The Angels’ 10-game, five-city odyssey came to an ugly end on Thursday afternoon.
Angels relievers gave up 12 runs in a 13-1 loss to the Orioles in Baltimore, a blowout against a team that had lost 19 games in a row after the Angels won Tuesday’s game.
That was the Angels’ fourth and final victory in this trip, which started with a makeup game in New York, continued for three in Detroit, two in Cleveland, one against the Indians in Williamsport, Pa., and three in Baltimore.
“You have to consider it’s the last game of a pretty, baseball grueling road trip,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “We’ve had a lot of issues with the bullpen and the pitching in general. So of course, it doesn’t look good. And of course, I didn’t like it. But there are mitigating reasons and circumstances, so I’m not upset. Throw that one away.”
This one was headed into the garbage after one quick meltdown in the fifth inning, when a 1-1 game turned into a 7-1 deficit under the watch of Elvis Peguero, in his big league debut, and Jake Petricka.
Peguero, who was acquired in the Andrew Heaney trade last month, was charged with five runs. The 24-year-old right-handed reliever showed a fastball that hit 98 mph, but he had trouble with his command and control.
Peguero entered in a 1-1 game in the fifth inning. He issued one-out walks to Cedric Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle. An out later, Peguero gave up run-scoring hits to Trey Mancini and DJ Stewart, putting the Angels down 3-1.
Peguero then issued a walk to load the bases before Maddon pulled him.
“Physically, yes, really good stuff,” Maddon said. “Absolutely a lot to learn, no question. The stuff is wonderful. We want it. I like it a lot. But we’ve got to get the guy to be able to process the moment and put it into play here.”
Petricka, a 33-year-old journeyman who a night earlier returned to the big leagues for the first time since 2019, needed just one pitch to let the game get away.
He gave up a grand slam to Pedro Severino on a first-pitch fastball over the middle.
Just like that, the Angels were headed to a second straight loss against the Orioles, who had lost 19 in a row after the Angels beat them Tuesday night.
The Angels blew a four-run lead Wednesday night, and on Thursday they didn’t mount much of an attack after Shohei Ohtani’s major league-leading 41st homer, leading off the game.
Otherwise, the hitters did little against lefty Keegan Akin, who brought a 7.92 ERA into the game. The Angels had just three hits in seven innings against Akin.
“Their guy Akin was good,” Maddon said. “I thought he had really good carry on his fastball. Sometimes it’s the other pitcher.”
Angels starter Jaime Barria was charged with only one run, but he lasted only 3-1/3 innings. He was knocked out after allowing the first three hitters of the fourth inning to reach base. He was spared a second run scoring when right fielder Juan Lagares threw out Mancini at the plate.
Barria did provide the Angels with a sliver of encouragement though. After averaging 94 mph with his fastball in an eye-opening start last month in Minneapolis, he had been below 93 mph since. On Thursday he was up to 93.2 mph, including a 96.4-mph pitch that was the hardest of his big league career.
“I really focused on coming in with a lot more energy and I feel like it worked out,” Barria said through an interpreter.