The Los Angeles Angels will try to keep charging closer to an American League wild-card spot when they host the Toronto Blue Jays in the third game of their four-game series Saturday night at Angel Stadium.
“We still have a long ways to go,” Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols told Fox Sports West following a 2-1 victory against the Blue Jays on Friday night.
Pujols went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored in Friday’s win. He produced an RBI double in the first inning to give him 630 doubles for his career, moving him within two of David Ortiz for 10th on the all-time major-league list. He is four home runs shy of 630 for career, which would tie Ken Griffey Jr. for sixth on the career list.
Marcus Stroman (0-5, 7.71 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Blue Jays (34-41) on Saturday night in his first start since May 8.
In his last outing, Stroman gave up five runs and nine hits over five innings in a 5-0 loss to the Mariners in Toronto. His counterpart, Seattle left-hander James Paxton, became the first Canadian to throw a no-hitter in the game.
Stroman went on the disabled list a day later with fatigue in his throwing shoulder.
“It just got to the point where it was so mentally and physically frustrating,” Stroman told MLB.com at the time. “I just need to take a step back for a second, put it all together and come back and be myself out there.”
Pujols and Angels center fielder Mike Trout are each 5-for-10 in their careers against Stroman.
Stroman is 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA in four career appearances against Los Angeles, including three starts. The 5-foot-8 right-hander threw a complete game the last time he faced the Angels, allowing two runs (one earned) and seven hits in a 6-2 win at Angel Stadium on April 23, 2017, the start of a six-game winning streak for Stroman.
He finished with a career-high 13 wins last season, but hasn’t earned a victory since Sept. 24 against the New York Yankees.
Angels rookie right-hander Jaime Barria is scheduled to make his 10th career start and first against the Blue Jays.
The Angels have struggled to close out games this season, but the bullpen threw two perfect innings to complete the win on Friday, and their relievers have allowed two runs in 7 2/3 innings in the series.
“There’s no doubt, that as that back end of our bullpen grows, that’s going to really help our club,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters after the win on Friday.
Bartolo Colon has long had two milestones on his mind. Now he has both of them in hand.
The 45-year-old right-hander overcame a sluggish start to earn his 245th major league win and match Dennis Martinez for the most by a pitcher from Latin America when the Texas Rangers beat the Chicago White Sox 13-4 on Saturday night.
Colon already had the most wins by a pitcher born in the Dominican Republic, having surpassed Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for that distinction with his 244th victory at Kansas City on June 18, six days before a loss at Minnesota. Colon won again Saturday in his first home start since June 6 to tie Martinez, who is from Nicaragua.
Asked if he was able to put all his achievements in perspective, Colon made it clear there were two that were especially important to him.
”Not every milestone,” he said through a translator. ”Marichal and Dennis Martinez, and I got those.”
The night was done for Colon (5-5) after Matt Davidson led off the sixth with a homer to center field that pulled the White Sox to 5-3. Four relievers closed it out for Texas.
”We want to be able, if he’s got an opportunity, to put the W behind his name to make sure he gets this,” manager Jeff Banister said. ”Obviously we want to win every game we possibly can, but a situation like this for him Jerome Baker Color Rush Jersey , and the overall history and his impact on the game, and impact on himself, and just what it means for the game of baseball.”
Joey Gallo and Ryan Rua homered for the Rangers, who won for the 11th time in 13 games and clinched their fifth consecutive series. Robinson Chirinos hit a three-run double in the fourth inning that put Texas ahead to stay.
White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon (1-3) allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Shin-Soo Choo, who has a major league-best on-base streak of 41 games, didn’t play for Texas because of right quad soreness. Choo said he has dealt with the issue for at least 10 days and it really bothered him recently.
Chicago’s first two batters got hits, though neither scored. Colon then threw 42 of his 79 pitches in the second inning, when he gave up three hits and his only two walks while the White Sox took a 2-0 lead.
”He’s kind of my half-hero,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. ”I told (pitching coach Don Cooper), look at that guy. He’s still out there getting after it. Good for him. … Even though he gave up a couple runs early, he just kept pitching. No panic, no concern, just keep throwing strikes and let me see what happens.”
Affectionately nicknamed Big Sexy, the portly Colon retired 10 of 11 batters before Davidson went deep. Colon even got over to cover first base in time to get speedy Leury Garcia, who dove headfirst as the pitcher took a toss from Gallo to start the third. Colon had a grin on his face walking back to the mound.
Three White Sox pitchers combined to throw 65 pitches in the eighth inning, when the Rangers scored seven times. The big hits were a two-run triple by Elvis Andrus and a two-run double by Jurickson Profar. … Adrian Beltre had two hits, increasing his career total to 3,107 – the most among active players and three shy of Dave Winfield for 20th all-time.
White Sox: 3B Yolmer Sanchez was back in the lineup after missing the series opener with a bruised left quad sustained when he collided with Minnesota 1B Logan Morrison on Thursday.
Rangers: Choo doesn’t think his quad issue is serious, but said he didn’t want to make anything worse. ”I know I have the streak going on, but my body and staying healthy is more important,” he said. … LHP Martin Perez (right elbow) allowed two singles in six scoreless innings in his second rehab start, throwing 73 pitches for Double-A Frisco.
Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels (4-6, 3.61 ERA), one of the top starters potentially available before the July 31 trade deadline, pitches the series finale. Hamels has a 3.28 ERA over his last nine starts. He is 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA in four career starts against the White Sox.