra-innings rule

OAKLAND — As if playing Opening Day in July in a stadium filled with cardboard cutouts instead of fans wasn’t different enough, the Angels went a little further to do something memorable on Friday night.

For the first time in baseball history, a runner was placed at second base to start the 10th inning.

The Angels came up on the wrong side, though, losing 7-3 to the Oakland A’s, who parlayed their free runner into a Matt Olson grand slam against Hoby Milner.

  • Oakland Athletics’ Matt Olson, left, celebrates after hitting a grand slam home run against the Los Angeles Angels in the tenth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. The Athletics won 7-3 in 10 innings. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Oakland Athletics players celebrate after Matt Olson, center left, hit a grand slam home run against the Los Angeles Angels in the tenth inning a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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  • Oakland Athletics’ Matt Olson, left, hits a grand slam home run in front of Los Angeles Angels catcher Jason Castro in the tenth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. The Athletics won 7-3 in 10 innings. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels right fielder Brian Goodwin (18) collides with second baseman Tommy La Stella after catching Oakland Athletics’ Chad Pinder’s fly out during the second inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Oakland Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman (26) tags out Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani during the tenth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons, right, is congratulated by manager Joe Maddon, center, after scoring against the Oakland Athletics during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels second baseman Tommy La Stella (9) throws to first base after forcing out Oakland Athletics’ Ramon Laureano at second base on a double play hit into by Khris Davis during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout reacts with first base coach Jesús Feliciano after singling against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy, right, tags out Los Angeles Angels’ Jason Castro at home during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon, left, talks with this team before a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Ramon Laureano, right, celebrates with third base coach Al Pedrique after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Brian Goodwin, center left, raises his fist while kneeling with Andrelton Simmons, center, and Justin Upton, right, during the national anthem before a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the Angels in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Jason Castro, left, is congratulated by manager Joe Maddon after hitting a solo home run against the Oakland Athletics during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Oakland Athletics designated hitter Khris Davis (2) raieses his fist during the national anthem before a baseball game between the Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels right fielder Brian Goodwin cannot catch an RBI-triple hit by Oakland Athletics’ Matt Chapman during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, center, kneels during the national anthem before a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the Angels in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney throws against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Tony Kemp, right, wears a shirt that reads “Black Lives Matter” as he waits to take batting practice before a baseball game between the Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani singles against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Oakland Athletics pitcher Frankie Montas (47) throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons, from left, Albert Pujols, Tommy La Stella, Justin Upton, Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, David Fletcher and manager Joe Maddon hold a black ribbon in honor of the Black Lives Matter movement with teammates and the Oakland Athletics before baseball game between the Athletics and the Angels in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Players and coaches from the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels hold a black ribbon in honor of the Black Lives Matter movement before the teams played a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • The Oakland Athletics play the Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Coliseum during the third inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon, left, talks to his team during the first inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Cardboard cutouts of a vendor, fans and former Oakland Athletics players are placed in seats at Oakland Coliseum before a baseball game between the Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Various cardboard cutouts placed in seats at Oakland Coliseum are shown behind a “Black Lives Matter” sign before a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Khris Davis, left, and teammates wear shirts that read “Black Lives Matter” before a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, center, gestures during warm ups before a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the Angels in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, left, throws during warm ups before a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the Angels in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, center, gestures during warm ups before a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the Angels in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angelsl Mike Trout takes batting practice before a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the Angels in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, center, and Andrelton Simmons, top left, warm up between teammates wearing “Black Lives Matter” shirts before a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Brian Goodwin wears a shirt that reads “Black Lives Matter” before his team’s baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, right, wears a shirt that reads “Black Lives Matter” as he walks with Andrelton Simmons before their team’s baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Tony Kemp, right, wears a shirt that reads “Black Lives Matter” as he waits to take batting practice before a baseball game between the Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels in Oakland, Calif., Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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It was the first application of a new major league rule intended to prevent long extra-inning games in this pandemic-shortened season. The rule had been used in the minors and international play.

Olson, a Gold Glove first baseman, had helped defuse the Angels’ chance in the top of the 10th too.

Left-handed hitting Jared Walsh hit the ball to the right side — as he should to try to move Shohei Ohtani to third — but Olson made a quick throw across the diamond to get Ohtani in a rundown.

“Olson throws well,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “That was more a good play by Olson than a baserunning mistake by Ohtani.”

The Angels still managed to load the bases with two outs, but Andrelton Simmons grounded out.

In the bottom of the inning, the A’s loaded the bases with one out against Hansel Robles, who remained for the 10th after a six-pitch ninth. The Angels brought in a five-man infield and summoned the left-handed Milner to face Olson. He lofted a drive over the right field fence, ending the game.

The Angels had dropped the first game of a 60-game season in which a quick start is considered vital.

Starter Andrew Heaney, who was in the clubhouse at the end, said that’s why this one hurt so much.

“We’re basically playing one-third of a season, so that’s like losing a three-game series,” Heaney said. “That’s what it feels like. You could see it from the tone. Everyone who was in the clubhouse, it felt like the end of the season, like everyone was treating it like any game late in the year. It does have that feeling to it. Guys understand how crucial every game is going to be.”

The season is so short, of course, because the coronavirus pandemic wiped out nearly four months worth of baseball, leaving the sport to return to play in empty stadiums with piped-in crowd noise.

Many players wore masks on the field during the warmups, and all of the non-playing personnel did at all times. They stood six feet apart as they lined up for introductions. After outs when they’d normally throw the ball around the infield, they instead just threw it back to the pitcher, minimizing the people who touched it. Several members of each team sat in the stands, allowing for more social distancing.

The Angels players in the stands were surrounded by cardboard cutouts with pictures of fans, which occupied several sections in the stadium’s lower bowl. The public address system played a constant din of crowd noise, punctuated by louder cheers when the game dictated.

It created a normal atmosphere around what turned out to be a game with all the normal things that make baseball fans suffer and rejoice.

The Angels loaded the bases in the first, only to come up empty. They would leave the bases loaded two more times. They could only score one run while Heaney was on the mound, wasting his solid 4 2/3-inning performance.

Heaney gave up just one run on two hits. Heaney, who had back stiffness that kept him from making his final intrasquad start, was pulled after just 67 pitches.

Maddon said Heaney was only expected to go about 75 pitches, and he had allowed two hard-hit balls earlier in the fifth, so he might have “emptied the tank” on the strikeout to get the first out of the inning.

Heaney said he could have kept going.

“I did,” he said. “Obviously, I understand we’ve got a big roster and a shortened season so we’re going to make moves and get our bullpen in there and mix and match. I get it. I’m not questioning it.”

The Angels had a 2-1 lead after David Fletcher’s sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh, and Jacob Barnes got through one inning before Ty Buttrey blew it in the eighth.

Buttrey gave up a game-tying double to Ramon Laureano and then a go-ahead triple to Matt Chapman.

“We had the lead at the right time,” Maddon said. “Ty just did not have his best night.”

In the top of the ninth, against All-Star closer Liam Hendriks, Jason Castro hit a game-tying homer.

The Angels loaded the bases but could not push home the go-ahead run. The A’s had intentionally walked Mike Trout to load the bases, bringing up Ohtani, who struck out.

“You can always nitpick games,” Maddon said. “Overall I thought we played very well for our first game out. We did a lot of things well. We had ‘em. We had ‘em several times. We just could not close them out.”

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