Tyler Anderson Leads Angels to Win over Diamondbacks after First Start in 12 Days

Carlos Vargas throwing a pitch for the Diamondbacks against the Angels.
(Photo by Evan Thompson/Sport Relay)

Angels (ss) 7, Diamondbacks 1

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Mar. 21) — Tyler Anderson scattered three hits across six scoreless innings, walking two and striking out six, as the split-squad Los Angeles Angels thumped the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7–1, on a damp Tuesday afternoon. Jo Adell went 1-for-4 with two runs scored, two RBI, and a tape-measure home run in the victory. Anthony Rendon and Gio Urshela added multi-hit games for the Angels, with Rendon going 3-for-4 and Urshela going 2-for-3.

Bench coach Ray Montgomery, the acting Angels manager in this contest, said afterwards, “Situationally, I thought we did a good job to hit some balls in play and hit some balls hard.” He was also pleased with his club’s defensive performance. “Both sides of the ball lend themselves to one another. When we get some good at-bats, get some good rhythm, and move the line offensively, it translates when you go out to the field. It’s a good rhythm to the game.

An offensive performance like Tuesday’s was especially important for the Angels given the morning rains at camp. “With the weather and conditions,” Montgomery said, “it was a little slow this morning. (We didn’t) get the work we normally get in.”

Angels Punish Diamondbacks Pitchers and Stymie Diamondbacks Bats

Center fielder Brett Phillips led off the game with a triple off the center-field fence and scored on a groundout to third by first baseman Brandon Drury, who came up next. Two batters later, Rendon — the third baseman — sliced a double down the right-field line. It landed inches beyond the reach of a diving Pavin Smith and bounded into the visiting bullpen for the ground-rule two-bagger. That brought up Adell, who sent a hanging breaking ball by Diamondbacks starter Zach Davies halfway up the left-field berm.

More scoring came in the third, when Urshela smacked a one-out double off the wall in left. He scored on a follow-up single to center by Rendon, making it 4–0 Angels. The Diamondbacks had a good chance to score when second baseman Ketel Marte roped a one-out triple to right, but a strikeout by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and a fly to right by Josh Rojas left him stranded.

It became a 5–0 game in the top of the fourth. Right fielder Jordyn Adams got the ball rolling with a one-out single to left. Adams stole second and took third on a throwing error by Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Moreno. Two batters later, Phillips plated Adams with a single to center.

The rout was officially on in the top of the sixth thanks to a one-out single by Urshela and doubles by both Rendon and catcher Logan O’Hoppe. That 7–0 lead became the 7–1 final score in the bottom of the eighth on a one-out walk by Diamondbacks shortstop Geraldo Perdomo — who advanced to second on a wild pitch by Ryan Tepera — and a double by designated hitter Lourdes Gurriel, Jr.

Tyler Anderson

Tuesday’s outing was the first start for Anderson in 12 days, with his last start coming against Team USA on March 9. Anderson said of his day, “I felt good. Just needed to go out there and compete. I felt like I’ve been throwing bullpens mostly since January. My last game, I was thinking, ‘Alright, I’m gonna get stretched out a little bit. Four innings.’ Start getting out there, got rained out, ended up throwing in the cage. That was, I think, too much mechanical stuff. So it was nice to go compete because that’s what you do during the season.”

In addition, Anderson came into this game having thrown a grand total of two innings on the pitch clock. Since the World Baseball Classic did not use one, Anderson’s March 9 start against Team USA did not use a pitch clock. Therefore, his only outing with the pitch clock came March 3 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But Anderson has figured out a strategy for the pitch clock, and he used it Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. “I’m still getting used to it,” he confessed. “But today was fine. Pay attention, but don’t pay attention to it.”

Montgomery felt Anderson’s outing was “very indicative of a guy getting closer to the end of the spring and getting ready for his first start when we get going. He was really good. Mixed, matched — a lot of strikes.”

Looking Ahead

The Angels continue their Cactus League campaign Wednesday, coming back to the very same field where they faced the Diamondbacks Tuesday. However, they will face the Diamondbacks’ co-tenant, the Colorado Rockies. Left-hander Reid Detmers will take the mound for the Angels against Rockies right-hander Jose Ureña. First pitch will be at 1:10 pm.

Click here for Diamondbacks news from this game.

Main Photo Credits:

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Mar. 21) — Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Carlos Vargas delivers to Edgar Quero of the Los Angeles Angels in the top of the fifth inning at Salt River Fields. Logan O’Hoppe takes a lead off first as PJ Higgins holds him on, with Jake Hager ready at second base. The Angels defeated the Diamondbacks, 7–1. (Photo by Evan Thompson/Sport Relay)

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

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