BALTIMORE — The resilient Los Angeles Angels can finish a three-game sweep of the struggling Baltimore Orioles on Sunday at Camden Yards.|
Los Angeles won the opener 7-1 on Friday and beat the Orioles 6-2 on a sweltering Saturday afternoon.
The Angels entered the series on a six-game losing streak Adidas Jonathan Drouin Jersey , but will leave Baltimore very much alive in the American League wild-card race.
On Saturday, Mike Scioscia managed his 3,000th regular-season game for the Angels, not that he has kept count.
“You don’t think about it,” said Scioscia, who has been with the club since 2000 and is 1,613-1,387 (.538 winning percentage). “It’s 3,000, one game at a time.”
The Orioles have lost seven straight and fell to 0-15 against AL West opponents. Manager Buck Showalter vows the team will keep fighting and try to find bright spots.
“It’s been tougher on our fans and our players. I don’t look at it that way,” said Showalter, whose team has lost 17 of 18 at home. “All things considered, it’s an unbelievable way to do something you love and be able to pay the bills with it.”
Deck McGuire (0-0, 6.08 ERA) will start for the Angels in place of John Lamb, who had an MRI on his left elbow that revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Lamb will undergo UCL reconstruction surgery in Los Angeles.
The Angels have seven starting pitchers on the disabled list.
As a result, they will be leaning on McGuire to help stabilize the rotation. However, he has made only two previous major league starts among his 12 appearances and has never faced Baltimore.
Los Angeles had a positive development with phenom Shohei Ohtani, who hit in a simulated game Saturday at Angel Stadium. Ohtani has a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament of his right elbow. The team is hoping he can avoid Tommy John surgery.
“There definitely be a consensus from the medical staff on how he feels,” Scioscia said. “We’ll see if he has enough velocity to go out there and play.”
Ohtani underwent stem-cell therapy and received a platelet-rich plasma injection to heal a damaged ligament. He was given the OK to begin batting practice Thursday.
Kevin Gausman (3-6 Adidas Filip Forsberg Jersey , 4.20 ERA) is looking to help pull the Orioles from their doldrums. However, he lost his last four decisions and has not completed seven innings in any of his last eight starts.
In his last outing, Gausman was solid in earning a no-decision, allowing one run and five hits in six innings of a 3-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners. He was effective managing his pitch count throughout the game.
“That’s huge,” he said. “Kind of seems like that’s what I do every start lately is kind of get in jams the first inning, throw a lot of pitches. It’s always big to kind of bounce back and have a quick inning.”
Gausman is 1-3 with a 5.97 ERA in five starts against the Angels.
Baltimore also received some bad news on the injury front. Reliever Darren O’Day opted to have season-ending surgery on his injured left hamstring. The recovery time is six months, according to Showalter.
O’Day also missed more than a month with a hyperextended elbow. The sidearmer is 0-2 with a 3.60 ERA in 20 games this season. He was placed on the 60-day disabled list Friday.
Showalter said O’Day has not yet finalized the time and place of the procedure.
CHICAGO — If the Chicago Cubs were looking for a glimmer of hope in an otherwise forgettable road trip, a seven-run seventh inning provided a spark.
A day before the Cubs open a nine-game homestand on Friday against the Minnesota Twins, Thursday’s seven-spot helped deliver an 11-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers that helped the Cubs earn a split of the four-game series.
The Cubs lost six of the eight games on that road trip, but that victory in Thursday’s series finale may have been just what the Cubs needed. Despite their recent struggles, the Cubs won’t get too wrapped up in their recent skid.
“We’re in June,” center fielder Albert Almora Jr., told reporters. “Obviously, we want to get on a roll and start playing good baseball and this is a good way to move into our home (stand) now.
“We’re not where we want to be obviously, but this is a step in the right direction.”
Thursday’s outcome was better than the news that came earlier in the day.
Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish experienced pain in his right triceps during a bullpen session Thursday, which will prevent him from returning to the starting rotation this weekend.
“It didn’t go that well and he wasn’t able to cut it loose,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters, according to the Cubs’ official website. “We’ll re-evaluate once we go back to Chicago and let you know the next step. For right now, he’s not going to be able to pitch on Saturday.”
Darvish’s injury has opened the door of opportunity for Mike Montgomery Adidas Pekka Rinne Jersey , who will open the series against the Twins. Montgomery (2-2, 3.39 ERA) transitioned into the rotation from the bullpen in late May and has been effective. But after allowing no more than one earned run in each of his first five starts, Montgomery struggled in his last outing when he allowed four runs over six innings against the Cincinnati Reds.
Montgomery is 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in two career appearances, including one start, against the Twins. The lone start came in 2015, when he allowed one run and four hits over six innings, but did not get a decision.
The Twins enter this weekend’s series off a marathon 13-inning, 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday. Minnesota avoided a sweep while playing the third of six games they will play in Chicago this week.
After Fernando Rodney allowed the tying run to score in the ninth inning, the Twins pulled out the victory with a bases-loaded walk to Max Kepler. The Twins will face the Cubs having lost five of their past seven games.
Like the Cubs, the Twins hope a win can build momentum after Minnesota’s recent slide erased any positive energy that came earlier this month in series wins over the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox.
“Obviously, this series and the last series have been unfortunate coming off two huge series wins,” second baseman Brian Dozier told reporters Thursday. “But that’s kind of how we’ve played the first few months of the season, which is not good. But I keep saying this team has potential to catch fire and do good things. I know we keep waiting on that and waiting on that, and in a perfect world, it would start today. But I think the mindset is where it needs to be. We just have to start winning more games.”
Jose Berrios will start for the Twins. Berrios (8-5, 3.15) has not lost since May 27 and is coming off a strong seven-inning effort against the Texas Rangers in which he allowed no runs and two hits and struck out 12.
Berrios will face the Cubs for the first time in his career on Friday.