ANAHEIM – After the Angels reshuffled their rotation in recent weeks, right-hander Jaime Barria took advantage of the situation and made his second strong performance against the A’s on Saturday afternoon.
Barria threw 6 2/3 goalless innings to bring the Angels to a much-needed 1-0 win at Angel Stadium. It came after allowing only two runs over seven innings in a win over the Twins on July 25. Barria gave up consecutive solo homers to open this outing and has not since allowed a run in 12 2/3 innings that impressed manager Joe Maddon.
“I think it’s self-confidence,” said Maddon. “I think he’s pretty much the same guy. I think he has more conviction per pitch. I think he thinks he’ll throw it in a good place and the contact won’t be that great. “
He has to keep going, but it bodes well for the Angels who need their young starters to reinforce. Left-hander Andrew Heaney was traded to the Yankees on Friday, while right-hander Griffin Canning is currently injured in the Triple-A Salt Lake and left-hander José Quintana has been moved to the bullpen. Right-handed Alex Cobb was also put on the injured list on Friday with an infection of his right wrist.
Left-hander Patrick Sandoval, 24, took his chances and top contender Reid Detmers, 22, will join the rotation on Sunday. The Angels are still deciding when Barria makes his next start or if he goes in the bullpen, but Maddon believes the future remains bright for the 25-year-old, who has parts of four seasons of experience with a 4.43 ERA in 264 innings.
“It’s interesting to watch, you’re watching some really good starter pitchers develop,” Maddon said. “You are not there yet, but you are on the right track. And the fact that they are everywhere of the same age and level of experience, I think communicatively, they can help each other. “
Barria scattered four hits and a walk and escaped jams in the third and sixth innings before getting into trouble on his final frame. He quickly picked up two outs in the seventh, but then passed consecutive singles to Sean Murphy and Tony Kemp. Elvis Andrus then hit a grounder in third place, but Jack Mayfield made a mistake loading the bases. Barria was overturned after throwing 95 throws and Steve Cishek kept the game goalless by making Mark Canha fly left.
“I thought he was running out of gas,” Maddon said of Barria. “Nobody with two outs and then two balls hit pretty well and then the ball off Mayfield’s chest and he made really good pitches when it came down to it. Great serenity. Once again I thought it was outstanding. “
Barria leaned heavily on his slider and threw it 37 times compared to 30 four-seam fastballs and 24 sinkers. His speed has also increased compared to the past few years when his fastball touched 95 mph.
“My confidence is definitely high,” Barria said through an interpreter. “It’s exactly where I want to be. Now it’s all about focusing on every start and being competitive.”
He didn’t get much help from the offense, however, as the Angels continued their battle against Oakland to score runs that season. Two-way star Shohei Ohtani covered the lone run with an RBI double in the third from left-hander Cole Irvin. For Ohtani it was the 64th
But Raisel Iglesias, who was not postponed before Friday’s trading deadline despite being an upcoming free agent, helped keep the win with a four-out parade and said he was glad he was still contributing the Angels is.
“It was very difficult for me to go from Thursday to Friday, I could hardly sleep,” said Iglesias through an interpreter. “That was all I thought about. But when I found out I was staying here I was really happy. I enjoyed my time here and everyone feels like family. Now I just focus on making the season strong quit and get healthy. “