Angels hope to jump-start offense against Cubs

League: MLB

Posted on: 06 Jul, 2024 at 01:49 AM

Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Offense has been a premium recently for the Los Angeles Angels.

Los Angeles has totaled just one run over its past three games, a cold spell it will attempt to end Saturday when it continues a three-game series with the host Chicago Cubs.

The Angels mustered just two hits in a 5-1 loss to Chicago in the series opener on Friday after getting shut out in back-to-back games against the Oakland Athletics. Cubs left-hander Justin Steele put together a complete game in Los Angeles' latest setback, running the Angels' losing streak to five games.

Making matters worse is that infielder Luis Rengifo landed on the 10-day injured list on Friday due to right wrist inflammation. Rengifo has hit a team-best .315 through 69 games this season. He has six homers, 25 RBIs and 22 stolen bases.

"It's a kick in the gut, for sure," Los Angeles catcher Logan O'Hoppe said of Rengifo's injury. "It's a guy we rely on. Especially a day like (Friday), where we needed a hit to get going. You'd love to have them in there. Just one of those things we'll have to deal with."

Left-handed starter Tyler Anderson (7-8, 3.03 ERA) will be relying on a Rengifo-less lineup for run support.

Anderson got lit up in his latest outing, giving up six runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings to take a loss against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.

In 10 career starts against Chicago, Anderson is 5-3 with a 4.18 ERA.

Anderson will have to put up with Cubs left fielder Ian Happ, who is 7-for-10 (.700) with two home runs and eight RBIs over his past three games. Happ went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a walk on Friday.

"We know how much this fanbase expects and how much they deserve," Happ said after Chicago's 10-2 drubbing of the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. "They deserve a really good baseball team, and I think we all in this clubhouse believe that we have that in the tank."

Happ and the rest of the Cubs will be trying to make life easy for Kyle Hendricks (1-6, 7.48) as the right-hander attempts to bounce back from two straight losses.

Hendricks was most recently tagged for seven runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday. That came after a June 25 start in which he gave up two runs on five hits in seven innings against the San Francisco Giants.

Saturday marks Hendricks' second career start against the Angels. He lost to them on April 13, 2019, yielding three runs (two earned) and six hits in five innings.

Keston Hiura, who had his contract selected from Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday to replace Rengifo, is 4-for-19 (.211) against Hendricks in his career. The two saw plenty of each other when Hiura played for the Brewers, Chicago's National League Central rival, from 2019-22.

Hiura went 1-for-3 with a run on Friday in his first big-league game since Oct. 5, 2022.

--Field Level Media