Aug 26, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker (52) throws in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Angels apparently forgot how to lose. They’ve outscored opponents 55-25 during their six-game winning streak and have won 21 of 27 overall, dating back to the beginning of a mid-August series in Boston.
The one-through-five hole batters each carry above .300 batting averages since last Thursday, highlighted by Howie Kendrick’s 15-for-28, six-RBI stretch. Kendrick’s average jumped to .289 in the span- its highest since late July-and a .457 mark in September is his highest single-month mark since April 2008.
Call to the Pen
Last night’s victory epitomized of the Angels’ 2014 season. Hector Santiago yielded just one run through five innings, his relievers scattered two runs in otherwise solid performances, and Angels’ batters demoralized Texas’ bullpen with a seven-run eighth inning.
Los Angeles didn’t need to pad their Major League-leading comeback victory count, but the elements were there.
The second of a three-game series with the Rangers begins with the Angels’ magic number to claim the AL West nearing single digits.
Shoemaker is 4-0 in his last four road starts and the Angels are undefeated in his last six appearances. The August Rookie and Player of the Month has solidified his status as Garrett Richards’ replacement. He’s allowed three or fewer runs in every outing since July 26, lowering his ERA by .88 points.
Last Friday’s four-inning start in Minnesota was the right-handers shortest since early July. Not that Shoemaker pitched terribly. He yielded three runs on six hits in throwing just 90 pitches, managing to keep the Angels in contention for a come-from-behind win.
Conversely, Texas is 0-3 in Nick Tepesch’s last three starts. The right has lost has lost six of seven decisions and hasn’t been on the winning end since Aug. 6.
Tepesch can’t carry all the blame. The Rangers have spotted the right 12 total runs in his last 10 starts, never scoring more than three runs in a game. He didn’t pitch badly in Kansas City last Wednesday-giving up three earned runs in 6 1/3 innings-before being pulled with Texas down 4-1.
The Angels had a tough time against Tepesch in a 3-2 loss Aug. 17. He pitched seven solid inning but couldn’t get run support from the Rangers’ stagnant offense.
- Mike Trout is 3-for-7 with a double and home run against Tepesch.
- The Angels have won 20 straight when scoring more than three runs.
- Josh Hamilton will miss a sixth straight game after getting two more cortisone injections for his sore shoulder.
TV: 5:05 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West, Fox Sports Southwest
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