Scuffling Jordan Montgomery, D-backs brace for Angels

The Los Angeles Angels will be riding a wave of momentum when they face the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series in Phoenix.

The Angels have won four of their past six games, topped by Sunday’s 9-7 comeback victory over the Houston Astros. The improbable victory came courtesy of a wild sequence in which Logan O’Hoppe hit a game-ending, two-run homer.

O’Hoppe’s hard-hit fly ball went down the left field line, and Houston left fielder Trey Cabbage got over the wall and appeared to make a sensational grab. But the ball was dislodged from Cabbage’s glove and landed in the seats. In the confusion, Kevin Pillar headed back toward first base to tag up, and O’Hoppe nearly passed him.

The umpiring crew discussed the play and eventually signaled it was a homer for O’Hoppe.

“It was bizarre,” O’Hoppe said afterward. “I thought (Cabbage) caught it at first. It was a hell of a play. To even get a glove on it was impressive. Selfishly, I’m happy it dropped.”

The ruling also gave O’Hoppe the second four-hit game of his career. He has hit .269 with eight homers and 28 RBIs in 55 games this season.

Los Angeles also ended a 15-game stretch of scoring four runs or fewer. The Angels scored 37 during that span before Sunday’s game, which included four runs off Astros ace Justin Verlander and another four in the final 1 1/3 innings.

“They showed some resilience. They come in every day and work hard,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “It’s nice to see that work pay off, because they didn’t give up.”

The Angels will look to keep the offense moving against struggling Arizona left-hander Jordan Montgomery (3-4, 6.80 ERA).

The free-agent signee has been abysmal for the Diamondbacks. Over his past two starts, Montgomery has allowed 14 runs and 17 hits in just six-plus innings in losses to the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants.

Montgomery, 31, allowed six runs without retiring a batter in the third inning in Wednesday’s loss to the Giants.

“Another stinker,” Montgomery said of the outing against San Francisco. “It just unraveled in the third inning. It’s hard to see any positives right now.”

Opposing hitters have a collective .323 batting average against Montgomery.

However, Montgomery is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in three career starts against the Angels. Luis Rengifo (2-for-6) has a homer against Montgomery, while Pillar is just 2-for-14.

The Diamondbacks just split a four-game road series against the San Diego Padres. After being battered by a combined score of 23-4 during Friday and Saturday losses, Arizona recovered for a decisive 9-3 victory on Sunday.

“I think it was in the midseason must-win category,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “And I think this team came out ready to play and showed how tough they are. I’m really proud of what we did. … They made a statement from the first pitch of the game all the way through until the last pitch.”

Right fielder Jake McCarthy went 3-for-4 with a homer on Sunday for his first three-hit game since May 5.

“I’m going to control what I can control,” McCarthy said. “If I can swing at good pitches, if I (don’t) chase, hopefully, the balls in play drop. The common denominator is I want to be a tough out.”

Left-hander Jose Suarez (1-0, 6.54) will make his first start of the season for the Angels. He has walked 20 in 31 2/3 innings over 16 relief appearances.

In his lone appearance against Arizona, Suarez gave up one run and two hits over four innings of relief on June 12, 2021. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (3-for-5), Kevin Newman (2-for-3) and Eugenio Suarez (4-for-12) have all homered against Jose Suarez.

–Field Level Media