Angels' postseason push continues vs. Tribe

Angels' postseason push continues vs. Tribe

In the second tilt of a three-game series laden with postseason ramifications, Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin will square off against Halos righty Ricky Nolasco on Wednesday at Angel Stadium.

The Indians have the American League Central crown wrapped up, but they do not plan on taking their foot off the gas. Cleveland is still aiming for the AL's best record, and potentially baseball's best ledger overall, to net home-field advantage during the postseason. The Angels have work to do to punch their playoff ticket, trailing the Twins by 1 1/2 games for the second AL Wild Card spot.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Solving Tribe is paramount to Halos' chances

Solving Tribe is paramount to Halos' chances

ANAHEIM -- For the last two seasons, the Angels have struggled to solve the Indians. After dropping Tuesday night's series opener at Angel Stadium, 6-3, the Angels have now lost nine in a row to the Tribe, their longest active skid against any team in the Majors.

The defeat served as a glimpse at the challenging road that lies ahead for the Halos. The Indians, who reeled off an American League-record 22 wins and clinched their division title last week, represent a potential first-round opponent for the Angels, if they're able to secure an AL Wild Card berth and advance past the one-game playoff to the AL Division Series.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Halos miss chance to gain Wild Card ground

Halos miss chance to gain Wild Card ground

ANAHEIM -- Mike Clevinger enjoyed some revenge against his former club on Tuesday night, tossing six innings of one-run ball to lead the Indians to a 6-3 win over the Angels in their series opener at Angel Stadium.

Clevinger, whom the Angels traded to Cleveland in exchange for reliever Vinnie Pestano in 2014, held the Halos hitless through the first four innings before yielding a leadoff single to Kole Calhoun in the fifth. The right-hander conceded only three hits while walking two and striking out six, lowering his ERA to 0.61 over his last five starts.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillips returns from lower back strain

Phillips returns from lower back strain

ANAHEIM -- Brandon Phillips returned to the Angels' starting lineup on Tuesday after missing two games with lower back tightness, playing second base and batting leadoff in the club's series opener against the Indians at Angel Stadium.

Phillips had been out since Friday after tweaking his back on a swing, but manager Mike Scioscia said the 36-year-old veteran had improved enough to return to action.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tough-luck loss belies Richards' good start

Righty tagged for 3 runs but allows only 2 hits in 3rd outing off disabled list

Tough-luck loss belies Richards' good start

ANAHEIM -- Garrett Richards might have been tagged with the loss in the 4-2 defeat on Sunday against the Rangers, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia was pleased by what he saw from the talented, recovering right-hander.

In his third start since returning from the disabled list, Richards allowed just two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts over five innings. His velocity hovered around the mid-to-upper 90s, and he wasn't afraid to use his slider, throwing 29 of them against 36 fastballs, according to Statcast™, among 74 total pitches.

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Will Laws is a contributor to MLB.com based in Anaheim. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels drop Rangers finale, slip in WC race

Angels drop Rangers finale, slip in WC race

ANAHEIM -- The Rangers kept their tenuous American League Wild Card hopes flickering by getting out of Southern California with a 4-2 victory over the Angels on Sunday afternoon at Angel Stadium.

With the Twins winning at home, the Angels are now two games behind for the second AL Wild Card spot while the the Rangers remain five back. The Mariners, who lost to the AL West-clinching Astros, are 4 1/2 back going into their three-game series with Texas.

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Will Laws is a contributor to MLB.com based in Anaheim and covered the Angels on Sunday.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Trout's defensive marks limited by chances

Statcast data shows he hasn't had many opportunities for tough catches

Trout's defensive marks limited by chances

Despite missing seven weeks due to injury, Mike Trout still very much has a path to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award, primarily because he's added so much value with his bat (.315/.452/.638) as the Angels hang around in the AL Wild Card race.

But value, as we know, is about far more than just hitting, and defense matters. So why, after a career of highlight catches and award nominations, are Trout's fielding numbers down in 2017? 

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Upton homers twice, sets career high in RBIs

Upton homers twice, sets career high in RBIs

ANAHEIM -- Justin Upton delivered precisely the type of offensive performance the Angels envisioned when they acquired him from the Tigers two weeks ago, homering twice in a 2-0 win over the Rangers on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.

Upton crushed a pair of solo shots -- his 30th and 31st home runs of the season -- off Texas left-hander Cole Hamels to help bring the Angels within one game of the Twins for the second American League Wild Card spot with 14 games left to play.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pujols, wife Deidre host Strike Out Slavery Day

Event raises funds to combat human trafficking

Pujols, wife Deidre host Strike Out Slavery Day

ANAHEIM -- Albert and Deidre Pujols have long established their reputations as two of the baseball community's most charitable citizens. Since 2005, they've run the Pujols Family Foundation, an organization that supports families of children with Down syndrome and impoverished people in the Dominican Republic.

Now, the couple is teaming up to raise money and awareness to help combat another global issue: Human trafficking and the epidemic of modern-day slavery. On Saturday, they hosted Strike Out Slavery Day at Angel Stadium to educate fans about the $32 billion industry that enslaves 45.8 million people in 167 countries, according to figures compiled by the Global Slavery Index.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Upton, Bridwell boost Halos to 1 back in WC

Upton, Bridwell boost Halos to 1 back in WC

ANAHEIM -- Justin Upton homered twice to back a strong start from rookie Parker Bridwell as the Angels handed the Rangers their fifth straight loss and secured a series victory with a 2-0 win on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.

The Angels continued to gain ground in the American League Wild Card race, pulling within one game of the Twins, who lost to the Blue Jays, 7-2, on Saturday. The Rangers remained five games back of the Twins and are four behind the Angels with 14 games left to play.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nick Jonas, Pujols team up for BP, good cause

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Nick Jonas, Pujols team up for BP, good cause

The Angels broadcast booth had a special guest stop by on Saturday. He goes by the name of Nick Jonas, perhaps you've heard of him. The successful singer and actor joined the guys during the Angels-Rangers game to talk about a postgame concert he was putting on that night at Angel Stadium. But not before some batting practice action with "Coach Pujols."

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Parker polishes bullpen's day with 6-out save

Parker polishes bullpen's day with 6-out save

ANAHEIM -- Angels right-hander Blake Parker has spent a decade in professional baseball as a reliever, but entering Friday, he had never been asked to convert a six-out save. That changed when he pitched the final two innings of the Angels' 7-6 victory over the Rangers at Angel Stadium.

Parker entered the game in the eighth with the Angels ahead, 7-4, and inherited a bases-loaded, no-out jam created by Cam Bedrosian. He yielded back-to-back sacrifice flies to Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre, which brought the Rangers within one, but he then struck out Drew Robinson swinging keep the Angels' lead intact.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Halos' 5-run 6th sparks rally, Wild Card rise

Halos' 5-run 6th sparks rally, Wild Card rise

ANAHEIM -- C.J. Cron's two-run home run off rookie reliever Ricardo Rodriguez capped a five-run sixth inning and propelled the Angels to a 7-6 comeback win over the Rangers in Friday night's series opener at Angel Stadium.

Shin-Soo Choo briefly gave the Rangers a 4-2 lead with a two-run shot in the top of the sixth, but the Angels rallied in the bottom half of the inning behind RBI hits from Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons, a sacrifice fly from Luis Valbuena and Cron's 15th home run of the season.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pujols alone in seventh on all-time homer list

Angels slugger hits home run No. 613 in loss to Astros

Pujols alone in seventh on all-time homer list

ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols collected another milestone home run in the Angels' 5-2 loss to the Astros on Thursday night, crushing his 613th career homer to pass Jim Thome and take sole possession of seventh place on the all-time list.

Pujols hammered a solo shot to right-center field off Astros relief ace Chris Devenski to bring the Angels within three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. The blast had an exit velocity of 104 mph and traveled a projected 399 feet, according to Statcast™.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Race for 2nd AL Wild Card spot heating up

Race for 2nd AL Wild Card spot heating up

The Twins and Angels have shadowed one another for the past 35 days, each taking turns ahead of the other, neither opening up more than a two-game advantage. Isn't that the definition of a great playoff chase?

At the moment, there's your race for the second American League Wild Card berth entering Thursday. The Mariners, Royals and Rangers are still in the mix, all within four games. But if they feel like an entire season of work is riding on every inning, that's because it could be.

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Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels announce 2018 season schedule

Los Angeles opens up on the road vs. Athletics on March 29

Angels announce 2018 season schedule

ANAHEIM -- The Angels will open their season in Oakland for the second consecutive year, kicking off their 2018 campaign on March 29 against the A's.

Angels' 2018 season schedule 

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pujols hits No. 613, but Halos 3 back in WC

Pujols hits No. 613, but Halos 3 back in WC

ANAHEIM -- The Astros continued to close in on the American League West title on Thursday night, defeating the Angels, 5-2, to clinch a series victory at Angel Stadium and trim their magic number to three.

Houston right-hander Brad Peacock allowed one run over six innings and Marwin Gonzalez finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs to help secure a 5-5 road trip for the Astros, who will now head home with a chance to lock up the division crown as early as Saturday.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Valbuena says he'll continue to flip his bat

Infielder insists he won't stop just to appease opponents

Valbuena says he'll continue to flip his bat

ANAHEIM -- Angels infielder Luis Valbuena is known for being a liberal bat flipper. He flips his bat on all sorts of occasions -- after home runs, doubles, singles. At least once this season, he did it prematurely on a lineout.

Valbuena said his bat flips have been a part of his game since he was a rookie, a habit generally meant to express his joy for baseball and to celebrate triumphs inside the batter's box.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Halos roll past Astros, stay two back in WC

Halos roll past Astros, stay two back in WC

ANAHEIM -- Left-hander Tyler Skaggs tossed seven scoreless innings and Luis Valbuena and Justin Upton homered to propel the Angels to a 9-1 win over the Astros on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium.

One day after being one-hit over eight innings by Justin Verlander, the Angels' offense came back to life, producing 13 hits and roughing up Mike Fiers for eight runs over 3 2/3 innings. The Halos scored five runs in the first and three more in the fourth before Upton capped the output in the sixth with a solo homer, his first as an Angel.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Upton's bat carries weight for Angels

Slugger hits first homer since joining new team

Upton's bat carries weight for Angels

ANAHEIM -- When the Angels acquired Justin Upton from the Tigers two weeks ago, they hoped he would help fill a void in the middle of their lineup and fortify their offense as they chased an American League Wild Card berth down the stretch.

For the most part, Upton has delivered.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ramirez has a partial tear of UCL

Righty has had stem-cell injection to promote healing

Ramirez has a partial tear of UCL

ANAHEIM -- Angels right-hander JC Ramirez said Wednesday that he has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow and has received an injection of his own stem cells to promote healing, the same procedure that helped fellow starter Garrett Richards avoid Tommy John surgery last year.

Ramirez was transferred to the 60-day disabled list earlier this month with what the Angels called a right elbow strain, but he said an MRI later revealed a UCL tear. Ramirez said his symptoms were consistent with Richards' -- both only experienced discomfort when they released the ball -- prompting doctors to recommend that he also receive a stem-cell injection.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Which Angels prospects could enter Top 100?

Which Angels prospects could enter Top 100?

The 2017 Minor League season is just about over, with playoff series finishing up over the next several days and prospects putting exclamation points on strong 2017 seasons (I'm looking at you, Tyler O'Neill!).

You'd think that would lead to some down time, but not so fast. There will be instructional league play, though Hurricane Irma is wreaking havoc with the schedules in Florida, followed by the start of the Arizona Fall League in early October.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels 'thrilled' with Richards' home return

Righty delivers 5 1-run innings in first Anaheim start since April 2016

Angels 'thrilled' with Richards' home return

ANAHEIM -- It had been 17 months since Garrett Richards had taken the mound at Angel Stadium, but he enjoyed a homecoming of sorts on Tuesday night, tossing five innings of one-run ball in the Angels' 1-0 series-opening loss to the Astros.

In his second start since returning from the disabled list, Richards gave up four singles, walked none, struck out four and threw 63 pitches as he continued to build up his arm following a five-month absence caused by an irritated nerve in his right biceps.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels can't solve Verlander, fall to Astros

Angels can't solve Verlander, fall to Astros

ANAHEIM -- It was the kind of performance the Astros were hoping they'd get from Justin Verlander when they traded for him two weeks ago.

Verlander played the role of stopper by firing eight one-hit innings, and Ken Giles closed out the ninth for his 30th save to halt the Astros' four-game skid with a 1-0 win over the Angels in Tuesday night's series opener at Angel Stadium.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heaney (shoulder) to miss at least one start

Angels starter has 7.06 ERA in return from Tommy John surgery

Heaney (shoulder) to miss at least one start

ANAHEIM -- Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney will not make his next scheduled start against the Rangers on Friday due to a shoulder impingement, manager Mike Scioscia said Tuesday.

"He won't be on that turn, but we're optimistic that he'll be back in a reasonable amount of time," Scioscia said. "Something needs to calm down. He's going to play catch today and be evaluated all through this week, and then we'll see when he can get back out there to get in a game."

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

RHP Morin claimed on waivers by Royals

Overland Park native pitched for Angels past four seasons

RHP Morin claimed on waivers by Royals

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals on Tuesday claimed right-hander Mike Morin from the Angels and designated left-hander Onelki Garcia for assignment.

The Royals originally drafted Morin in the 40th round in 2009. He went to the University of North Carolina instead and the Angels drafted him in the 13th round in 2012.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Eppler reflects on mentor Michael's passing

Eppler reflects on mentor Michael's passing

ANAHEIM -- Just across his desk, on top of a bookshelf, Angels general manager Billy Eppler keeps a photo of him and Gene "Stick" Michael on the field at Yankee Stadium after the 2009 World Series.

It's one of the few pictures in his office that doesn't include a family member, though his relationship to Michael, who died Thursday from a heart attack at 79, was akin to that.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Meyer to undergo surgery, miss about a year

Heaney has symptoms of internal impingement, unlikely to make next start

Meyer to undergo surgery, miss about a year

Angels general manager Billy Eppler on Monday released an update on injured pitchers Andrew Heaney and Alex Meyer.

Meyer will be out of action for about a year with a labral tear in his right shoulder. He's scheduled to undergo surgery performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday afternoon.

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