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Ian Anderson struggles as Braves fall to Angels

Ian Anderson gave up five runs in the first inning and the Braves were unable to recover.

MLB: APR 23 Marlins at Braves Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves dug themselves a big hole early and were unable to recover in an 9-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Ian Anderson’s struggles began early in this one as he dug himself a big hole early. Shohei Ohtani flew out for the first out before Taylor Ward homered to center to give the Angels their first lead since July 13. Jared Walsh then reached on a bunt single against the shift. Luis Rengifo and Max Stassi followed with singles of their own to score Walsh and make it 2-0. Unfortunately, it got worse from there. Jo Adell dumped a single in front of Acuna in right to make it 3-0. Anderson walked Phil Gosselin before Brandon Marsh grounded into a force out that scored Stassi. Andrew Velazquez then lined a single off the glove of Austin Riley that scored Adell to make it 5-0. Ohtani, batting for the second time in the inning, liked a ball that Dansby Swanson snagged with a leaping grab to bring the inning to a merciful end.

Anderson came back out for the second and retired the side in order. He allowed a double and a walk in the third, but struck out Andrew Velazquez to leave them stranded.

Anderson walked Ohtani on four pitches to start the fourth and then allowed a single to Ward to put runners at the corners. That would prove to be the knockout blow as Brian Snitker would summon Jackson Stephens who struck out Walsh for the first out, but then allowed a run-scoring single to Rengifo. Acuna’s airmailed the throw to third into the camera well which allowed Ward to score to make it 7-0. Stassi followed with a sacrifice fly to right that scored Rengifo to extend the deficit to 8-0.

Anderson suffered through arguably his worst start of the season. He allowed eight hits, seven runs and three walks in just three innings. With the trade deadline just over a week away, the Braves may have no choice, but to try and look for reinforcements for their rotation.

While Anderson was struggling, so was the Braves’ offense against Angels starter Reid Detmers who allowed only a walk over the first three innings. Dansby Swanson singled to start the home half of the fourth. Swanson moved up to second on a single by Austin Riley, extending his hitting streak 16-straight games. After a Marcell Ozuna fly out, Detmers walked William Contreras to load the bases, but Orlando Arcia grounded out to third to end the threat.

Stephens continued into the seventh where he allowed a pair of singles and exited with one out in the inning. Collin McHugh got a pair of ground outs to leave the runners stranded. Stephens did yeoman’s work out of the pen allowing three hits and an unearned run in 3 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five while throwing 60 pitches.

The Braves finally got on the board in the seventh. Contreras walked to lead off the inning. After a pair of fly outs, Michael Harris singled to put runners at first and second. Acuna followed with a single of his own to left to score Contreras and make it 8-1.

The Angels got that run back in the eighth as Kenley Jansen entered the game for his first appearance since the All-Star break. Ward led off the inning with a single and then came around to score on a triple by Stassi that alluded Acuna after hitting off the wall.

Atlanta managed just six hits in the game and left 10 men on base. They drop to 58-39 on the season and will now head out on the road for a three-game series in Philadelphia.

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