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Have the Angels finally pieced together the right bridge in the bullpen?

Angels catcher Chad Wallach (35) and relief pitcher Aaron Loup (28) celebrate after a 7-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday at Angel Stadium. (Ashley Landis/Associated Press)

There’s a comforting feeling Angels fans have when Matt Moore is warming up for the penultimate inning. Then, when Carlos Estévez starts preparing to close out the game, it’s all but over for the opponent. Moore has held scores 12 times and Estévez has converted all 12 for saves.

“I’m like, ‘This is it. Enough. We’re gonna get this game,’” Estévez once said of his mentality as a closer. “That mentality of, ‘You’re not gonna touch me.'”

On Wednesday, Tyler Anderson gave up one earned run in six innings in a 7-3 win and three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox. Mike Trout hit his 362nd career home run, surpassing Joe DiMaggio on the all-time list.

But getting to the point of a game when Moore and Estévez are needed has not been easy. It hasn’t been much of a secret that the bridge from starter to back-end relievers is where the Angels’ relievers have struggled. The Angels are tied for second in the majors with 11 blown saves. Not that the bullpen has had an easy job. In 15 games this season, an Angels starter failed to complete at least five innings.

The Angels refreshed their bullpen over the weekend, sending down Jimmy Herget, Andrew Wantz and Zack Weiss, moving Chase Silseth back into a reliever role and bringing in seasoned relievers Jacob Webb and Reyes Moronta. The team hopes the new look can finally put the pieces of that puzzle together, build that bridge to the back end of the bullpen and give it more flexibility.

“I’m a back-of-the-baseball-card guy,” manager Phil Nevin said Tuesday. “I see what guys have done. I’ve seen the situations they’ve been in. Moronta, Webb, [Chris] Devenski, they’ve all pitched in big roles. … That means something to me. Aaron Loup’s the same way.

“Not saying that this is going to change everything, but I have, certainly, a comfort level with some of the guys I’m able to do that with in the middle.”

The Times requested to speak to pitching coach Matt Wise. This season, the Angels permit coaches to speak to reporters only on a case-by-case basis. Wise was not allowed to speak for this story.

Jaime Barría was shifted back into the rotation with José Suarez still on the IL, although Suarez’s spot in the rotation might not be his upon his return.

The bullpen going into Wednesday’s series finale against the Red Sox, included: Tucker Davidson, Silseth, Loup, Moronta, Webb, Devenski, Moore and Estévez.

Angels relief pitcher Reyes Moronta throws during the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium.

Angels relief pitcher Reyes Moronta throws during the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday at Angel Stadium. (Ashley Landis/Associated Press)

Moronta and Webb were called up only days ago. Moronta struck out two but gave up two hits and a walk in his first outing Sunday. Webb closed Tuesday’s game in his first outing, securing a series win.

Davidson, Silseth and Devenski are pitchers who have come through in the middle of games to eat up more than one inning at a time. Silseth has only had one bad outing in his five.

Devenski’s ability to pitch in high-leverage situations has also, in Nevin’s eyes, put him in the conversation with Moore and Estévez, as well as being a solid bridge reliever.

On Sunday, a game the Angels won to take the series against the Minnesota Twins, Devenski got out of a bases-loaded situation in the sixth by striking out Joey Gallo, and then shut down the seventh to give the ball to Moore.

“Pretty good, pretty dominant,” Devenski said.

Silseth’s move back to the bullpen is to add another powerful arm. Nevin considers him in the group of relievers who can fill the roles of Devenski, Moore or Estévez when they aren’t available.

On Monday, Silseth pitched the last two innings in a win. .

The bullpen had early setbacks, losing José Quijada and Austin Warren to Tommy John surgery. Last season’s reliable relievers such as Herget, Wantz, Loup and Ryan Tepera, blew two saves each. Tepera was designated for assignment May 14 after his last poor outing in Cleveland.

But the shift in the success the bullpen has had now, Estévez surmised, comes down to fine-tuning the identities and defined roles of each reliever’s pitches and where they fit it from a strategic standpoint. It helps keep opponents guessing.

“That’s what I think is going to be bad for the other team,” Estévez said.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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