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After early team meeting, Angels get Ron Washington first for managerial win since 2014

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Three games into the season, Ron Washington has already taken some steps to steady the Los Angeles Angels.

First, it was a team meeting after a pair of lopsided losses. Then on Sunday, he went out to the mound at a key moment — not to change pitchers but to help a reliever calm down during a jam.

Whatever the psychological impact of Washington’s managing, the Angels finished their opening series with a 4-1 win over Baltimore. They avoided a sweep after dropping the first two games by a combined 24-7 and got the 71-year-old Washington his first managerial win since 2014 with Texas.

“Everything that Wash has done so far, I love it,” outfielder Taylor Ward said after the meeting that followed a 13-4 defeat Saturday. “It might just be what we need.”

Washington, who replaced Phil Nevin after the 2023 season, told reporters the meeting was simply to remind players that it’s a long season.

Team meetings are more effective when your next starting pitcher performs well, and Reid Detmers did just that Sunday, allowing a run and two hits in five innings. He talked a bit about the tone of the meeting.

“It was nothing crazy,” Detmers said. “It’s not like a getting-your-(butt)-chewed team meeting. It was, just calm down, play like we know how to play, let’s go out there and have fun.”

After Detmers left the game, José Soriano threw three innings of relief. He put two men on with one out in the seventh, the second of which came when he was called for a pitch clock violation on a full count.

It was time for a mound visit, one Washington made himself instead of leaving it to his pitching coach.

“I was just trying to let him know to relax and continue to do what he did when he first came out there,” Washington said. “Don’t all of a sudden get too much energy going, and now you start overthrowing the baseball.”

Facing the top of the Baltimore order, Soriano got Gunnar Henderson to ground into a force play and then retired Adley Rutschman on a line drive to left.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

By NOAH TRISTER
AP Baseball Writer

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