Game No. 20: Los Angeles Angels (9-10) vs. Washington Nationals (11-9)

By Jose Serrano

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Despite Raul Ibanez’ bases clearing double and Garrett Richards’ stellar performance last night, focus remains on Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. Round one went to the Angels’ slugger who went 2-for-5 in a 4-2 victory over the Nationals. It was feel-good win on a trip that’s been anything but.

The Halos still haven’t passed the .500 mark this season, but can do so with a sweep in Washington. Tyler Skaggs looks to carry last night’s momentum into his fourth start.

Pitching Matchup– Tyler Skaggs (1-0, 3.43 ERA) vs. Taylor Jordan (0-2, 5.94 ERA)

Since shutting out the Astros on April 5, Skaggs continues to get into trouble early on. The groundball pitcher has allowed four earned runs in each of the last two outings, receiving no-decisions against the Mets and A’s. Part of the reason is that manager Mike Scioscia pulls Skaggs before hitting the 100-pitch mark.

Apart from the fourth inning, Skaggs pitched exceptionally well last Wednesday. He shut out Oakland through three innings before allowing four runs in the fourth. Although Skaggs has never faced the Nationals, he needs to wary of their power from the right side of the plate. Thirteen of the left hander’s 15 career home runs allowed have come against right handed batters.

Taylor Jordan comes into the contest looking for his first win of 2014. The 25-year-old tails a rotation that leads the majors in strikeouts (195) and strikeouts per nine innings (9.82). Jordan, however, has lost his last two starts albeit against World Series contenders in the Cardinals and Braves. He hasn’t pitched beyond the fifth inning each time, allowing 10 earned runs and 17 hits combined.

Walk offs:

  1. Albert Pujols’ 22 lifetime home runs against Washington are his second most among non-NL Central teams.
  2. Trout has hit safely in 11 straight interleague games.
  3. The Angels have a major league-leading 29 home runs this season.

TV: 4:05 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West, MASN

Radio: KLAA 830, 106.7 The Fan (Washington D.C.)