ANAHEIM ― When the Angels unloaded closer Raisel Iglesias and the entirety of his $58 million contract just before the trade deadline, the two pitchers they received from the Atlanta Braves in return ― Tucker Davidson and Jesse Chavez ― were easy to dismiss as an afterthought. With a 2022 playoff berth all but mathematically out of reach, dumping Iglesias’ salary was the primary feature of the trade, not a bug.
Turns out the Angels might have gotten something in return after all.
Making his first home start since the trade, Davidson allowed two runs over six innings in the Angels’ 5-2 win over the Minnesota Twins to earn his first win as an Angel.
The rookie left-hander didn’t allow a run after the first inning, in which he walked Carlos Correa before surrendering a two-run homer to Byron Buxton that snuck out over the yellow stripe in right field.
Jaime Barría and Jose Quijada closed out the Angels’ second straight win before an announced crowd of 27,515 at Angel Stadium.
David Fletcher and Jared Walsh each had two of the Angels’ eight hits. Luis Rengifo’s two-run double, which nearly cleared the short porch in left field, tied the game 2-2 in the third inning.
A sacrifice fly by Kurt Suzuki in the fourth inning, and an RBI single by Shohei Ohtani in the seventh inning, gave the Angels a pair of insurance runs to complete the scoring.
Davidson had his best slider working. He threw it three times to induce a two-strike swing and miss to end an inning. With Buxton on second base in the sixth inning, Davidson threw a slider past Jorge Polanco to end an eight-pitch at-bat for the third out of the inning.
That was the last of his 87 pitches. He walked one batter ― a vast improvement over his Angels debut last weekend in Seattle, in which Davidson issued five free passes ― and struck out three.
After splitting a four-game series in Seattle last weekend, the Angels have won back-to-back series against the A’s and Twins. They will face the Mariners in a rematch beginning Monday.