'Tough as they come' Pujols back for Angels

First baseman was hit on left hand/wrist by pitch in Toronto

'Tough as they come' Pujols back for Angels

BOSTON -- Albert Pujols returned to the Angels' lineup for Friday's series opener against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, two days after a fastball hit him on the left hand/wrist.

Pujols thought he was headed for the disabled list while in Toronto on Wednesday night, but a CT scan revealed only a bruise and the swelling on the bottom of his left hand subsided significantly by Thursday afternoon. The 35-year-old first baseman will initially have to hit through a little bit of pain, but he believes it's manageable.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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.

Impressive spring a distant memory for Cron

Impressive spring a distant memory for Cron

BOSTON -- C.J. Cron had a stellar Spring Training for the Angels, batting .413 with a 1.165 OPS and consistently driving the ball to the opposite field. More than 40 games into the season, though, the 25-year-old designated hitter/first baseman isn't hitting and is hardly playing.

Is it time to send him to the Minor Leagues? Doesn't sound like it.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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 continue to plague Shoemaker

Right-hander allows 2 more to add to league-leading total

Homers continue to plague Shoemaker

TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson's seventh-inning line drive bounced off the very top of Rogers Centre's left-center-field fence on Thursday night, putting a sour end on another rough outing for Angels starter Matt Shoemaker. Had it traveled about six inches higher, it would've marked the 14th home run Shoemaker had given up this season, which meant he would've matched last year's mark in 91 2/3 fewer innings.

Shoemaker's actual total, an American League-leading 13 homers allowed, is still way too high.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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 unable to pick up shaky Shoemaker

Angels unable to pick up shaky Shoemaker

TORONTO -- R.A. Dickey picked up his first complete game of the year while Edwin Encarnacion and Danny Valencia each homered in the Blue Jays' 8-4 victory over the Angels on Thursday night at Rogers Centre.

Dickey allowed a first-inning homer to Marc Krauss, but he settled down after that and enjoyed one of his best starts of the season. He limited the Angels to five hits and two walks and, along the way, recorded a season-high seven strikeouts. The pitching line is somewhat misleading because Los Angeles added a pair of runs with two outs in the ninth when the game was well in hand.

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

Returning to Fenway, Richards recalls injury

Right-hander looks back on night his left knee gave out

Returning to Fenway, Richards recalls injury

TORONTO -- Garrett Richards' most vivid memory from Fenway Park on Aug. 20, the night he suffered the gruesome knee injury that ended his season and sent him on a prolonged rehab?

"The sound of my knee unraveling," Richards said. "It sounded like a Pillsbury biscuits tube. You know when you open it and it explodes? That's what it sounded and felt like, the release of pressure. ... It wasn't cool. When I was lying on the table, that was the first thing I could compare it to. It was gross. And the vibration all the way up your leg when it popped -- it's not something I want to do again."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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 develops aptitude for hitting high pitches

All-Star outfielder puts in offseason work to improve at plate

Trout develops aptitude for hitting high pitches

TORONTO -- In Wednesday's fifth inning, Mike Trout took a chest-high, 94-mph fastball from Drew Hutchison and blasted it way over the center-field fence for his 11th home run of the season. It wasn't necessarily the result that was so impressive -- thought it traveled 412 feet and carried an exit velocity of 107 mph, according to Statcast™ -- but what it represented.

It was further proof that Trout's greatest weakness from last season is seemingly no longer a weakness at all.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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.

Pujols relieved wrist is bruised, not broken

First baseman hopes to return to Angels' lineup on Friday

Pujols relieved wrist is bruised, not broken

TORONTO -- Albert Pujols thought for sure he was headed to the disabled list when he arrived at a local hospital late Wednesday night and saw the inside of his left hand swell up like a balloon, a result of the mid-90s fastball he absorbed a few minutes earlier.

But a CT scan ruled out a fracture, revealing only a bruise, and Pujols breathed a huge sigh of relief.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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.

#TBT: Celebrating Trout, greatest cycles in history

#TBT: Celebrating Trout, greatest cycles in history

It was two years ago Thursday that Angels phenom Mike Trout became the youngest player in American League history to hit for the cycle.

Certainly no stranger to historic accomplishments, Trout pulled off the rare feat of hitting for the cycle at just 21 years, 287 days old. No player has ever hit for the cycle at a younger age in the AL, while Mel Ott, who was only 20 years (and 75 days) old when he hit for the cycle, holds the all-time record.

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

Angels continue to ride nail-biters to victory

Team notches 13th win by two runs or less

Angels continue to ride nail-biters to victory

TORONTO -- The Angels have now won 21 games, and 14 of them -- or two-thirds -- have finished with Huston Street recording a save. They're only one game off their pace from 2014, which finished with a Major League-leading 98 wins. But through 40 games last season, the Angels' run-differential was an impressive plus-32. This year, they've combined to outscore their opponents by only three runs.

The reason is simple: They're pitching well, but not hitting much.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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 triggers offense, Weaver outduels Hutchison

Trout triggers offense, Weaver outduels Hutchison

TORONTO -- Marc Krauss hit the go-ahead double in the seventh inning to back a quality start by right-hander Jered Weaver in the Angels' 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.

Krauss didn't even enter the game until the fifth inning when first baseman Albert Pujols was lifted because of a contusion on his left wrist after he was struck by a Drew Hutchison pitch in the fourth inning. During his second at-bat, Krauss drove home a pair with a double to the gap in left-center field off Blue Jays right-hander Steve Delabar.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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.

Leadoff role won't change Aybar's aggressive approach

Angels shuffle lineup in effort to spark offense

Leadoff role won't change Aybar's aggressive approach

TORONTO -- Slap-hitting shortstop Erick Aybar has transitioned from hitting in an RBI spot of the Angels' lineup to batting leadoff, a situation that typically warrants more patience and a higher walk rate. But Aybar vows not to change his approach just because he's batting directly in front of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.

He's learned his lesson.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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 apologizes for tardiness on Monday

'It's a terrible feeling,' Angels outfielder says of late arrival

Joyce apologizes for tardiness on Monday

TORONTO -- Angels outfielder Matt Joyce took to his Twitter account Wednesday to make light of Monday's scheduling confusion, which prompted him to arrive late to the ballpark, get scratched from the lineup, pay a fine and draw the ire of his manager.

But to Joyce, it's still no laughing matter.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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.

Santiago has earned Angels' trust as starter

Lefty impresses again with seven strong innings against Blue Jays

Santiago has earned Angels' trust as starter

TORONTO -- The Angels acquired two young, Major League-ready starting pitchers over the offseason, and so Hector Santiago's return to the bullpen seemed like a foregone conclusion. He'd done it before, and if Andrew Heaney or Nick Tropeano proved themselves, the Angels were hopeful that Santiago could evolve as the lefty specialist they haven't had in quite a while.

But Santiago grew stubborn over the offseason. He worked only as a starting pitcher, which meant his intense offseason throwing regimen would occur only on a five-day schedule. And he went into camp eyeing his first full season in a Major League rotation.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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: Developing trust key for managers

Angels skipper believes Jennings can succeed with Marlins despite lack of experience

Scioscia: Developing trust key for managers

TORONTO -- Mike Scioscia is, in some ways, a relic. In an era when managerial turnover is at an all-time high, the Angels' long-time manager is a rare constant. Since Scioscia joined the Angels in 2000, 20 teams have gone through at least five managers and seven of them -- the Marlins, Nationals, Cubs, Reds, D-backs, Astros and Mariners -- have had at least eight.

The Twins (Paul Molitor), the Rays (Kevin Cash), White Sox (Robin Ventura), Tigers (Brad Ausmus) and Cardinals (Mike Matheny) are among the teams that have turned to managers with no prior managerial experience. And this year, the Brewers (Craig Counsell) and Marlins (Dan Jennings) moved guys directly from the front office to the manager's seat.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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.

Santiago sharp as Angels edge Blue Jays

Santiago sharp as Angels edge Blue Jays

TORONTO -- Hector Santiago tossed seven strong innings while Kole Calhoun homered and scored a pair of runs in the Angels' 3-2 victory over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

Santiago surrendered a leadoff homer to Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson in the first but was nearly flawless the rest of the way. His only other blemish came in the fifth when Donaldson added Toronto's second run on a sacrifice fly. Santiago allowed just four hits and three walks to a team that entered the game leading the Majors with a .328 average against lefties.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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 showing early interest in Phils' Revere

Lefty-swinging speedster among players club could pursue on trade market

Angels showing early interest in Phils' Revere

TORONTO -- The Angels are among the teams that have expressed interest in Phillies speedster Ben Revere, but they are still in "exploratory mode" and "not rushing in any direction right now," sources said Tuesday.

Revere, 27, has a .290/.323/.341 career slash line and could fill the Angels' need for a left-handed bat who can play left field. He doesn't draw a lot of walks, but he puts a lot of balls in play and could be a fit in the leadoff spot, now that Kole Calhoun has seemingly settled into the cleanup spot long term.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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

Anthony Castrovince

Harper vs. Trout could join ranks of great debates

Linked early in careers, Nats outfielder making strides toward reigning AL MVP

Harper vs. Trout could join ranks of great debates

Remember when Derek Jeter vs. Nomar Garciaparra was a legitimate knock-'em-down-drag-'em-out argument?

They were two of the game's signature stars, born roughly a year apart, both immersed in a major media market and playing a premium position. The crazy thing, in retrospect, is that until Spring Training 2004, there was little statistical question (beyond World Series ring count) that "Nomah" was the superior shortstop:

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Iannetta starting to rediscover stroke

Iannetta starting to rediscover stroke

TORONTO -- Monday was the kind of day Chris Iannetta had been longing for.

It ended in a 10-6 loss to the Blue Jays, but it featured three hits for the Angels' struggling catcher -- a line-drive double into the right-center-field gap, a line-drive double down the left-field line and a line-drive homer to left-center field.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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.

Bats awaken, but Angels drop slugfest to Jays

Bats awaken, but Angels drop slugfest to Jays

TORONTO -- A pair of four-run innings helped the Blue Jays snap a five-game losing streak with a 10-6 series-opening victory over the Angels on Monday afternoon.

The home team put up four runs apiece in the second and sixth frames before adding a pair in the seventh as it opened a 10-game homestand at Rogers Centre.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Middle innings proving tricky for Angels to bridge

Middle innings proving tricky for Angels to bridge

TORONTO -- Six weeks of the 2015 season have been completed, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia is still searching for the right combination of relievers to hand a lead to his reliable eighth- and ninth-inning combination of Joe Smith and Huston Street.

Actually, he has a perfect solution.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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 taking over cleanup spot to boost offense

Calhoun taking over cleanup spot to boost offense

TORONTO -- For a little more than a year, Angels manager Mike Scioscia has enjoyed the luxury of receiving uncommon power from a traditionally powerless spot in his batting order. His lineup was deep enough and productive enough to keep Kole Calhoun in the leadoff spot, with the Angels leading the Majors in runs and receiving power from almost every position.

But those days are seemingly over.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", 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.

Donaldson has words with Angels' dugout

Donaldson has words with Angels' dugout

TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson had some choice words for the Angels' dugout after he struck out in the sixth inning of the Blue Jays' series-opening, 10-6 victory on Monday at Rogers Centre.

The Toronto third baseman unleashed a spat of four-letter words and an obscene gesture from his own bench in response to what he thought were verbal barbs being thrown his way from the Halos' side after Mike Morin struck him out.

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

Richards carries Angels as far as he can in loss

Without support, consistent righty allows two runs over 7 2/3 strong innings

Richards carries Angels as far as he can in loss

BALTIMORE -- When the Orioles' Travis Snider hit a dribbler to the right side leading off Sunday's bottom of the eighth inning, Garrett Richards got off the mound, chased the slowly hit ball, scooped it up and stepped on first base himself for the out.

It was a good sign for a pitcher whose 2014 season ended with a torn patellar tendon in his left knee, sustained while covering first base last Aug. 20. Neither the knee nor anything else has been holding Richards back lately, which was evident as he authored another fine outing in the Angels' 3-0 loss on Sunday afternoon.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Streak ends at 5 despite outstanding Richards

Streak ends at 5 despite outstanding Richards

BALTIMORE -- Mike Wright shut down the Angels in his Major League debut, leading the Orioles to a 3-0 victory on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards. Baltimore claimed the finale of the three-game set, winning for only the fourth time in 12 games and snapping the Angels' season-high five-game winning streak.

Wright got the call with Bud Norris (bronchitis) and Chris Tillman (lower back stiffness) both unavailable. The 25-year-old right-hander, who had a 2.64 ERA in six starts for Triple-A Norfolk, didn't allow a baserunner until Kole Calhoun's leadoff single in the fourth inning. He struck out six without a walk over 7 1/3 scoreless innings, holding the Angels to four hits.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. Elliott Smith is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Offense has rough time against O's in finale

Sunday's loss marks sixth time in nine games that Angels score three runs or fewer

Offense has rough time against O's in finale

BALTIMORE -- In the fourth inning on Sunday afternoon, the Angels put runners on second and third with one out, looking to break a scoreless tie. Instead, they came away with nothing, and that's as close as they got to pushing a run across in a 3-0 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards.

A day after the Angels scored six runs in a game for the first time this month, their offensive woes returned. The Halos couldn't do much against Baltimore starter Mike Wright, who was making his Major League debut, and they scored three runs or fewer for the sixth time in nine games.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shoemaker tosses his best start of season

Righty gets back to dominant self with strong seven-inning outing

Shoemaker tosses his best start of season

BALTIMORE -- Coming off a strong 2014 that earned him a runner-up spot in the American League Rookie of the Year voting, Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker scuffled through his first six starts, posting a 6.61 ERA. He seemed "just a click off," according to catcher Chris Iannetta.

Shoemaker seemed to rediscover that little extra something on Saturday night, putting together his best start of the season in the Angels' 6-1 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.