Griffin Canning continues solid spring; Angels lose to Rangers

THE GAME: The Angels lost 6-2 to the Texas Rangers on Saturday in Tempe, Ariz. The game snapped a six-game unbeaten streak for the Angels, who had one tie in that stretch.

PITCHING REPORT: Right-hander Griffin Canning threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings against a lineup full of Rangers regulars. “That’s how it’s gong to be in the season, so I kind of got a good gauge of where my stuff is, so it’s fun,” Canning said. Canning struck out four and walked one. His fastball was consistently 94-95 mph, which is harder than he was throwing before missing a season and a half because of back trouble. Canning has worked 9 2/3 innings in three games, allowing two runs. Canning, who is in the running for the No. 6 spot in the Angels’ rotation, said he’s not concerned with the competition for the job. “That’s out of my control,” he said. “I told myself I’m just going to be happy back playing baseball.” … Right-hander Ryan Tepera gave up hits to the first three batters he faced, including a booming two-run homer to Marcus Semien. Tepera was ejected after the inning by plate umpire Bill Miller. Tepera was upset because he wasn’t expecting to be checked so thoroughly for foreign substances, Angels manager Phil Nevin said. Umpires are increasing their efforts to prevent pitchers from using sticky substances this season. … Right-hander Jaime Barría gave up three runs in two innings. It was his first appearance since returning from pitching for Panama in the World Baseball Classic.

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HITTING REPORT: Mickey Moniak singled, improving to 15 for 37 (.405) with a 1.058 OPS this spring. … Jared Walsh is 6 for 11 in his last four games, upping his OPS to 1.039 this spring. … Taylor Jones was called out on strikes when he was called for a pitch timer violation with two strikes. It’s the second time in three games an Angels hitter was called out for a timer violation.

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DEFENSE REPORT: Matt Thaiss got his first start of the spring at first base. Thaiss was a first baseman throughout most of his pro career, but he moved to catcher, his college position, in 2021. The Angels may be looking for ways to keep Thaiss on the roster as a third catcher.

UP NEXT: Angels at Giants, 1 p.m. PT Sunday, Scottsdale Stadium, Bally Sports West, 830 AM

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