Reid Detmers shines in his final start of season as Angels defeat Rangers

Angels starter Reid Detmers pitches against the Texas Rangers during the first inning Sept. 30, 2022.
Angels rookie Reid Detmers gave up one run and four hits in six innings against the Texas Rangers on Friday night. He struck out nine and walked one as the Angels won 4-1. (Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

This was Reid Detmers’ last chance to make an impression for the 2022 season.

Detmers mowed through the Texas Rangers' lineup, scattering four hits, walking just one and striking out nine over six innings in a 4-1 win Friday night at Angel Stadium. It was the Angels' fifth consecutive victory.

“You always want to finish on a strong note,” Detmers said. “Last couple of weeks have been a little bit of a struggle, but it was a good bounce back. I’m glad the way it went. Good way to end the season.”

Detmers gave up the first hit, a single, to Corey Seager in the first inning.

He did not give up another hit until the fourth inning, which started with Detmers walking Seager and then giving up a double to Adolis Garcia two batters later.

Garcia’s double drove in Seager for Detmers’ lone earned run surrendered Friday.

He gave up one more double in the fifth inning to Sam Huff and then a single to Garcia in the sixth.

Detmers was replaced by reliever Andrew Wantz, who gave up the one additional hit the Rangers managed. José Quijada and Jimmy Herget closed out the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

“A great night for him, heck of a season,” interim manager Phil Nevin said of Detmers. “I know he wanted to go more, and I always want that obviously, but I just felt like I wanted him to end on that note, you know, six good ones.”

The Angels' Luis Rengifo and Rangers catcher Sam Huff watch Rengifo's third-inning, solo home run Sept. 30, 2022.
The Angels' Luis Rengifo and Rangers catcher Sam Huff watch Rengifo's solo home run in the third inning. (Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

It was only about five months ago that Detmers, a left-handed rookie pitcher from Illinois, threw his first no-hitter — as of Friday, it was still the only solo no-hitter this season.

Detmers had his ups and downs throughout the season. On June 21, he gave up five earned runs on five hits and two walks.

The next day, he was sent back down to triple-A Salt Lake, particularly to work on his slider, which had been causing many of his struggles.

He remained there until getting called back July 8, replacing Michael Lorenzen, who had gone on the injured list with a right shoulder strain.

“He’s gonna be here for a really long time,” Lorenzen said when asked to evaluate Detmers after Friday’s game. “He’s got the composure. He has everything.

“It’s gonna be fun to watch his career because it seems like all he has to do is go out and do what he’s doing right now and he’s gonna have success.”

Detmers returned from triple A renewed, giving up just four earned runs and striking out 38 over his first five starts, 31 innings, back with the big league team. Twelve of those strikeouts came in a seven-inning start against the Rangers.

Over his previous seven starts, he struggled to complete six innings, his pitch count getting too high too fast. Of those seven, he gave up four earned runs in four games.

Detmers didn’t have those problems Friday.

“There’s a high ceiling, there’s leadership, you can see him being a big anchor of a rotation and leading guys and making them better,” Nevin said of Detmers’ season. “It’s hard to say that about somebody that’s 23 years old and two years out of college. Those are the types of guys you win with.

“I have no doubt that I don’t have to worry about Reid Detmers getting ready for next season. I know he will.”

The Angels’ offense gave him enough support, finishing with 11 hits. Jo Adell and Luis Rengifo hit solo home runs in the second and third innings, respectively.

Taylor Ward’s RBI double in the fifth scored Mike Trout, who also doubled. Livan Soto’s sacrifice bunt, coupled with a fielding error by Rangers reliever Taylor Hearn, allowed Matt Duffy to score the Angels’ fourth run.

As for Detmers’ offseason, he plans to work on his changeup when he goes back to the Cressey Sports Performance facility in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., a popular offseason training destination for many major league players.

Th Angels' Mike Trout runs the bases on his fifth-inning double Sept. 30, 2022.
Mike Trout runs the bases on his fifth-inning double for the Angels. He later scored on Taylor Ward's double. (Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

Sendoff for Kurt Suzuki

The Angels gave catcher Kurt Suzuki a sendoff before and throughout Friday night's game.

Suzuki, who plans to retire after the season, knew his children would throw the ceremonial first pitch.

What he did not know was that general manager Perry Minasian and Nevin would gift him a custom longboard and that many of his past teammates and managers collaborated on a series of congratulatory videos, which aired over the Angels’ big screens throughout the night.

Some of those who sent best wishes to Suzuki included former teammates Max Scherzer, Eduardo Escobar, Brian Dozier, Glen Perkins, Justin Turner and Kyle Gibson; former managers, including Dave Martinez and Brian Snitker; and Calvin Minasian, who was a longtime equipment coordinator in Washington.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.