Once again, the Los Angeles Angels have abandonment issues.
The Halos stranded 11 runners in Saturday evening’s 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, plating just one run on eight hits and six walks, throwing yet another wrench into the search for offensive consistency.
It certainly didn’t help that starter Jerome Williams got dinged for six runs on eight hits, including a pair of home runs courtesy of Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez, but Los Angeles has to be disappointed that they failed to bring home runners yet again.
The team’s best chance came with runners on first and second and one out in the third inning. Mike Trout hit a sharp grounder to first that was robbed by Gaby Sanchez, and the Halos came up empty in the inning.
Josh Hamilton once again sat for the Angels, ostensibly because of a sore wrist, though manager Mike Scioscia may be using this series to give Hamilton a break and allow him to get his head on straight before the All-Star break.
With the starting rotation already stretched thin on the year, the Halos cannot afford to strand runners they way they have been. Though the Pirates made plenty of web-gem worthy plays in the field, the Angels lineup has too much firepower to come up empty inning after inning.
Speaking of which, Joe Blanton (1-10, 5.62 ERA) will take the mound for the Halos in Sunday’s series finale. Blanton is no stranger to the Angels’ inability to score runs: in two of his last three starts, he pitched 14.2 innings, giving up just four runs on nine hits. He had to take the loss in both starts because the Halos offered him precious little run support.
As Blanton takes the mound, let’s hope the offense rediscovers its high-scoring ways.
Tony Baker is a Los Angeles blogger for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @tonloc_baker.