ANAHEIM — There have been a few starts this year in which lefty Patrick Sandoval didn’t have his best stuff, but was still able to grind out quality innings.
On Sunday afternoon, Sandoval had it all working against the A’s, dominating with 7 1/3 strong innings in a 4-1 win to give the Angels the series victory at Angel Stadium. Sandoval gave up one run on four hits and struck out seven, improving to 3-1 with a 1.79 ERA in seven starts. His ERA ranks seventh among pitchers with at least 40 innings this season, behind only Justin Verlander (1.22), Michael Kopech (1.29), Pablo López (1.57), Alek Manoah (1.62), Martín Pérez (1.64) and Miles Mikolas (1.68).
“This is turning into a typical performance from him,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “The changeup was better today. The slider has been outstanding. His fastball command was better. For my money, when he has his fastball command he should normally be pitching into the seventh, eighth and ninth inning.”
It’s been part of a breakout season for Sandoval, who showed some of that potential last year, when he had a 3.62 ERA in 87 innings. The 25-year-old is simply hard to square up, as he’s allowed just 30 hits in 40 1/3 innings this season. His changeup ranks as one of the game’s best pitches, while he’s also found success with his slider in 2022. He used both to his advantage against Oakland,…