SAN DIEGO — The Angels’ 8-5 loss to the Padres on Wednesday night came down to two pitchers having lousy nights.
Sam Selman and Jake Petricka, two of the three relievers the Angels used in the second inning of a bullpen game, combined to allow seven straight hitters to reach base in one nightmare sequence.
The result was an eight-run inning that would cost the Angels the game, although the rest of the pitchers and a couple of the hitters would have decent nights after it no longer mattered.
Jo Adell hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, his third homer in four games. He also had the key hit in the Angels’ victory the night before.
Brandon Marsh tripled and scored, Juan Lagares hit a two-run homer and Junior Guerra, José Quijada, Oliver Ortega and Andrew Wantz provided scoreless relief.
“I like the way we kept fighting till the end,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s just typical. Like I keep saying about our guys, they come ready to play tonight and they did tonight.”
Most of them anyway.
The good performances of so many others were overshadowed by the poor performances of two pitchers in the second inning.
Mike Mayers, who had started the game, recorded the second out of the inning with only one run scoring. Maddon then summoned the left-handed Selman to face the lefties at the top of the Padres order, Trent Grisham and Jake Cronenworth.
Selman hit Grisham with a pitch and gave up a run-scoring single to Cronenworth. Then he walked Manny Machado to load the bases.
Then it got really ugly.
Petricka entered and walked Fernando Tatis Jr., Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers, each time forcing in a run. Petricka then threw a wild pitch to push home another run.
He gave up a two-run single to Adam Frazier, completing the eight-run outburst.
“That second inning was a killer,” Maddon said. “We just needed one out. … The hit batter with two strikes hurt us, and so did the walks. They didn’t beat us up physically. We beat ourselves.”
Down 8-0 at that point, the Angels mostly had to just get out of town without getting anyone hurt, and even that was a little dicey.
Adell was hit on the wrist while checking his swing in the fourth inning. He was visibly in pain as he walked gingerly in foul territory, but he eventually got back into the box and struck out. He remained in the game and showed that he was OK when he homered in the eighth.
Adell’s night was certainly good news, as was the performance of Ortega, who made his major league debut with 1-1/3 scoreless innings.
The 24-year-old began the season at Double-A. He was promoted to the big leagues when rosters expanded on Sept. 1, but he still had not pitched in a game until Wednesday.
Ortega struck out the first hitter he faced and worked around a single in the next inning. His fastball was 97-98 mph in his 17-pitch outing.
“Wow,” Maddon said. “I gave him the ball and walked into the dugout and said to (pitching coach Matt Wise), ‘He’s OK. He’s OK.’ And he was. He has had control issues in the past but not tonight.”
Ortega was the 62nd player the Angels have used this season, extending the franchise record.
“In the minor leagues I always maintained my focus for when my name is called,” Ortega said through an interpreter. “I wanted to come up and help the team. I am grateful for the Angels to make it a reality. … Today was a beautiful day for me.”