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Washington Nationals shut out in series opener with Los Angeles Angels, 3-0

Joan Adon made one big mistake, but also walked too many batters in a 3-0 loss to the Angels in Anaheim.

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Joan (yo-AHN) Adon (ah-DOHN) vs the Angels:

“The main thing I took from today is basically I need to attack the zone, I need to just attack the zone,” 23-year-old starter Joan Adon told reporters after giving up four hits, three walks, and four earned runs in his second consecutive four-inning outing against San Francisco’s Giants last weekend.

“Attack the zone, attack the zone as best as I can,” he reiterated at another point in his post game scrum with reporters. “Sometimes I start kind of playing around with my pitches, and try to needle my way through the zone, but I got to stay more focused, and attack the zone more.”

Through five starts before tonight’s game in Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Adon had a 7.33 ERA, a 5.58 FIP, 13 walks, 21 Ks, and a .277/.378/.500 line against in 23 13 IP.

A walk, single, and wild pitch in the bottom of the first had Adon up to 15 pitches with two men in scoring position and Shohei Ohtani at the plate, and an RBI groundout from LA’s 3-hole hitter put the home team up a run early in the series opener, 1-0, but back-to-back Ks, both looking, from Anthony Rendon and Jared Walsh, limited the damage.

Adon settled in and started firing strikes after the shaky first, retiring the Angels in order in the second, striking out both Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani after a 1-out walk in the 3rd, to finish three on 53 pitches, and a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth, in which he picked up his 6th K, left the Nationals’ right-hander at 63 pitches overall on the night.

A one-out walk to Tyler Wade and an errant throw on a pick attempt put a runner in scoring position for the Angels in the home half of the fifth, and a single by David Fletcher and walk by Taylor Ward loaded them up in front of Mike Trout (1 for 2, single K), and Adon, at 81 total pitches, got a visit from pitching coach Jim Hickey before facing Trout, who lined a middle-middle, 95 MPH, 0-2 fastball to center field and off the base of the outfield fence for a two-run double and a 3-0 lead. Anthony Rendon grounded into an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP, after the big hit for Trout, but the home team was up by three after five.

Joan Adon’s Line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 6 Ks, 85 P, 51 S, 6/1 GO/FO.

Streaking César:

Nationals’ leadoff man César Hernández started the series with the Angels on an 11-game hit streak, over which he was 17 for 46 (.370/.420/.435) with three doubles in that stretch, and a .278/.320/.330 line overall on the year, with his 32 total hits the second-most in the National League heading into tonight’s game.

Hérnandez extended his streak with a double to left field on the first pitch of the game from Angels’ lefty Jhonathan Diaz, but he was stranded on the basepaths at the end of the first.

Diaz Puts Up Zeroes:

Angels’ starter Jhonathan Diaz worked around a leadoff double and one-out walk in the first, getting an inning-ending double play out of Nelson Cruz after César Hernandez’s double to left, and Josh Bell’s walk, and he retired the Nationals in order in the second, then stranded a one-out triple and two-out walk in the third, a one-out walk and a two-out single in the top of the fourth, and a leadoff walk in the fifth, completing five scoreless on 67 pitches to keep the home team’s 1-0 lead intact.

Jhonathan Diaz: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 Ks, 67 P 36 S, 6/1 GO/FO.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Angels Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Bullpen Action:

Oliver Ortega took over for the Angels in the top of the sixth, with LAA up 3-0, and the right-handed reliever retired the Nationals in order to extend the combined shutout to six frames.

Austin Voth tossed a scoreless bottom of the sixth for the Nationals to keep it 3-0.

Ryan Tepera retired the Nationals in order in the seventh to keep the shutout going for LAA.

Victor Arano worked around a leadoff single and one-out walk in the Angels’ seventh.

Aaron Loup made it eight scoreless for the Angels with a 13-pitch, 1-2-3 frame.

Paolo Espino kept it a three-run game with a scoreless bottom of the eighth.

Raisel Iglesias got the ball in the ninth and completed the shutout with a 1-2-3 frame that ended the game.

Nationals now 9-19