Another night, another start for a Los Angeles Angels' rookie and another loss for the Halos--an 8-4 defeat to the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday night.
This time, it was Jose Suarez who got the nod for the Angels. Unlike Patrick Sandoval on Monday, Suarez struggled right out of the gate.
The Halos took an early lead in the top of the first inning when Justin Upton hit a three-run home run. Coming into the game, Upton had been struggling mightily, hitting just .171 through his last 21 games.
The Reds responded to Upton's three-run shot almost immediately with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the first against Suarez. The runs came off of a solo home run from Eugenio Suarez and a two-run shot from Jose Iglesias.
But things really started to unravel for Suarez (2-3) and the Angels in the bottom of the fourth.
Aristides Aquino started the Reds' rally with a solo home run to give Cincinnati a 4-3 lead. Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani helped himself later that same inning by hitting an RBI single to extend the lead to 5-3. The final run of the inning came off the bat of Nick Senzel, who hit a blooper that landed between three Angels players and gave the Reds a three-run lead.
Suarez pitched five innings for the first time since June 20. The left-handed pitcher allowed six runs to score off of three home runs and 10 hits.
Despite the disappointing performance from Suarez, Angels Manager Brad Ausmus was optimistic postgame. "He showed signs," Ausmus told Angels.com. "We're not going to rush to judgment on a 21-year-old's first season in the big leagues."
Mike Trout added another home run to his AL-leading tally in the top of the fifth to cut the score to 6-4 in the top of the fifth. Trout's 38th homer of the season places him second in the majors between Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger.
"It's pretty cool with Yelich and Bellinger," Trout told Angels.com. "They are all having great seasons, MVP seasons. It's fun to watch. Fun to be a part of."
The game underwent a 54-minute rain delay in the eighth inning, but once the rain stopped and play resumed, the Angels had a chance to get themselves back in the game.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth, Kole Calhoun stepped up to the plate with a chance to give the Halos the lead. Instead, Calhoun continued his batting struggles and flew out to right field to end the inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, Tucker Barnhart hit his second home run of the game to extend the Reds' lead to four runs and effectively end the game.
The loss marked the Angels' sixth straight. They've now been swept in two consecutive series.
The bigger picture in the Angels' continued slide is that with every loss, the playoffs continue to slip further and further away. The Angels are now 10 games back of a wild card spot.
Angels: Left-handed pitcher Dillon Peters (2-0) will take the mound Thursday against the Boston Red Sox.
Chris Sale (5-11) will get the start for the Red Sox Thursday looking to bounce back from a 9-2 loss to the Yankees in which he gave up eight earned runs.