Los Angeles Angels (14-23) vs. Kansas City Royals (18-16)


May 12, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout (27) steals third base past the tag of Chicago White Sox infielder Jeff Keppinger during the seventh inning at US Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

After taking two out of three from the Chicago White Sox over the weekend, the Angels return to Anaheim to take on the Kansas City Royals in the first of a three game series at the Big A.

The good news is that they won’t have to face Chicago’s Chris Sale.  Seriously, was that guy dialed in Sunday night or what?!  The Halos can be an extremely dangerous lineup from top to bottom –  a one-hitter against Trout and company was an impressive performance from the left-handed Sale.  Needless to say, the White Sox prevailed on eight hits and three earned runs.  As a fan you have to feel for C.J. Wilson.  Wilson pitched stellar shutting out the White Sox for the first six innings before finally giving in.  According to C.J.:

"It was a really well-pitched game, Wilson said, and Sale just had video-game stuff tonight.  MLB.com"

Video game stuff is right.  As for Kansas City, the Royals come in to town feeling a little homesick – KC has lost six of their last seven games on the road.

Game One:  Monday May 13, 2013 @ 7:05 pm – Angel Stadium of Anaheim.  Joe Blanton (0-6, 5.66 ERA) will take the mound for the Halos in game one.  Blanton is looking for his first win of the season after pitching well (yet coming up short) in his most recent outings.  Joe has 9 runs (8 earned) in 20 2/3 innings which isn’t half bad.  The Royals will counter with Luis Mendoza (0-2, 6.38 ERA) who is also looking to put his first “W” in the win column for Kansas City.

Blanton has maintained a surprisingly good attitude despite his struggles:

"Our goal is to win games…but it does feel better to at least contribute and at least give us a chance when I’m out there.  The first couple starts, I wasn’t doing that.  And now I am at least giving us a chance. MLB.com"

Game Two:  Jason Vargas (1-3, 4.26 ERA) gets the start against Kansas City’s Jeremy Guthrie (5-0, 2.28 ERA).  The Stanford right-hander has been solid for the Royals this season, collecting his fifth win on the season after giving up only one-run against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.  Vargas has been somewhat of an enigma for Mike Butcher and the Angels, shutting out the Orioles on May 3rd for his first win of the season.  Inconsistency has plagued the Angels rotation this year – Vargas coughed up five-runs on 10 hits against the Astros Thursday night for a no-decision in the Halos win.

Game Three:  Barry Enright (0-1, 11.37 ERA) replaces Tommy Hanson (Restricted list) and will take the hill for the Halos in game three.  Enright allowed five-runs on four hits against the White Sox during his last start after being called up from Triple-A Salt Lake.  Enright will face Kansas City’s RHP Wade Davis (2-3, 5.86 ERA).   “Battle Ginger” as my Editor might refer to it as.

Iron Chef references aside, Josh Hamilton is batting 1.000 in his last four at bats against Davis (over the past five years).  OK – this stat is really pretty meaningless.  All I’m saying is let’s hope JHAM continues this trend and provides the Angels with a much needed offensive spark to start the series.  He has to start hitting at some point this season.