MLB & Atlanta Braves

Dillon Peters struggles again as Angels are swept for the eighth time in 2019

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Shohei Ohtani hit the hardest home run of his still-blossoming major league career, Kole Calhoun extended his career-high with his 29th long ball of the season but the plummeting Angels did not finagle a victory away from the Cleveland Indians. They lost 4-3 and were swept at Angel Stadium on Wednesday for the second time this season. They have been swept eight times overall.

Dillon Peters' recent struggles continued. The starter gave up four runs in three-plus innings and labored to get ahead of batters. He could not master any of his pitches well enough to throw first-pitch strikes, managing only eight on the 17 hitters he faced.

"It's just a lack of getting ahead of hitters and doing my job, which is get as deep into the ballgame as I can," Peters said. "I have not been able to do that as of late. It's embarrassing. I work my tail off between starts to be consistent and pound the zone and do what the team asks me to do. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do that."

Command was not Peters' only problem. Balks were called on him in the first and second innings. He accidentally started a windup with a runner on base in each occurrence.

Peters has surrendered 22 runs, 18 of them earned, in his last 22 1/3 innings spanning five starts. Hitters have pelted him for 11 doubles, one triple and six home runs since the stretch began Aug. 19.

"The frustrating fact is I'm not doing what I'm asked to do and that's go deep into ballgames, turn the lineup over, and get to the next inning and get as deep into the game as I can and save the bullpen and keep the team in the game," Peters said. "In the first two innings my last few outings, it hasn't been easy to battle back the remainder of the game. This is all on me. There is nobody else to blame but myself. Just get to the next day, get to the next week and get better."

The Angels' offense, which has sputtered the last four games with Mike Trout out because of nerve issue in his foot, could not pick Peters up. David Fletcher hit an RBI single in the second, Ohtani blasted a 114.4-mph solo shot in the fifth and Calhoun smoked a pitch from Indians reliever Tyler Clippard into the rock pile in center field in the eighth.