Rookie Jose Suarez pitches Angels to victory over Rays

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Suarez had thrown almost exclusively fastballs and changeups in his first two starts, but in this game he mixed in 12 curves and five sliders among his 81 pitches.“That’s the worst thing as a hitter when a pitcher is using all his pitches,” catcher Kevan Smith said. “You can’t sit on one pitch. That’s what he did today. He was using his whole arsenal. … He’s a fastball-changeup guy. If we can fine-tune that slider and curveball, he’s going to be a fun guy to catch for years to come.”Suarez needed just 64 pitches to get through the first five innings Saturday, without allowing a run. He struck out three and allowed just two singles.In the sixth, though, the Rays got their third look at him, and the results were different. Avisail García lined a solid single to left and then Tommy Pham dumped a blooper into right. Austin Meadows then hit a fly ball to the warning track in center.The ballpark barely held that one, but it couldn’t hold Diaz’s drive to right-center, on a 3-and-1 changeup. The three-run homer erased much of a 4-0 lead. Suarez, who agreed this was his best, said he actually felt like he started working too fast in the sixth and lost his rhythm.Ausmus left him to face the left-handed hitting Ji-Man Choi after the homer, but then he pulled him in favor of Cam Bedrosian.“The command wasn’t quite as good,” Ausmus said. “They were making better contact. It was the third time through the lineup for them. Despite the low pitch count, I just felt like it was time to go to the bullpen.”A day after the bullpen blew a four-run lead, this time they did the job. Bedrosian picked up four outs and then Ty Buttrey and Hansel Robles each worked a scoreless inning.The Angels had built a four-run lead with a quick burst against Charlie Morton, the fourth game in a row the Angels took at least a four-run lead by the fifth inning.David Fletcher hit a two-run homer in the second and then Justin Bour hit a solo shot in the fourth. Bour has hit homers in each of the two games he’s started since coming back from Triple-A. Smith added a solo homer in the eighth to get the Angels an insurance run after Diaz cut the lead to one.It held up for a victory to flush away Friday night’s game, when they had a 4-0 lead and gave up nine unanswered runs.“It’s good to get that back,” Ausmus said. “We had a rough one yesterday out of the pen, but to come back less than 24 hours later and get the job done, it certainly makes it a lot easier to enjoy dinner.”center_img ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. —  José Suarez is continuing to show the stuff that encouraged the Angels to bring the 21-year-old to the majors.Suarez was dominant for most of his outing in the Angels’ 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday afternoon, the team’s fourth victory in five games. All four victories have been by the same score.Suarez gave up three runs in 5-2/3 innings, all the runs scoring on a homer by Yandy Diaz in the sixth. Suarez has allowed eight runs in 16 innings over his three starts so far, but he’s had stretches within each game that showed how much better he could be.“I thought this was his best, by far,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “I thought he gave us a chance to win in the first couple. Obviously his very first start in Seattle, we did win. But I thought in terms of pitch usage and efficiency and stuff, I thought this was his best.”last_img

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