Seven-run third inning sinks Phillies

Seven-run third inning sinks Phillies

ANAHEIM -- JC Ramirez fired eight shutout innings and the Angels erupted for seven runs in the third to roll to a 7-0 win over the Phillies, clinching a series victory on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium.

Ramirez, who made his Major League debut with the Phillies in 2013, dominated his former club, yielding only six hits while walking two and striking out three in a career-long outing. The Angels have now won 11 straight games against the Phillies, improving to 11-1 in the all-time series between the two clubs.

"It made myself proud," Ramirez said. "I like those guys there."

Ramirez's dominant outing

Ramirez has now pitched 129 2/3 innings for the Angels in his first season as a starter, far eclipsing his previous career high of 78 2/3 frames in 2016. Still, the 28-year-old right-hander has managed to remain effective despite the increased workload, with the Angels winning 12 of his past 19 starts.

"JC just keeps going," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think his confidence is very high. He's going to make his pitches and live with the results. It's a great eight innings he gave us tonight."

Ramirez on his dominant start

Ramirez received more than enough support from his offense, which scored seven runs in the third behind home runs from Mike Trout, C.J. Cron and Kaleb Cowart. The Halos have now scored at least six runs in five consecutive games.

"We're getting hot," Trout said. "It's good to see. We knew we were capable of doing it. Last two games, we've been scoring some runs for the pitchers. It's fun to be out there."

Thompson induces a 4-6-3 DP

Phillies right-hander Jake Thompson took the loss after surrendering seven runs (two earned) on nine hits over five innings.

"I think it's part of the process," Thompson said. "You take your bumps and bruises along the way. You have to grow. You can't get scared and back down from it. I'm certainly not. I feel that eventually I'm going to be a successful Major League pitcher. It was just one of those nights."

• Thompson still believes despite struggles

After winning two straight games over the Phillies, the Angels (53-55) have pulled within three games of the Royals for the second American League Wild Card spot.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hernandez's error cracks the door: A defensive miscue by Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez helped set the stage for the Angels' seven-run third. Martin Maldonado led off the inning with a double and scored the Halos' first run of the night after Hernandez bobbled a ground ball off the bat of Ben Revere. The Angels capitalized further after Trout crushed an 0-1 fastball from Thompson into the trees in center field for a two-run home run, putting the Phillies in a 3-0 hole.

Cron's two-run homer to left

Cron and Cowart go back-to-back: The Angels capped their offensive outburst with back-to-back homers from Cron and Cowart. Cron hammered a two-run shot off Thompson that sailed over both bullpens in left field and extended the Angels' lead to 6-0. The blast had an exit velocity of 111.2 mph, marking Cron's hardest-hit homer of the season, and traveled an estimated 443 feet, according to Statcast™. Cowart followed with his first home run of the season, a solo shot to center field that gave the Angels a seven-run cushion. The Halos came within a few feet of securing back-to-back-to-back homers, as Maldonado subsequently doubled off the wall in left-center field for his second hit of the inning.

Cowart's solo dinger

QUOTABLE
"One bad inning really cost us and we didn't swing the bats really well. We've got to the get the bats going. We came out here swinging the bats well at home and we just haven't done that." -- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
After hitting his 20th home run of the season, Trout joined Alex Rodriguez, Tony Conigliaro and Mickey Mantle as the only American League players to hit 20 homers six times before their age 26-seasons.

Trout's 20th home run

"When you see the names that he's connected with, it just makes you appreciate not only what he's doing now, but what's going to come in the future with him," Scioscia said. "It's fun to watch." More >

WHAT'S NEXT
Phillies: Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (2-7, 4.56 ERA) faces the Angels in the series finale Thursday night at Angel Stadium. He is 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA in his past five starts. First pitch is slated for 10:07 p.m. ET.

Angels: Rookie right-hander Parker Bridwell (5-1, 2.83 ERA) will take the mound for the Angels on Thursday night in their series finale against the Phillies at 7:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. The Halos are 8-1 in games Bridwell has pitched this season.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.