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Taylor Ward sparks Angels’ lineup and 5 pitchers shut out Nationals – Press Telegram

ANAHEIM – The main task of an initial hitter is to get into the base. Ten years ago, Los Angeles found someone who was well-suited to the task.

Ironically, Mike Trout hasn’t hit the lead on a regular basis since his historic 2012 season, when he won the American League Rookie of the Year award. All he’s done since then is lead the major leagues in base percentage – a .419 clip coming in on Friday.

Taylor Ward is still at the start of his term, but is on a fast track to becoming the top hitter the team has been looking for since Trout became a staple in the middle of training. Ward, the reigning American League player of the week, drew three tickets in four games on the plate in the Angels’ 3-0 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday night.

Ward started the night by tying a full count against Washington right-winger Joan Adon (1-5), and then threw a quick ball just above his belt into the fourth. Ward took second base with a Mike Trout single, advanced to third base on a wild pitch, then scored on a routine Shohei Ohtani roll.

That race turned out to be the winner of the match against an announced crowd of 41,923 at Angel Stadium. Left-handed rookie Jhonathan Diaz (1-0), who made his debut in 2022 in place of newly degraded starter José Suárez, threw five innings and the bullpen remained strong.

Oliver Ortega, Ryan Tepera, Aaron Loup and Raisel Iglesias have allowed only one base runner during the last four innings.

The combined set of four hits lifted the Angels (18-10) eight games above .500 for the first time since June 10, 2018.

Along with their victory on Thursday in Boston, the Angels launched for the first time from July 15-16, 2016.

Diaz allowed César Hernández a double in the first pitch he threw, but he quickly proved to be good at working in and out of trouble. He allowed three hits and hit four hitters per ball in five innings, and used a variety of shifts, sinkers, sliders, curveballs and the occasional 92 mph fastball to hit four hitters.

The third walk of the Ward game, in its third appearance on the board, had a similar impact. With Tyler Wade at third base and David Fletcher at first, he fired a quick outside ball from Adon on a 3 and 2 count to load the bases for Trout.

Trout soon hit a double off the center field wall, scoring Wade and Fletcher to provide the final score.

Ward’s .488 base percentage currently leads the major leagues. Only one Angel has hit more than 25 times out of the starting slot and hit base in a clip of .350 or better since 2013: Ohtani, who is now entrenched as the No. 3 hitter behind Trout.

More to come in this story.

Taylor Ward sparks Angels’ lineup and 5 pitchers shut out Nationals – Press Telegram Source link Taylor Ward sparks Angels’ lineup and 5 pitchers shut out Nationals – Press Telegram

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