The Angels’ wounded look is hurting the Guardians’ playoff hopes

The crazy one Los Angeles Angels will try to put a further dent in the USA’s weak playoff hopes Cleveland Guardians as the teams continue their four-game series on Friday in Anaheim, California.

The Guardian (67-74) are 6 1/2 games behind the Minnesota Twins (73-67) in the American League Central. Angel (65-76) ended a six-game losing streak with a 3-2 win on Thursday.

The Angel They have more than $100 million in salary from the roster with stars Shohei Ohtani (day-to-day with oblique strain), Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon (long-term injuries) all sidelined.

Los Angeles lost two more starting hitters before the end of the first inning on Thursday.

First, midfielder Mickey Moniak was injured five minutes before the start of the game due to back strain.

Then utility man Luis Rengifo, the Angel‘ hottest hitter, suffered a left bicep strain while swinging a heavy bat in the on-deck circle in the first inning. Rengifo, the reigning AL Player of the Week, has raised his average to .264 by going 27 of 61 (.443) in his last 17 games.

“It doesn’t look good,” Nevin told reporters after the game about Rengifo. “I feel bad for him. … We had to take our gut punches. We lost two players practically before the game started.”

“I won’t say I’ve seen everything, but I’m on the verge of achieving my goal.”

Cleveland continued to struggle at the plate on Thursday despite appearing in a bullpen game against Los Angeles in which Davis Daniel threw three shutout innings in his major league debut. The three best batsmen in the GuardianThe lineup combined for seven goals, but manager Terry Francona is hoping for more.

“We had good chances and didn’t take advantage of them,” Francona said. “Nevertheless, we still had a lead that we simply let slip away. It hurts. But we have to turn the tide.”

Things could get tight again on Friday as both teams have strong starting lineups. The Angel are 20-18 and the Guardian are 24-26 in one-run games.

Rookie left-hander Logan Allen (6-7, 3.77 ERA) will take the mound for Cleveland. He received a no-decision against it on May 12 Angel In his fourth big league start, he gave up three runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings of 5-4 Guardian Defeat in Cleveland.

Angel Right-hander Griffin Canning (7-5, 4.30 ERA) enters Friday’s action with 117 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings. He has 331 strikeouts in 314 career innings but has never faced Cleveland.

With the recent injuries that Angel might recall former starter David Fletcher, who batted .331 for Triple-A Salt Lake and has experience at second base, third base, shortstop and both corner outfield spots.

As for Ohtani, Nevin said, “He’s feeling better. I just don’t feel comfortable when he gives it his all and goes full throttle like he does. I think we’ll be there in a day or two.”

The injuries force them Angel to take a close look at a pair of 21-year-old players, first baseman Nolan Schanuel and shortstop Kyren Paris.

Leadoff man Schanuel set a franchise record on Thursday by reaching base in the 16th straight game early in his career, surpassing Darin Erstad’s mark set in 1996. Schanuel made his debut on August 18 after being selected 11th overall in the 2023 draft on July 9.

Paris, playing in his seventh major league game, tied the score in the ninth inning with his first career RBI.

“I definitely felt the moment,” said Paris, who reached base twice and stole two bases. “Fortunately, I managed to hit the big time.”

—Field-level media The Angels’ wounded look is hurting the Guardians’ playoff hopes

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