Things are getting interesting in the AL West so let’s take a look at what’s been happening, shall we?
Last night, the first place Texas Rangers (72-53) and second place Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (66-59) played the final game of a four series. After the Rangers took the first three games, the Angels won the finale on a dramatic walk off home run by rookie Mark Trumbo.
The win was as big as it was dramatic because instead of ending the series eight games out of first place the Angels are now a more manageable six game off the lead. And with only six weeks left in the season, the Angels showed that they are not dead yet.
Newly acquired Mike Adams was the tough luck loser for Texas in last night’s contest. Closer Neftali Feliz wasn’t available – he had pitched four times in the last five games and he had warmed up in the other – so Adams stepped in for him. Unfortunately for Adams and the Rangers, his pitches were up and Trumbo took his 1-1 pitch out of the park for the game winner.
Former Angel Mike Napoli hit his 20th home run of the season last night off Jered Weaver. This promoted a stare down and some foul language from Weaver and after the game Napoli said, “What’s the matter? You aren’t allowed to hit home runs off him?”
The Rangers begin a three game series tonight in Chicago against the White Sox. They have won three out of five against the Sox so far this season.
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After last night’s win the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim look to keep the momentum going in their next series. They will be welcoming the Baltimore Orioles who they are 2-1 against so far this season.
As I mentioned in the Rangers blurb, Angels rookie Mike Trumbo had the game winning home run in last night’s game. It was Trumbo’s 23rd home run this season and it was his second walk-off home run – No Angels’ rookie has had more than one walk-off home run in his first season. Trumbo is having himself quite the rookie season. He leads all major-league rookies this season with 23 home runs and 68 RBI.
Poor Vernon Wells is now hitless in his past 12 at bats – including a strikeout in his only plate appearance last night. He’s three for his past 36 which works out to .084 and is batting .175 or 28 for 160 since his late June surge.
Last night’s starter Jered Weaver allowed just the one run in last night’s game but wound up with no decision. He has a 1.18 ERA in his six no-decisions this season. Weaver has pitched seven innings or more and allowed one run or less 14 times this season which is the most in the majors.
He also seems to lead the league in hissy fits on the mound after allowing home runs.
Torii Hunter has been on fire of late and last night it appeared as if his 15-game hitting streak was going to come to end, until the ninth inning when he hit a single in his last at bat. Hunter is now batting .417 in August – he only had 19 hits all of July.
Next up, the Oakland Athletics (55-69) who begin their four game series with the Toronto Blue Jays on the losing end of a 7-0 contest. Trevor Cahill started off strong, only needing 11 pitches to get out of the first inning but it quickly fell apart. When it was over, Cahill (9-12) allowed seven runs on nine hits over 5 1-3 innings. It was his third consecutive loss and seventh loss in his last 10 starts.
After all of the injuries to the rotation this season, it was Conor Jackson who found himself on the sidelines for four games with a stiff neck. He received a cortisone shot and was back in the lineup last night. After spending most of the season at first base, he played in left field last night while Brandon Allen manned first.
Allen has a five-game hitting streak, during which he is batting .529. Allen who was with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first half of the season, made his first error in his six games since coming to Oakland. He dropped a throw from Cahill in the fifth inning of last night’s game.
Tonight Rich Harden (3-2, 4.50 ERA) will be facing off against Brett Cecil (4-5, 4.38 ERA). The season series is tied 3-3.
This week was interesting for the last night Seattle Mariners (53-69) and more specifically for Caspar Wells. In a game against Toronto, Wells was hit in the nose by a pitch from Brandon Morrow. It was certainly a scary moment and although his nose bled a lot, Wells was lucky to walk away without any broken bones.
After the game Morrow took to Twitter to apologize for the HBP and Wells to his credit graciously accepted the apology. How sweet.
Mike Carp has a 17-game hitting streak. During the streak he has hit .379 with four doubles, four home runs, 13 runs and 18 RBI. He’s also reached base safely in 26 consecutive games which works out to every game he’s appeared in since being recalled from Triple-A on July 19. Pretty impressive stuff.
The Mariners head to Tampa to face the Rays in a three game series this weekend. So far, the Mariners despite their record have held their own against Tampa. The season series is 4-3 in their favor. They will be facing Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellickson and James Shields which is a tall order. But they’re used to tall orders in Seattle right? At Starbucks… Get it?
Stacey Gotsulias is a contributing writer for Spreadin’ The News the Aerys Sports home for all things New York Yankees. She also writes for The Pulse the new Aerys Sports home for your Pop Culture and Sports news. You can follow her on Twitter @The_Stace.