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Patrick Sandoval returns to Angels bolstered by World Baseball Classic – Orange County Register

TEMPE, Ariz. — Left-hander Patrick Sandoval expects his World Baseball Classic experience to pay dividends with the Angels.

“It was crazy,” Sandoval said Friday, with his Team Mexico bag on the floor next to his locker in the Angels clubhouse. “I have never pitched in such an environment in my life. It was really cool to settle that and get it over with for now, and get ready for a run in the playoffs.

Sandoval’s two starts for Mexico were against Team USA and Japan, the teams that met in the final. Both games have been sold. Sandoval gave up a run in 7 1/3 innings, beating the United States and taking a no-decision against Japan.

“I guess I’ve gained a bit of confidence in my stuff,” Sandoval said. “If he plays those guys, he’ll play anybody. More confidence in throwing strikes and not letting people get free bases.

Sandoval punched Mike Trout and walked him. Sandoval hit Shohei Ohtani and put him on a lineout. He said on Friday that there were no vulgar messages between WBC participants during the tournament.

“I was waiting to do it in person,” he said.

Sandoval is already looking forward to playing in the WBC again in 2023, and he said he plans to play for Mexico again.

Sandoval was born in California, but his father is Mexican, so he is eligible to play for both countries. When asked what he would do if he was invited to join Team USA next time, he replied, “Too late.”

Sandoval said he felt some resentment at not being asked to play for the United States this time, but it quickly left him.

“Once I arrived with (Mexico) it felt like it was where I was supposed to be,” Sandoval said. “The clubhouse was amazing. These guys were awesome. It was so much fun playing with these guys.

Team USA struggled to attract top starting pitchers. Sandoval’s message to any pitcher who has decided not to play this year: “Play. It’s awesome. So funny.

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