Matt Shoemaker Vies for Sixth Win in Series Opener with Astros


Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

A rain-soaked U.S. Cellular Field was the setting for Los Angeles’ road trip-ending loss last night. Though, they didn’t go down without a fight.

Tyler Skaggs– fresh off the disables list- did all he could to keep the Angels in contention, yielding two runs over 7 2/3 innings. The young right-hander averted another injury when a comebacker ricocheted off his leg. Skaggs stayed in the ballgame, his first since June 5 and longest since May 10, to completed 87 pitches-70 for strikes.

An Angels offense that notched 15 runs in Tuesday’s doubleheader went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position Wednesday, leaving six men on base. Were it not for solo shots from David Freese and Josh Hamilton, White Sox lefty John Danks would have considered going the distance. The homers tied things up, 2-2, before Chicago’s last-second heroics denied Los Angeles of a sweep.

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Danks tossed a season-high 120 pitches in his longest outing since late May before Zach Putnam collected the victory.

With Joe Smith closing out the series’ first two games, Mike Morin got the call heading into the ninth. He allowed back-to-back one-out singles before backup infielder Leury Garcia-batting just .192-knocked a single past the drawn-in defense to give Chicago a 3-2 walk-off win.

The loss completes a 3-3 road trip through the Midwest, dropping the Angels record to 16-8 against AL Central opponents.

Pitching Matchup Matt Shoemaker (5-2, 4.50 ERA) vs. Brett Oberholtzer (2-6, 4.40 ERA)

Matt Shoemaker is the unsung hero on a pitching staff that’s surprised many. The former undrafted free agent has solidified his role in the Angels’ rotation by limiting teams to three or fewer runs in all but one start. That start, however, was a four-inning, eight-run outburst drubbing in Kansas City.

Against Houston, relief outings have gone just as well. His ballooned 10.80 ERA against the Astros comes from separate appearances in which he allowed two runs on two hits. He’s fared much better as a starter, carrying a 1.283 WHIP 8.8 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Brett Oberholtzer makes his second career start at Angel Stadium after going 1-1 versus the Halos last year. This year, Oberholtzer lost his first six decisions before going on a two-game winning streak. The 25-year-old lefty received a no decision after limiting Detroit’s potent offense to one run last Saturday.

Walk offs:

  1. Mike Trout went 4-for-8 with a homer and three RBIs against Oberholtzer last season.
  2. Trout was named AL Player of the Month for June, batting .361 with seven homers.
  3. The Angels are 5-8 against Houston at the Big A since the Texans joined the AL West in 2013.

TV: 7:05 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West, CSN (Houston)

Radio: KLAA 830, KBME 790