Game No. 34: Los Angeles Angels (16-17) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (18-17)

By Jose Serrano

Apr 27, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards (43) works during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

After losing two of three to New York, the Angels find themselves under .500 yet again. Friday marks the beginning their only Canadian trip and it comes against a Blue Jays team that’s on a roll, having won six in a row.

Like the Angels, Toronto fell flat after spending big last offseason. They were projected wild card seeds, if not, AL East champions. Expectations tapered off as the summer progressed and they, like Los Angeles, didn’t reach 80 wins.

The Blue Jays are coming off a four-game sweep of Philadelphia after losing eight of their previous ten. A power surge over the last week helped blow past the Halos for the league lead in homers, trailing only Chicago in hits (317) and runs scored (178). Jose Bautista has reached base safely in 35 straight this season and 52 in a row since August 2. The perennial All-Star was sidelined with a femur bruise last September.

Pitching MatchupGarrett Richards (3-0, 2.84 ERA) vs. Dustin McGowan (2-1, 4.80 ERA)

Garrett Richards takes the bump after limiting a potent Texas offense to three runs through six innings last Saturday. He picked up a season-high nine strikeouts while slightly raising his ERA to 2.84, tops among Halo starters. Richards also allows a league-low 5.9 hits per nine innings.

In five appearances- three as a starter- Richards has yielded 11 runs in just over 19 innings. At Rogers Center, Toronto is hitting at a .351 clip against the right-hander. A majority of the damages come from a June 2012 outing when Richards gave up 10 runs-five earned- in 4 1/3 innings.

Dustin McGowan is fighting for his starting role. He won at Pittsburgh last Sunday and has allowed just three runs over the last 13 innings. Still, he’s struggled against the Angels. McGowan is 1-4 in five meeting, dating back to 2006.

Walk offs:

  1. The Angels won 6-of-7 meeting last season and swept a three-game set at Rogers Center.
  2. C.J. Cron is 8-for-19 with three doubles and three RBIs since being called up.
  3. Ernesto Frieri has given up a league-high six home runs.

TV: 4:07 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West, SNET-1

Radio: KLAA 830, SN590