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Angels’ hitters come up empty in loss to Orioles

BALTIMORE — Back in December 2019, the Angels sent four minor league pitchers to the Baltimore Orioles for Dylan Bundy.

They saw one of them on Wednesday night.

Kyle Bradish, who had only moderate success in his brief time in the major leagues, flummoxed the Angels during their 3-1 loss to the Orioles.

“He’s got really good stuff,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “He didn’t throw anything in the middle of the plate. We didn’t hit a lot of balls hard but he didn’t give us many chances to either. Our guys did a good job grinding out at-bats but he was really good tonight.”

Slumping Mike Trout hit a homer in the fourth inning, and that was all the Angels managed in 6-2/3 innings against Bradish. They had three other hits – all singles – and didn’t have an at-bat with a runner in scoring position.

Bradish, 26, cut his ERA from 4.56 to 3.90. At the time the Angels traded the former fourth-round pick, he was not considered a top prospect, and he’d posted a 4.28 ERA in his only season in the Angels’ farm system.

A year before the Angels picked Bradish, they picked Griffin Canning. His career was derailed by a season and a half lost to a back injury, and he’s still trying to find his way back.

Sharing the mound with Bradish on Wednesday, Canning gave up three runs in 5-1/3 innings. He has a 6.14 ERA in six starts. Each game has included flashes of what the Angels hope he can be. On Wednesday, he averaged 96.0 mph on his fastball in a scoreless first inning, throwing 10 of his 11 pitches for strikes.

“I think I just felt good with my stuff today and feel like I was on the attack the whole game,” Canning said. “I continue to feel like I’m getting better, I’m just not getting the results.”

Asked what he needs to do to get better results, Canning deadpanned: “I need them to hit them at our guys.”

The Angels’ “guys” didn’t even handle the balls that were hit at them in this game, though.

In the first inning, a blooper dropped in right field when there seemed to be a miscommunication between right fielder Hunter Renfroe and second baseman Brandon Drury.

In the second, left fielder Taylor Ward dove for a ball and it got past him for a triple. It would have been a tough catch, but Ward could have at least held speedy Gunnar Henderson at first if he’d simply played it on a hop. Third baseman Gio Urshela then misplayed a bunt.

Canning got out of that jam with a double play and a strikeout.

He couldn’t escape after that, though, allowing single runs in the third, fourth and fifth. A leadoff walk and then back-to-back two-out hits cost him in the third. In the fifth, he got ahead of Austin Hays 1-and-2 but he couldn’t put him away. Bradish hit a 369-foot fly ball that dropped just over the fence in right field.

The fourth-inning run scored after the Angels failed to turn a double play because shortstop Zach Neto’s throw pulled first baseman Matt Thaiss off the bag.

“I thought he was good,” Nevin said of Canning. “Really, if you look at it, it very easily could have been six innings and only two runs.”

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