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Patrick Sandoval sharp again in Angels victory over A’s

ANAHEIM — Patrick Sandoval continues to show that he’s a part of the pitching solution the Angels have needed for the past several years.

Sandoval carried a shutout into the eighth inning in the Angels’ 4-1 victory over the Oakland A’s on Sunday afternoon.

Seven starts into the season, Sandoval has a 1.79 ERA, and the Angels are 6-1 when he’s pitched.

He got the offensive support he needed mostly from Mike Trout, who drove in a run in the second, scored a run in the fifth and drove himself in with his 12th homer of the season, in the seventh. Trout is hitting .323 with a 1.133 OPS.

Shohei Ohtani started the Angels scoring when he led off the game with a 443-foot homer to straightaway center field.

Trout and Ohtani are two of baseball’s biggest stars, but their presence hasn’t been enough for the Angels because they needed more pitchers to do what Sandoval has done.

The 25-year-old left-hander faced the same team as he beat last Sunday, but in that game he worked around some walks, poor command and the absence of his best pitch, his changeup.

This time, he had everything working.

Sandoval retired the first 10 hitters of the game before Chad Pinder reached on an error by second baseman Luis Rengifo. Sandoval responded by striking out the next two hitters to get out of the inning, along with the first hitter of the fifth.

He finally gave up a hit when Kevin Smith punched an 85 mph changeup into center field for a clean single in the fifth. It was the third hit that Sandoval allowed on his changeup in two games against the A’s, after not allowing any hits on the pitch in his first five starts.

Sandoval seemed to get sharper as the game progressed, getting swings and misses on his changeup and slider.

The A’s finally ended his shutout bid in the eighth inning. Smith hit a routine fly ball that Tyler Wade lost in the sun in right field, for a double. An out later, Smith scored on Christian Pache’s bloop single. Sandoval then walked Luis Barrera, ending his day.

Ryan Tepera struck out Sheldon Neuse and Seth Brown to strand two runners in the eighth. Tepera has retired all five batters he’s faced since his nightmarish outing last week in Texas, when he didn’t retire any of five batters.

Closer Raisel Iglesias worked the ninth to record his second straight save after suffering a loss on Wednesday in Texas.

More to come on this story.

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