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May 3, 2024 4:25 am

Reeling Angels visit Tanner Bibee, Guardians

bibee

Coming off a brutal homestand and without their superstar, the Los Angeles Angels hit the road, where they also have struggled of late.

Facing top-tier Cleveland Guardians starter Tanner Bibee likely won’t make things easier.

The reeling Angels look to avoid a fifth straight road defeat Friday night when they oppose Bibee and the American League Central-leading Guardians.

Since April 18, Los Angeles is 2-11, with seven of those defeats coming by one or two runs. The rut included a 2-7 homestand against Baltimore, Minnesota and Philadelphia, which ended with a 2-1 loss to the Phillies on Wednesday.

Los Angeles pounded out 10 hits but stranded 11 men and went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

“We just have to get back to doing our thing,” Angels outfielder Taylor Ward said. “I think a lot of us are struggling, and so once we get back to what we’re supposed to do in the big leagues, things will turn around.”

Los Angeles won’t have star Mike Trout, who is out indefinitely after tearing his left meniscus.

The Friday contest begins a six-game trip for the Angels. They totaled seven runs during their four-game away skid.

Making matters seemingly tougher, the Guardians are among the majors’ best at 20-11 and have won six of the past seven at home. Cleveland, though, returns home following a 2-4 trip to Atlanta and Houston that ended on a sour note with an 8-2 defeat on Thursday against the Astros.

One victory on the trip came was partially due to the work of Bibee (2-0, 3.45 ERA), who is 1-0 with a 1.53 ERA in his past three starts. The right-hander was brilliant Saturday during Cleveland’s 4-2, 11-inning win at Atlanta, yielding two hits and striking out nine without issuing a walk over seven scoreless innings.

“We cleaned some stuff up throughout (the) week,” Bibee said. “I think (it was just a) different mindset. … I think it really set me up for some success.”

Bibee allowed three runs and four hits while striking out 15 and not yielding a walk in 14 2/3 innings over his two prior starts against the Angels, both last year.

Ward, the only active Angel with a hit off Bibee, is batting .318 (7-for-22) with two doubles in the past five games overall. Teammate Luis Rengifo is hitting .415 (17-for-41) with seven RBIs in his past 13 games, but he has just a .172 average in 13 career contests vs. Cleveland.

Los Angeles pitchers, meanwhile, have a 5.73 ERA in the last 13 games.

Scheduled Angels starter Jose Soriano (0-4, 4.76 ERA) will look to rebound after he allowed four runs, three hits and three walks in just 1 2/3 innings during a 16-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. The right-hander yielded a total of four runs, one earned, and four hits over 11 innings in his previous two starts.

Soriano pitched a scoreless inning of relief and got a win last year in his lone career appearance against the Guardians.

Steven Kwan has been the Guardians’ best hitter to open the season, batting .349. He is a lifetime .382 hitter against the Angels.

Cleveland star Jose Ramirez is 16-for-33 (.485) during a nine-game hitting streak vs. Los Angeles.

–Field Level Media

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