Pujols hits 555th HR in chase for stellar year

Veteran ties Manny for 14th on all-time list, takes things one year at a time

Pujols hits 555th HR in chase for stellar year

OAKLAND -- Albert Pujols' second-inning homer against the electric Sonny Gray, a key blow in a 9-4 win over the A's, gave him 555 career home runs, tying him with countryman Manny Ramirez for 14th on the all-time list. It gave him 35 this year, joining only three others -- Alex Rodriguez, Mike Schmidt and Willie Mays -- to reach 35-plus homers 10 times within their first 15 seasons. And it put him on pace for 42, a number he hasn't reached since 2010.

In some ways, though, Pujols is still chasing that season. He's still trying to be the player he was back then, and part of him can't accept being anything less.

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels jump on A's early for series win

Angels jump on A's early for series win

OAKLAND -- A's ace Sonny Gray allowed four runs in the first inning, and Albert Pujols dealt the final blow against the right-hander with a two-run home run in the second, helping the Angels secure a series-clinching 9-4 victory at the Coliseum on Wednesday afternoon.

Gray, who entered with an American League-leading 2.13 ERA, was done after five innings with a season-high six earned runs to his name, which ties a career high. Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney, meanwhile, rebounded from a three-run first inning to make it through seven, with just two hits allowed in his final six frames. He walked none and struck out six.

More

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heaney darkhorse for Rookie of the Year

Lefty allows three runs in seven innings against A's ace Gray

Heaney darkhorse for Rookie of the Year

OAKLAND -- Five days ago, Angels starter Andrew Heaney was asked if he had given much thought to the American League Rookie of the Year Award, to which he replied, "For what?"

Then he faced off against the electric Sonny Gray on Wednesday afternoon, limited the A's to only three runs through seven innings in a 9-4 win and improved to 6-2 with a 3.18 ERA in a year that didn't even begin until late June.

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Richards looks for continued success vs. Rangers

Richards looks for continued success vs. Rangers

Two American League West rivals meet in Southern California for a key series this weekend, when the Rangers travel to Angel Stadium in hopes of strengthening their grip on the second Wild Card spot.

Rangers lefty Martin Perez and Angels righty Garrett Richards match up in Friday's series opener, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. PT.

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Joyce hoping to salvage season

Outfielder makes adjustments, looks to contribute after collision with Aybar

Joyce hoping to salvage season

OAKLAND -- When Matt Joyce collided with Angels shortstop Erick Aybar on July 26, he was riding an 0-for-23 slump that sunk his batting average to .178. He suffered a concussion and hurt his back, and two days later, the Angels acquired David Murphy and David DeJesus, two left-handed-hitting outfielders brought in for the role Joyce was supposed to handle.

He figured he'd be gone.
 

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Calhoun, Shoemaker put Halos back on track

Calhoun, Shoemaker put Halos back on track

OAKLAND -- Matt Shoemaker limited the A's to one run across seven innings and Kole Calhoun went 3-for-5 with a home run on Tuesday night, helping the Angels beat the A's, 6-2, at the Coliseum to get the month of September off on a positive note.

It was only the second time that the Angels -- coming off a 19-loss August -- had won a game by more than two runs since July 26.

More

Alden Gonzalez and Jane Lee are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels buy into idea of fresh start

Angels buy into idea of fresh start

OAKLAND -- The Angels are well aware of how silly it sounds, this notion that the start of a new month can trigger success and rid them of the stench they carried throughout a woeful August. Games come almost every day and slumps are never compartmentalized so conveniently.

Sometimes, though, you just have to believe it, no matter how ridiculous the thought.

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

6 players who will decide the AL Wild Card race

6 players who will decide the AL Wild Card race

With just one month left in the regular season, some division races appear all but wrapped up, and even the National League Wild Card spots look likely to go to the Pirates and Cubs -- barring a Cardinals collapse and a torrid streak from the Giants in an odd-numbered year. But there is at least one race that will go to the wire: The American League Wild Card.

While the top AL Wild Card spot will likely go to the team that finishes second in the AL East, the second Wild Card has five teams in the mix who are all within four games of each other. And with many of those clubs set to play against each other during the season's last month, it could come down to what amounts to a round-robin tournament, where only the strong will survive -- and earn a spot in the playoffs.

More

Michael Clair is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @clairbearattack on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels hope new faces provide September spark

Angels hope new faces provide September spark

OAKLAND -- When David Freese fractured his right index finger on July 22, his Angels were at the height of their ascension, at that point 54-40 and two games up on the Astros for first place in the American League West.

What followed was almost inexplicable.

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scioscia doesn't expect a say in GM hunt

Scioscia doesn't expect a say in GM hunt

OAKLAND -- Contrary to popular belief, Angels manager Mike Scioscia does not expect to have much of a say on who the club's next general manager will be.

"I don't plan on being part of any selection committee," Scioscia said prior to Tuesday's game against the A's from the Coliseum. "I know the role of a manager in an organization, and I love that part of it. It's not to go pick a GM. I just think, just like any team, you have to be philosophically on the same page, all the way down from ownership to the general manager's seat to the manager to the Minor Leagues and scouting director, everything that's important in fueling your Major League roster. You have to be on the same page."

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

Pujols, Kershaw team up for Wiffle ball game

Contributions to charities will give bidders chance to play with Los Angeles stars

Pujols, Kershaw team up for Wiffle ball game

Their teams are crosstown rivals on the field, but away from the ballpark, Albert Pujols and Clayton Kershaw have more in common beyond their obvious baseball ability.

They are two of the most charitable players in the Major Leagues, and soon, they'll band together to raise funds for their respective foundations through a fan-friendly, interactive event.

More

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mahle highlights Halos' AFL contingent

Mahle highlights Halos' AFL contingent

OAKLAND -- The Angels will be sending eight of their prospects to the Arizona Fall League this year, a list that includes pitchers Alan Busenitz, Harrison Cooney, Ryan Etsell and Greg Mahle, catcher Stephen McGee, first baseman Eric Aguilera, and outfielders Caleb Adams and Chad Hinshaw.

The group will join the Mesa Solar Sox in the annual league featuring some of the game's brightest young players, joining prospects from the A's, Cubs, Marlins and Rays. Inland Empire 66ers hitting coach Brenton Del Chiaro will be part of the coaching staff.

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cron's swipe can help fans steal a home

Quicken Loans sweepstakes offers chance to win mortgage payment valued at up to $1,500

Cron's swipe can help fans steal a home

When C.J. Cron cruised into home on Monday night in Oakland, the Angels designated hitter not only extended his club's lead, but also lightened one lucky fan's monthly bill payments.

Quicken Loans Steal A Home
More

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Santiago's second half remains a mystery

Santiago's second half remains a mystery

OAKLAND -- Hector Santiago, like most of his Angels teammates, found it far more advantageous to immediately look ahead late Monday night.

"August was a rough month," the Angels' congenial starting pitcher concluded after an 11-5 loss to the A's at the Coliseum. "September, here we go."

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels begin GM search

OAKLAND -- The Angels have begun their search for a general manager, a source told MLB.com on Monday night, though it's hard to narrow down their list of candidates at this point.

The Angels have some internal candidates in assistant GMs Matt Klentak and Scott Servais, and potentially director of pro scouting Hal Morris, but owner Arte Moreno and president John Carpino will be interviewing outside candidates as well.

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's-Angels tilt pauses for 'broken fence delay'

A's-Angels tilt pauses for 'broken fence delay'

OAKLAND -- Evan Scribner and his bullpen mates set an over/under. Danny Valencia considered it another shenanigan in his short stint with the A's. Manager Bob Melvin joked that the grounds crew used double-sided tape to fix it.

They were all referring to the left-field wall at the Coliseum, a sizable chunk of which fell down and caused a 10-minute delay in the fifth inning of the A's 11-5 win over the Angels on Monday night.

More

Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels' road struggles continue in opener vs. A's

Angels' road struggles continue in opener vs. A's

OAKLAND -- Danny Valencia and Jake Smolinski contributed to a five-run third inning and Mark Canha provided the dagger in the sixth, launching a three-run homer to help the A's beat the American League West-rival Angels, 11-5, at the Coliseum on Monday night.

The free-falling Angels (65-66) have dropped 26 of their last 37 games and are below .500 for the first time since June 10. They finished August with 19 losses, their highest total that month since 1999, but remained 3 1/2 games back of the Rangers for the second AL Wild Card spot.

More

Alden Gonzalez and Jane Lee are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Freese joining first wave of September callups

Angels' top prospect Newcomb isn't expected to be included as rosters expand

Freese joining first wave of September callups

OAKLAND -- David Freese is ready to go, but he wasn't in the Angels' lineup for Monday's series opener against the A's. The veteran third baseman is expected to be activated off the disabled list on Tuesday, the first day rosters expand -- and he'll have plenty of company.

Outfielders Matt Joyce and Collin Cowgill and infielder Taylor Featherston, who have been playing rehab games at Triple-A Salt Lake, are also expected to rejoin the team Tuesday, providing Angels manager Mike Scioscia with additional options for an offense that will finish last in the Majors in every important statistical category for August.

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trout notches encouraging 4-for-4 day

Slugger finishes homer shy of cycle with an RBI

Trout notches encouraging 4-for-4 day

CLEVELAND -- Asked if he tried to go deep in Sunday's eighth inning, while needing only a home run for his second career cycle, Mike Trout smiled wide and snickered, offering some rare levity in an otherwise solemn Angels clubhouse.

"When I do that, I get my foot down late and I get jammed," Trout said after a 9-2, sweep-clinching loss to the Indians. "That's what happened."

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Green, Trout provide only offense for Angels

Green, Trout provide only offense for Angels

CLEVELAND -- Abraham Almonte launched a grand slam, Carlos Santana drove in three runs with a little help from the sun and Josh Tomlin spun seven-plus strong innings to lead the Indians to a 9-2 rout over the Angels on Sunday at Progressive Field.

The win was the eighth in the past 10 games for Cleveland (63-66), which still has a pulse in the American League Wild Card race. The Indians are five games back of the second Wild Card spot with four teams, including the Angels (65-65), ahead of them. Los Angeles, which is 6 1/2 games out of first in the AL West and 3 1/2 back of a Wild Card spot, has lost eight of 10 and 25 of its last 36.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels slip to .500, but look to battle back

Despite struggles, club knows 'things can still happen,' Weaver says

Angels slip to .500, but look to battle back

CLEVELAND -- August is almost over, and the Angels are a .500 team. It had been 65 days since they had the same amount of wins as losses, but then they were unable to score in a first inning that began with a single and a triple, and they lost two fly balls in the sun and gave up their second grand slam in as many days in a Sunday afternoon game from Progressive Field.

And now, after their 25th loss in their past 36 games, the Angels are 65-65.

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Homers not enough as Angels fall to Tribe

Homers not enough as Angels fall to Tribe

CLEVELAND -- One night after coming from behind with three runs against seventh-inning reliever Trevor Gott, the Indians went off against Angels setup man Joe Smith in the eighth, getting a go-ahead double by Carlos Santana and a game-breaking grand slam by Yan Gomes to capture an 8-3 win from Progressive Field on Saturday.

Gomes knew the ball was leaving the ballpark right off the bat.

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels, Smith look to work through rough stretch

Right-hander allows grand slam in eighth against Indians

Angels, Smith look to work through rough stretch

CLEVELAND -- Joe Smith hadn't given up a home run to a right-handed hitter all season, until Indians catcher Yan Gomes sent one into Progressive Field's bushes Saturday night. In a career that dates back to 2007, Smith had never allowed five runs in one outing, until Saturday's eighth inning, when the Angels' setup man turned a tied game into an 8-3 deficit and yet another crushing loss.

"Tough night for Joe," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's been there for us all year, and he'll be a big part of what we hope to accomplish the rest of the way. We'll turn the page on this."

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Halos could choose between Cowart, Kubitza

Scioscia believes both players could be legitimate everyday third basemen

Halos could choose between Cowart, Kubitza

CLEVELAND -- Opinions could change drastically depending on who the general manager becomes, but there has been a growing desire to re-sign David Freese among those who remain in the Angels' front office. They like what Freese brings to the clubhouse, and they've seen how much the offense has dropped off ever since he landed on the disabled list with a fractured right index finger on July 23.

But there won't be many quality third basemen available in the open market this offseason, with Aramis Ramirez expected to retire and the likes of Juan Uribe, Alberto Callaspo and Casey McGehee rounding out the other options. Freese could price himself out of the Angels' plans.

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scioscia, Trout don't blame wrist for slump

Manager doesn't think slugger's injury carried over

Scioscia, Trout don't blame wrist for slump

CLEVELAND -- The worst month of Mike Trout's career has immediately followed an injury to his left wrist, a troubling ailment for any right-handed power hitter.

Trout has previously denied any correlation, but as the slump prolongs, the curiosity increases.

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heaney removed after six scoreless innings

Scioscia makes tough call to put reliever Gott in game

Heaney removed after six scoreless innings

CLEVELAND -- To Angels manager Mike Scioscia, the logic was easy to digest -- even though the end result was so difficult to stomach. Andrew Heaney was only 12 pitches away from his career high, the bottom of the Indians' order was due up and the next reliever in line, Trevor Gott, had a 1.65 ERA.

"The decision," Scioscia said late Friday night, "just swayed on the opportunity to get Trevor Gott, who's been terrific, into a clean inning, or stretch Andrew a little bit, where maybe he wasn't quite as crisp, into maybe one or two hitters."

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels' bats fall short in opener vs. Tribe

Angels' bats fall short in opener vs. Tribe

CLEVELAND -- Trailing by a run with eight outs left, the Indians rallied against rookie reliever Trevor Gott, getting run-scoring hits by Abraham Almonte, Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana to beat the Angels, 3-1, at Progressive Field on Friday night.

Trevor Bauer notched his 10th win by holding a floundering Angels offense to just one run -- an RBI single by Kaleb Cowart -- in eight innings, scattering five hits, walking three and striking out seven to lower his ERA to 4.31.

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scioscia has thought of flipping Trout, Pujols

Lineup switch could give Angels' best hitter more opportunities with RISP

Scioscia has thought of flipping Trout, Pujols

CLEVELAND -- Mike Trout hasn't had nearly enough opportunities to drive runners in this season. So how about batting him behind Albert Pujols, a lineup combination Angels manager Mike Scioscia has never deployed?

"We've talked about it, sure," Scioscia said. "We've talked about it for a long time."

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.