February 2, 2023

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Thor's strong start can't halt Halos' skid

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ANAHEIM — The Angels got a strong outing from Noah Syndergaard on Monday, and Mike Trout ended the longest drought of his career with a first-inning single that snapped an 0-for-26 skid.

That’s where the good news ended for the Halos, who were shut out in their return home to Angel Stadium, falling 1-0 to the Red Sox and extending their losing streak to 12 games. That ties the franchise’s single-season record, set when they lost the final 12 games of the 1988 season. They also lost Opening Day in 1989, making the overall franchise record 13 consecutive losses, from Sept. 19, 1988-April 4, 1989.

The Angels have lost in just about every way imaginable during this stretch. There have been one-run losses and blowouts. They’ve relinquished leads late and also had games where they were never really in it. But it’s hard to imagine a more frustrating scenario than Monday night’s. Finally back home after a grueling stretch of seven games in six days on the road in New York and Philadelphia, it seemed like a golden opportunity to start anew.

And Syndergaard did his part, rebounding nicely from his tough outing vs. the Yankees last Tuesday. The one run charged to him came on a two-out single in the second by Christian Vázquez. Besides that, he did a good job scattering the seven baserunners he allowed (five hits, a walk, a hit-by-pitch). Syndergaard was sharp as well, throwing 71 of his 99 pitches for strikes, even if he wasn’t as deceptive as he usually is, striking out three and recording just six swings and misses.

But the Angels’ offense was completely stymied by right-hander Michael Wacha in his shutout effort. Trout’s single was one of just three hits Wacha allowed; the first was also the only frame in which Wacha allowed multiple baserunners. At one point, he retired 15 Angels batters in a row.

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