ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — On the day when the Angels’ future was the topic because of owner Arte Moreno’s decision to explore the sale of the team, the present still looks bleak.
The Angels lost, 11-1, to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night, dropping to 19 games under .500 for the first time since 2016.
The Angels (52-71) have been losing for months because their offense has been one of the worst in baseball. They trailed 3-1 on Tuesday night before letting the game get away when Jesse Chavez and Touki Toussaint gave up six runs in the seventh inning.
After left-hander José Quijada gave up two more runs in the eighth, the Angels turned to infielder Phil Gosselin to pitch. He retired all three hitters he faced.
The Rays finished the game with catcher Christian Bethancourt on the mound, and the Angels still didn’t score, despite two singles.
Their only run came on Mike Trout’s 25th homer of the season, his first since coming off the injured list on Friday. It also was the 1,500th hit of his career. Trout got a hanging curveball from Corey Kluber and launched it off the “C Ring,” the third of the four concentric rings that hang from the roof of Tropicana field.
Otherwise, the Angels managed just four hits, all singles, against Rays pitchers in the first eight innings. They did not have a runner in scoring position until the Rays put a catcher on the mound.
The Angels have now scored six runs in the first five games of this trip, including four straight losses.
Patrick Sandoval pitched brilliantly in a four-hit shutout to start the trip, but since then the pitchers have made just enough mistakes to cost them.
On Tuesday night, left-hander José Suarez was not quite to the level he had been in his first few starts after adding a new changeup to his repertoire, allowing three runs in 5-1/3 innings.
Suarez now has a 1.93 ERA over his five starts since the All-Star break. Although he’s allowed six earned runs in 28 innings, five of them have come in just two innings.
He started Tuesday’s game with a couple of scoreless innings. In the third, he gave up a leadoff double to José Siri and then three straight one-out singles, driving in two runs.
Suarez followed that by retiring nine in a row before he allowed a homer to Isaac Paredes. It was the first homer that Suarez had allowed in the five-start stretch since the All-Star break.
More to come on this story.