Angels sweep Brewers 4-2 for 6th straight win
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels were held to five hits Wednesday night, but the timing of those hits propelled them to their sixth straight win.
Missing star outfielder Mike Trout, the Angels defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 as they scored all their runs on four hits in the third inning. Justin Bour keyed the outburst with a two-run single.
Los Angeles (7-6) is over .500 after beginning the season 1-5. Trout, who strained his right groin during Tuesday’s victory, said he hopes to be available for this weekend’s series in Chicago against the Cubs.
“We had a rough home opener and since then the offense has picked up. The bullpen has been consistent all the way through,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said.
Bour is batting only .154 in his first season with the Angels but had a solid series against the Brewers. He was 3 for 10 with a home run and four RBIs as Los Angeles completed a three-game sweep.
“It was an amazing homestand and it took all of us to win,” Bour said.
The Brewers were swept for the first time since the series before last year’s All-Star break, when they dropped a five-game set at Pittsburgh (July 12-15). It is only the second regular-season series in its last 17 that Milwaukee has lost.
Despite being swept, the Brewers (8-5) remain atop the NL Central two weeks into the season.
Jaime Barria (1-0), called up from Triple-A Salt Lake earlier in the day, allowed one run in 2 2/3 innings of relief. Hansel Robles earned his first save.
Felix Pena went the first four innings for the Angels, permitting an unearned run and three hits.
Brandon Woodruff (1-1) gave up four runs and four hits in six innings with seven strikeouts.
Christian Yelich had two hits and drove in both Milwaukee runs. Lorenzo Cain also had two hits.
Milwaukee struck first in the third when Yelich drove in Ben Gamel with a two-out single.
In the bottom half, the first five batters reached base for the Angels. Andrelton Simmons tied it with a bases-loaded single that scored Kevan Smith. Bour blooped a single that plated David Fletcher and Kole Calhoun. Simmons scored when Albert Pujols grounded into a double play.
“It was one inning with a couple of mistakes,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “They sequenced it well and put four runs on the board.”
Yelich brought Milwaukee within two in the seventh with another RBI single.
Smith was ejected before the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes with plate umpire Phil Cuzzi. Smith struck out looking to end the seventh and voiced his frustration after the at-bat. After going into the dugout to put on his catcher’s gear, Smith came out and continued arguing with Cuzzi before being tossed. It was the first ejection of his career.
Pujols played in his 1,000th game for the Angels. The former Cardinals slugger became the 10th player in major league history to play at least 1,000 games with two teams.
Angels: Shohei Ohtani is likely to have a medical check in the next couple of days and is anxiously awaiting clearance to face live pitching in batting practice. The 2018 AL Rookie of the Year, who had Tommy John surgery last October, has been taking swings on the field the past two weeks.
“I think everything’s going to start speeding up after that,” Ohtani said through a translator. “I feel really good hitting outside. The distance is there, the power’s still there, so it’s going really well so far.”
Ausmus indicated Ohtani is still on track to return in May. Ohtani has not started running the bases and said he is still in the very early stages of throwing.
Brewers: 3B Travis Shaw was hit on the right hand by Pena’s pitch in the second inning and left the game. The team said X-rays were negative and Shaw is day-to-day with a bruised hand.
Brewers: Begin a three-game series Friday against the Dodgers in a rematch of last year’s NL Championship Series. RHP Corbin Burnes (0-1, 9.00 ERA), whose first major league win came against Los Angeles on July 21 last season, gets the assignment in the opener.
Angels: Continue interleague play with a three-game series in Chicago against the Cubs. Tyler Skaggs (1-1, 2.45 ERA) will make his first career appearance at Wrigley Field on Friday.