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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Arizona DiamondbacksJun 12, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Angels pitcher Matt Moore (55) celebrates with catcher Matt Thaiss (21) after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-3 at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels held a team meeting on Wednesday to address a horrid loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks one night earlier.

The on-field response to the long pregame discussion has Los Angeles in position to win the series when the two teams finish a three-game set on Thursday night at Phoenix.

The Angels erupted with a convincing 8-3 victory, a contest in which they received stellar starting pitching from Jose Soriano and plenty of timely hitting, and played intelligent baseball.

That was a vast improvement over Tuesday’s 9-4 loss, when the Diamondbacks had 19 at-bats with runners in scoring position and outfielder Jo Adell was thrown out trying to steal third to end the seventh inning with the Angels trailing by three.

“Accountability. That’s the biggest thing we got out of it,” Angels shortstop Zach Neto said of the meeting. “We wanted to come out here and play for each other no matter the result. We wanted to be the better team.”

Neto was one of the heroes Wednesday as he went 3-for-5 with a homer, two RBIs and two runs. Adell hit a three-run homer and the Angels turned four double plays as Soriano accumulated 16 outs on grounders while pitching a career-high eight-plus innings.

“I just think we came out tonight and jumped on them and didn’t stop,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “It doesn’t matter what you say in a meeting because once those guys go between those (white) lines, it’s up to them.

“The offense came out early and kept going the whole game, we played solid defense and Soriano took care of the rest.”

The win was the fifth in eight games for the Angels, who are 15 games below .500.

Arizona lost for the fourth time in its past 11 games. After having runners on base virtually all night Tuesday, the Diamondbacks didn’t have a single at-bat with runners in scoring position on Wednesday.

“I think we can put that in the we-can-all-be-better bucket and move on,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “Their starting pitcher was pretty good and you’ve got to every once in a while tip your cap to that kind of performance.”

Blaze Alexander went 0-for-3 in a start at third base for the Diamondbacks in place of slumping Eugenio Suarez. Lovullo said Alexander will receive more playing time in light of Suarez’s struggles (.197 average, 76 strikeouts).

Meanwhile, Angels left fielder Taylor Ward (back) and catcher Logan O’Hoppe (groin) were both held out Wednesday.

Ward left Tuesday’s game in the eighth inning due to lower back tightness while O’Hoppe exited in the sixth after he was hit by a foul ball in an unfortunate spot. O’Hoppe was cleared of a serious injury and is expected to start Thursday’s contest.

Griffin Canning (2-6, 4.65 ERA) will start for the Angels on Thursday against fellow right-hander Brandon Pfaadt (2-5, 4.60) of the Diamondbacks.

Canning is 0-2 during a four-start winless stretch in which he has allowed three or fewer runs in each outing. He lost to the Houston Astros on Friday when he gave up three runs and seven hits over 6 1/3 innings of a 7-1 loss.

Canning, 28, is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in two career starts against Arizona. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (one homer) and Christian Walker are each 2-for-5 against Canning.

Pfaadt is 0-2 during a three-start winless span during which he has given up 13 runs and 20 hits over 18 1/3 innings.

He served up three homers in a 10-3 loss to the San Diego Padres on Friday when he gave up five runs and nine hits over 5 1/3 innings. He gave up four runs in each of the previous two starts.

Pfaadt, 25, has never faced the Angels.

–Field Level Media

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