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May 21, 2024 8:34 am

Young Angels showing promise vs. Astros

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Perhaps the most notable footnote from the four home runs the Los Angeles Angels hit in their 9-7, come-from-behind, series-opening road victory over the Houston Astros on Monday was who bashed the long balls.

All four homers were hit by players 25 years old or younger, the first time such a milestone has occurred in club history. With the Angels down 6-1 in the fifth inning, Nolan Schanuel (22) and Logan O’Hoppe (24) cranked three-run home runs off Astros left-hander Framber Valdez before Jo Adell, who turned 25 last month, went back-to-back with O’Hoppe to provide the Angels an 8-6 lead.

Zach Neto (23) opened the sixth inning with his sixth home run, putting the cap on a power surge sparked by a handful of starters expected to steer the Angels into the immediate future.

The young Angels will be back in action in Houston on Tuesday night.

“They’re growing up,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “They’re starting to figure things out. They really didn’t try to do too much and ended up doing a lot.

“And that’s what it’s about. We’re showing some resiliency, and I just keep saying it: They’re figuring it out. And the work they’re putting in is starting to pay off.”

Right-hander Griffin Canning (2-4, 5.21 ERA) has the starting assignment on Tuesday as the Angels attempt to win their third consecutive road series. He beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-2 on Wednesday after allowing one run on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts over a season-high-tying six innings. Canning has surrendered three runs over three starts and 17 2/3 innings this month.

Canning is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA over six career starts against the Astros.

Right-hander Cristian Javier (3-1, 3.23 ERA) is the scheduled starter for the Astros. He posted his third scoreless start of the season against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, allowing two hits and one walk with a season-high eight strikeouts over six innings in an 8-1 victory. It marked the second start for Javier following his return from the injured list (neck).

Javier is 5-1 with a 2.79 ERA over 11 career appearances (seven starts) against the Angels.

Lost in the Astros giving up a five-run lead was the multi-hit effort from catcher Yainer Diaz, who finished 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs while batting eighth. It marked the first multi-hit game for Diaz since he posted consecutive two-hit games against the Detroit Tigers on May 11-12.

Diaz has scuffled in May, hitting .226 with a .536 OPS compared with .266 and .736, respectively, in April.

The difference on Monday?

“Some changeups, he actually waited for them to be up in the zone, and he drove them to left-center,” Astros manager Joe Espada said. “He had some really good (at-bats) all around.”

–Field Level Media

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