The last time the Angels held an 11-game home winning streak Reggie Jackson patrolled the outfield, Don Baylor paced the Angel Stadium dugout as a DH instead of a hitting coach, and Tommy John was known more as a Halo reliever than the revolutionary surgery he’s named after.
Since May 25, Los Angeles has played like the squad who advanced to the 1982 ALCS. They’ve won 17 of the last 18 at The Big A and swept four teams along the way. The trend continued last night despite Jered Weaver’s early exit due to lower back stiffness.
Matt Shoemaker-initially Thursday’s projected starter- made 61 pitches in an emergency role while picking up the win. The 31-year-old right-hander was on three days’ rest after throwing 102 pitches in Houston last week.
Shoemaker (7-2) allowed two runs and five hits through 3 2/3 innings which includes Juan Francisco’s two-out homer in the fifth. Toronto’s lead was short lived.
The first four Angels reached based in the bottom of the fifth, cultivating in a four-run frame that put the game out of reach. Chris Iannetta led off with a double high off the out of town scoreboard and Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout followed with consecutive walks.
Albert Pujols-entering the contest 1-for-14 with the bases loaded- blooped a single to right, scoring Iannetta. After Josh Hamilton sacrificed Calhoun home, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar each notched one-out RBI hits.
Halo relievers did the dirty work from then on, shutting out Toronto while surrendering just one hit. Joe Smith pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save of the season and his seventh at home.
Tonight, the Angels look for their 12th straight victory in Anaheim; a mark they haven’t reached since 1967.
Fresh off the disabled list, Tyler Skaggs tossed 7 2/3 solid innings in Chicago last Wednesday, striking out six along the way. The 22-year-old hadn’t pitched since June 5 in Houston but showed composure unseen since he riled off a 3-1 record to start the season.
Skaggs’ only career appearance against the Blue Jays came on May 10 when he allowed two earned runs over eight innings.
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey’s transition into the American League hasn’t gone as planned. After posting a 4.21 ERA last season, Dickey holds a similar mark this time around. He is 0-4 over the last five starts, including three losses away from Rogers Center. He tossed a six-hitter against Oakland last Thursday but got little run support in a 4-1 defeat.
Dickey makes his first start at Angel Stadium since he visited as a Mariner in 2008. He didn’t factor in a decision in facing the Angels last September, yielding four runs in 5 1/3 innings, but looks for his fourth career win against them.
- Hamilton is 4-for-5 lifetime against Dickey with a double and two walks.
- Garrett Richards is currently second in fan voting for the final AL All-Star roster spot.
- The Angels are 14-7 against Toronto since 2012.
TV: 7:05 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West, SNET
Radio: KLAA 830, SN590