CHICAGO — Injuries to Angels pitcher Paci Naughton have provided an opportunity to prove he is in talks for the 2022 pitching staff.
He was making loud rhetoric till Tuesday night.
Naughton conceded four and was knocked out in the third inning of the Angels’ 9-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox, a disappointing outing on the heels of five scoreless innings against the San Diego Padres last week.
Naughton, 25, had an ERA of 2.57 after his first 14 major league innings against all his contenders: the Dodgers, the Padres (twice) and the New York Yankees.
Naughton began having trouble in the second inning, facing the White Sox going into the playoffs.
Naughton threw a thigh-high change to Louis Robert in the middle, and he hit it into the left-field seats. He then left a double on a fastball in the middle to Leuri Garcia and a run-scoring single to Gavin Sheets on a pitch that was not even a strike.
In the third, Naughton got two outs on the walk and a double play, but then ended his night with a single to Aloy Jimenez and a double to Robert.
The reliever behind him didn’t do any better. Andrew Vantz threw a cutter to Sheets at the heart of the plate and he drilled it into the top of the seats at 447 feet, nearly perfect field, for a three-run homer.
Oliver Ortega then conceded two more runs to put the Angels in the hole 9-3.
After the game was out of hand, Kyle Tyler played three scoreless innings. Tyler, who started the season in Double-A and pitched just five times in Triple-A before being promoted, has not allowed a run in his first seven major league innings.
Apart from the poor pitching, the story was ruining opportunities at the plate. The Angels loaded bases in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings, and did not score a single run on those occasions.
Luis Rengifo struck to finish fifth, David Fletcher struck in a double play to finish sixth, and Juan Lagares struck in a double play to finish eighth.
The Angels’ only run was on homers, a single shot by Phil Gosselin in the first and a two-run homer by Jared Walsh in the fourth. Both were against Lucas Giolito, who made just four innings in his first start after a stint on the injured list.
There is much more to come on this story.