Sandoval throws 4-hitter, Angels beat Tigers 1-0 on Walsh HR

Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK
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DETROIT – Patrick Sandoval pitched a four-hitter for his first career shutout, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Detroit Tigers 1-0 Friday night on Jared Walsh‘s second-inning homer.

Sandoval (4-8) threw 97 pitches, struck out nine, walked none and didn’t allow a runner past first base as the Angels ended a three-game skid.

“I’m usually at 97 pitches after four innings, so this was awesome,” Sandoval said. “I thought I was fighting my stuff in the first four or five innings, but everything clicked after that.”

The 25-year-old left-hander retired 12 straight batters before Victor Reyes singled with one out in the ninth. Sandoval then got Riley Greene to ground into a game-ending double play, the third the Angels turned behind him.

“I felt great, but I also got a lot of help from my infielders,” Sandoval said. “They made every play, and that last double play was huge.”

The Tigers have the worst offense in baseball, averaging 3.2 runs per game, but manager A.J. Hinch said Sandoval deserved all the credit.

“He was really good, obviously,” Hinch said. “We were never able to put any pressure on him, and when it felt like we might get a little momentum in the ninth, he got another double play.”

Mike Trout returned to the Angels’ lineup after missing 28 games with rib cage inflammation. He went 1-for-4 with a single.

“I thought he had some really good swings, especially for a guy who hasn’t faced live pitching in over a month,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “He hammered that single to left and the ball he hit to right in the ninth is probably a triple if doesn’t land foul by an inch.”

Shohei Ohtani, who totaled seven hits in his previous two games, went 0 for 3 with a walk. The two-way star is scheduled to pitch Sunday’s series finale.

Matt Manning (0-1) took a tough-luck loss, working seven innings and allowing three hits and a walk as the Tigers dropped their 10th of 12 games.

“Matt Manning is a legit major-league pitcher and we’re seeing that showcased in his recent performances,” Hinch said. “He was electric tonight and it was good to see him go into attack mode.

“He’s someone we’re going to build with.”

Manning’s only mistake was a 1-0 changeup he left over the middle of the plate to Walsh, who sent it over the wall in right field.

“I have confidence in all my pitches and I think every one of them was working tonight,” he said. “I made one mistake – if that pitch is two inches lower, it is probably a ground ball.”

ROSTER MOVES

The Tigers reinstated LHP Eduardo Rodriguez from the restricted list and designated RHP Wily Peralta for assignment. Rodriguez is scheduled to start on Sunday – his first appearance since leaving the team in early June to deal with family issues.

To make room for Trout, the Angels optioned OF Steven Duggar to Triple-A Salt Lake.

A FAMILIAR SIGHT

Nevin, who played for the Tigers and spent four years with them as a minor league manager, wasn’t surprised by what he saw from Manning.

“I’ve seen him pitch against my son (Tyler) in the minors, and he is every bit as good as I remembered,” Nevin said. “That kid was throwing the heck out of the ball out there.”

UP NEXT

The teams continue their three-game series on Saturday with Detroit’s Tyler Alexander (4-3, 3.45 ERA) facing Reid Detmers (4-3, 3.45).

Braves sweep Mets, take 2-game lead in East with 3 remaining

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered for the third straight game, Travis d'Arnaud hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning, and Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 5-3, completing a three-game sweep of their NL East rival and taking a two-game lead in the division with three games to play.

The defending World Series champion Braves have been chasing the Mets the entire season. In the final series of the season, any combination of one Atlanta win or one Mets loss would give the Braves their fifth straight division title.

New York plays its final three games of the season against worst-in-the-majors Washington. Atlanta closed out the regular season with a three-game set in Miami. Should the season end Wednesday in a tie, Atlanta would win the division after claiming the season series 10-9 with Sunday’s victory.

The Braves won five of the last six games in the series, outscoring the Mets 42-19 over that stretch. New York had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 but now is the lower in the standings than at any point this season.

It was a lost weekend for New York, which came to Atlanta hoping to clinch its first division title since 2015. Instead, aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer lost Friday and Saturday before 15-game winner Chris Bassitt lasted just 2 2/3 innings on Sunday.

Swanson took Bassitt deep to right-center in the first with his 25th homer, and Atlanta took charge with a three-run third. Bassitt (15-9) issued a bases-loaded walk to Olson before d’Arnaud delivered a single up the middle to score Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley for a 4-3 lead. That chased Bassitt, who was charged with four runs, three hits and three walks.

Olson connected for his 33rd homer to make it 5-3 leading off the sixth, his 410-foot shot landing in the seats in right-center. Olson, in his first year with Atlanta, surpassed 100 RBIs for the second straight season.

Charlie Morton stranded runners on first and second in the first, but he gave up Daniel Vogelbach‘s 18th homer that tied it at 1 in the second. The righty struck out Francisco Lindor with runners on first and second to end the threat.

Jeff McNeil went deep off Morton in the third and Vogelbach followed with an RBI single to put the Mets up 3-1. Morton entered the game having allowed 28 homers, sixth-most in the NL.

Morton scuffled throughout his start, giving up three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings as the 38-year-old made his first start since signing a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with Atlanta next season.

Dylan Lee (5-1) relieved Morton and pitched 1 1/3 innings, leaving after a walk to Brandon Nimmo with two outs in the sixth. Collin McHugh entered and struck out Francisco Lindor.

Raisel Iglesias faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen converted his third save of the series with a clean ninth.

Jansen leads the NL with 40 saves in 47 chances.

The Braves’ bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA last month, pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings the last two nights.

BIG NUMBERS

Atlanta leads the NL with 241 homers. And the Braves have their first 100-victory season since 2003.

TWO, DARN HOT

McNeil went 3 for 5 and has multiple hits in five straight games. His average is .326, one point behind the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman for the NL batting title. In 23 career games at Truist Park, McNeil is hitting .395 with 12 runs, nine doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and four walks. … Jansen tied Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for eighth place on the career list with 389. He’s also is the 10th closer to have four different seasons with at least 40 saves.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. … Braves 2B Ozzie Albies (broken right pinky finger) is still wearing a cast. … Braves RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique.

ATTENDANCE

The Braves drew 42,713 in their regular season finale, the club’s 42nd sellout of the season. Overall. that’s 3,129,931 for the season – and the most tickets sold since 2000. In 2019, the team’s last full season before the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta drew 2,655,100.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95 ERA) will face Nationals RHP Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11).

Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (2-3, 2.76 ERA) will face Marlins LHP Jesus Luzardo (3-7, 3.53).