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Angels ride four long balls in 6-2 win over Cleveland

Sep 9, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA;  Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Matt Thaiss (21) hits a home run during the fourth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Anderson threw eight strong innings and the Los Angeles Angels hit four homers to beat the visiting Cleveland Guardians 6-2 and take a series lead in the third of a four-game set in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday.

The Guardians (68-75) are now 7 1/2 games behind the division-leading Minnesota Twins in the American League Central with just 19 games to play.

The depleted Angels, without injured slugger Shohei Ohtani for the sixth straight game, started three rookies and are 66-77 on the season.

Despite the absence of Ohtani (44 homers), the Angels and Guardians exchanged five long balls in the first four innings.

Jose Ramirez put Cleveland on top 1-0 with a 415-foot solo shot to center off Anderson, Ramirez’s 22nd homer of the season. In the bottom of the inning, Logan O’Hoppe got his eighth homer on a two-run, 396-foot blast to center off Cleveland starters Lucas Giolito.

The Guardians tied it at 2-2 in the third on Josh Naylor’s 16th homer, 397 feet to center. But Brett Phillips put the Angels up again 3-2 by hitting his first homer as an Angel, a 406-footer into the old bullpen tunnel in the right-field corner.

Matt Thaiss increased the Angels’ lead to 4-2 with his ninth home run, hooking a liner that cleared the wall in right-center.

Randal Grichuk gave the Angels a 6-2 cushion when he slashed an opposite-field drive over the low wall in the right-field corner for his 14th homer off Cleveland reliever Xzavion Curry.

All the runs in the game came on long balls.

Anderson (6-6) pitched his longest outing of the season. He got nine groundball outs in recording his first win since July 23. He scattered four hits and a walk, giving up two runs. He struck out four over 97 pitches.

Giolito (7-13) made his second start for the Guardians since being acquired on waivers from the Angels on Aug. 31. He gave up four runs on four hits in seven innings while striking out nine without walking a batter.

–Field Level Media