Luis Rengifo extends hit steak as Angels fall to Orioles

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By Calvin S. Nelson

Amid all of the turmoil that has unfolded with the Angels within the final month, Luis Rengifo quietly has emerged as among the finest hitters on the crew.

In Wednesday’s 10-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, the Angels utility participant not solely prolonged his hit streak to 14 video games, however he additionally hit a two-run dwelling run into the right-center-field seats that accounted for many of the offense within the crew’s sixth straight loss.

Patrick Sandoval acquired the loss, going 5 innings, giving up seven runs (4 earned) on seven hits, strolling 4 and putting out three because the Orioles accomplished a sweep.

Rengifo’s dwelling run got here in the third inning off Orioles starter Kyle Gibson’s 86-mph changeup, energizing the Angel Stadium crowd. Rengifo went two for 4 in his twenty seventh multihit recreation of the season.

“I really feel good within the field,” Rengifo mentioned after the sport. “I did my changes, have some enjoyable there and see the outcomes.”

Though Rengifo’s season has had its share of dangerous moments, his enhancements on the plate symbolize tangible, continued development by the 26-year-old, who was hitting .202 on the finish of June. His common is as much as .264 and his on-base-plus-slugging price is a career-best .783.

“To his credit score,” supervisor Phil Nevin lately mentioned, “he began the season gradual, wasn’t taking part in every single day, however was actually taking part in sufficient, he simply had some ups and downs, however caught with it, saved working.”

On Tuesday, Rengifo earned his first American League participant of the week honor, which earned him an ovation from the gang. He got here into Wednesday with a 1.244 OPS over the past 13 video games.

His progress, Nevin mentioned, has a lot to do with the work he has continued to do with hitting coach Marcus Thames within the batting cages, which has made him extra selective on the plate.

“I stick with my plan each time I get to the field,” Rengifo mentioned. “I don’t change it it doesn’t matter what.”

Thames’ teaching philosophy, he mentioned in an interview with The Instances in June, revolves round attending to know gamers, then reminding them of who they’re.

“These guys are actually gifted,” Thames mentioned. “Simply getting them to consider of their work, getting them to consider within the routine within the cage. … After which as soon as the sport comes, they will simply go play.

“And that’s form of what I needed to attempt to get that chemistry going with the blokes, letting them belief themselves. Myself and [assistant hitting coach Phil Plantier], simply ensuring we’re an additional set of eyes for them. Attempting to maintain it easy as a result of hitting is so onerous.”

As for Rengifo, his improved bat and usefulness across the subject — he performed shortstop Wednesday — because the Angels (64-76) work by means of their remaining 22 video games with out key starters, the results of accidents and waiver claims, has made him an on a regular basis participant in Nevin’s eyes.

“I’m not gonna say [his bat] is what he’s gonna be like his whole profession, however he’s actually in a very good place now,” Nevin mentioned. “I simply suppose his worth is having the ability to play throughout and having that, it makes it simpler to exit and get anyone some place else. Doesn’t essentially need to be one sure place as a result of you understand Luis can, I don’t wish to say ‘fill in’ as a result of, for me, he’s an on a regular basis participant. He’s confirmed that.”

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