Shoemaker (forearm) begins throwing program

Angels righty was shut down July 6 after injury setback

Shoemaker (forearm) begins throwing program

ANAHEIM -- After a two-week shutdown, Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker received clearance to throw from 60 feet before the Halos' series opener against the Red Sox at Angel Stadium.

"We just did a nice and easy 60-feet activation today just to get started," Shoemaker said. "Obviously wanted to do more than that, but it's been two weeks of no throwing, so good to get out there."

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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.

Inbox: Can Meyer be more than 1-hit wonder?

Beat reporter Maria Guardado answers fans' questions

Inbox: Can Meyer be more than 1-hit wonder?

I have MANY questions about Alex Meyer now. Can he keep this up?
-- @joeflorkowski via Twitter

I think the Angels have been encouraged by what they've seen from Meyer this season, particularly following his dominant one-hit gem against the Nationals on Wednesday night. Meyer has always had plus stuff, but he's struggled with command issues, as his 6-foot-9 frame has often made it difficult for him to repeat his delivery and consistently get in the strike zone.

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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.

Statcast of the Day: Robinson robs Murphy

Statcast of the Day: Robinson robs Murphy

ANAHEIM -- In the same right field normally occupied by 2015 Gold Glove Award winner Kole Calhoun, it was Shane Robinson who made a show-stopping defensive play during the Angels' 7-0 win over the Nationals on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium.

Fresh off a callup from Triple-A Salt Lake hours prior to first pitch, Robinson made the most of his chance filling in for Calhoun on a rare day off by making one of the most difficult catches in the Major Leagues this season.

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Kaelen Jones 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.

Meyer leads 1-hit shutout as Halos stall Nats

Meyer leads 1-hit shutout as Halos stall Nats

ANAHEIM -- Six years ago, the Nationals drafted a 6-foot-9 right-hander out of the University of Kentucky named Alex Meyer in the first round, before trading him to the Twins 16 months later.

Now 27 and with his third organization, Meyer's career has not taken off quite as he had hoped, but on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium, he reminded his former organization of his tantalizing potential. Meyer allowed one hit in seven dominant innings as the Angels shut out the Nationals, 7-0. The win secured a split of the two-game Interleague series for the Halos and handed the Nats their first loss in seven games.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

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

Meyer has career night vs. former club

Righty leads 1-hit shutout of Nats, who drafted him in '11

Meyer has career night vs. former club

ANAHEIM -- On Wednesday morning, Angels right-hander Alex Meyer and Nationals center fielder Brian Goodwin met at the Filling Station Café in Orange, Calif., for breakfast. Meyer and Goodwin were both drafted by the Nationals in 2011, and while their paths don't cross often, they remain good friends.

Meyer treated Goodwin by picking up the check. Hours later, Goodwin returned the favor by breaking up Meyer's no-hitter with a two-out double in the sixth inning of the Angels' 7-0 win over the Nationals at Angel Stadium.

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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.

Robinson called up as Maybin lands on DL

Robinson called up as Maybin lands on DL

ANAHEIM -- The Angels placed outfielder Cameron Maybin on the 10-day disabled list and selected the contract of outfielder Shane Robinson from Triple-A Salt Lake before their series finale against the Nationals on Wednesday at Angel Stadium.

Maybin sustained a Grade 1 MCL sprain in his right knee while sliding feet-first on an attempt to steal during the bottom of the first inning of Tuesday's 4-3 loss. The club said Maybin will miss two to four weeks.

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Kaelen Jones 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.

Harper, Trout live up to hype in rare matchup

Both hit first-inning home runs; Bryce goes 4-for-4

Harper, Trout live up to hype in rare matchup

ANAHEIM -- Meetings on the field between this pair of generational talents are rare. Because they are separated by different coasts and different leagues they do not often share the same stage. The Nationals' 4-3 victory Tuesday night was just the second time they even shared the same field during the regular season. And it is because of performances such as this that Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are perhaps destined to be linked together their entire careers.

Harper and Trout began the game by trading solo home runs in the first inning at Angel Stadium, trading blows as if not wanting to be outdone by the other. Harper won this baseball version of H-O-R-S-E, finishing the night 4-for-4 and just inches away from hitting for the cycle. Trout hit his longest home run since September 2015, but it was his only hit in four at-bats.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Maybin out 2-4 weeks with sprained knee

Maybin out 2-4 weeks with sprained knee

ANAHEIM -- Left fielder Cameron Maybin departed the Angels' 4-3 loss to the Nationals on Tuesday after suffering a Grade 1 MCL sprain in his right knee in the bottom of the first inning at Angel Stadium. The Angels expect him to miss two to four weeks.

Maybin led off the inning with an infield single and then attempted to steal second base, but he injured the knee while sliding feet-first into the bag. Maybin said he slowed down as he approached second because he thought he heard contact and tried to look for the ball. Once he realized there was no contact, Maybin tried to go into a late slide, but his right leg got caught underneath his body, spraining the ligament in his knee.

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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.

Trout, Maldonado homer but Halos fall to Nats

Trout, Maldonado homer but Halos fall to Nats

ANAHEIM -- On a night when so much of the action centered around two of baseball's biggest stars, it seemed only fitting that one of them would be the driving force behind the final outcome.

Bryce Harper and Mike Trout traded first-inning solo shots, but Harper ultimately topped his American League rival by going 4-for-4 and scoring the go-ahead run in the Nationals' 4-3 win over the Angels in Tuesday night's series opener at Angel Stadium.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

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

Skaggs closer to return after first rehab start

Skaggs closer to return after first rehab start

ANAHEIM -- Left-hander Tyler Skaggs moved a little closer to rejoining the Angels' rotation after coming out of his first rehab start on Monday without issue.

Skaggs, who returned to game action for the first time since suffering a right oblique strain in April, allowed two runs on two hits while walking none and striking out six over 3 2/3 innings in a start for the Halos' Arizona League affiliate.

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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.

Trout, Harper play homer H-O-R-S-E

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Trout, Harper play homer H-O-R-S-E

The game of H-O-R-S-E is no stranger to basketball fans. Players take turns shooting for the basket from different positions, and it's all about matching successful shots. Here's NBA star Steph Curry playing against his father, Dell, a former player himself.

The game is fun, but at first, it doesn't seem like it has anything to do with baseball. Or does it?

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Halos' near future to determine Deadline destiny

Halos' near future to determine Deadline destiny

ANAHEIM -- There are two weeks to go until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, but general manager Billy Eppler has refrained from putting any labels on the Angels just yet. The Halos will play 11 games between now and then, each of which represents an opportunity for Eppler to gather more information that will help guide the club's decision-making at the Deadline.

"I think we don't have to make any declarations or specific directions right now," Eppler said Monday. "I think how we plan the next seven-to-eight-game window will give us a clearer look into our outlook for the final two months. While it is only 8-10 percent of what we've played so far, it's 8-10 percent more information than I have today."

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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.

Simmons named Heart and Hustle Award winner

Simmons named Heart and Hustle Award winner

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association revealed the 30 preliminary winners of the 2017 Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday. The honor is the only one voted on by former players, and is bestowed each year upon the active player who most represents a passion for the game of baseball, and best embodies the values, spirit and tradition of the game.

Past winners of the Heart and Hustle Award include David Eckstein (2005), Hall of Famer Craig Biggio (2006, 2007), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols (2009), Roy Halladay (2010), Torii Hunter (2011), Mike Trout (2012), Dustin Pedroia (2013), Josh Harrison (2014), Anthony Rizzo (2015) and Todd Frazier (2016).

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cron's clutch homer lifts Angels over Rays

Cron's clutch homer lifts Angels over Rays

ANAHEIM -- C.J. Cron blasted a pinch-hit, two-run home run off Adam Kolarek to snap an eighth-inning tie and lift the Angels to a 4-3 win over the Rays in Sunday's series finale at Angel Stadium.

In his first at-bat after the All-Star break, Cron crushed a first-pitch sinker to right field for his third homer of the season, breaking a 2-2 deadlock and putting the Angels ahead, 4-2. It was an encouraging sign for Cron, who has struggled to find his swing this season and has received scant playing time since being recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

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

For Cron, preparation is key in platoon role

Angels first baseman's pinch-hit homer clinches finale vs. Rays

For Cron, preparation is key in platoon role

ANAHEIM -- C.J. Cron is off and running for the second half of the season. Three games out of the All-Star break, the Angels first baseman has made just one plate appearance and has seen only one pitch, but he is a perfect 1-for-1.

The hit was a two-run, pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the eighth off Rays left-hander Adam Kolarek that lifted the Angels to a 4-3 win on Sunday.

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

Angels designate Espinosa for assignment

Club likely to use platoon at second base for now

Angels designate Espinosa for assignment

ANAHEIM -- In December, the Angels acquired Danny Espinosa from the Nationals in the hope that he would be able to fill their gaping hole at second base.

While Espinosa provided above-average defense, his offensive shortcomings proved too great for the Angels to absorb. On Sunday, Espinosa was designated for assignment, ending his brief tenure with his hometown team.

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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

Jim Callis

Long makes Pipeline Team of the Week

Long makes Pipeline Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

Brendan Rodgers' hitting ability made him MLBPipeline.com's No. 1-rated prospect and the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 Draft. The Rockies shortstop has lived up to expectations and is having his best season yet.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fletcher has big game for Salt Lake

Fletcher has big game for Salt Lake

Reynaldo Lopez piled up the strikeouts as Triple-A Charlotte topped Gwinnett, 5-4, in walk-off fashion on Sunday.

Lopez, the No. 36 overall prospect, fired 66 of his 99 pitches for strikes as he generated a season-high 12 strikeouts and yielded just two hits in seven innings of one-run ball. The White Sox No. 6 prospect was stuck with a no-decision as the Knights bullpen blew a ninth-inning lead, but that doesn't diminish Lopez's brilliant performance.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ninth-inning rally not enough to overcome Rays

Ninth-inning rally not enough to overcome Rays

ANAHEIM -- Logan Morrison and Steven Souza Jr. homered, and the Rays fended off a late Angels rally to emerge with a 6-3 win on Saturday night, clinching a series victory at Angel Stadium.

The Rays pounded out 14 hits against the Angels, including Morrison's two-run blast in the third and Souza's solo shot in the seventh. Corey Dickerson, Shane Peterson and Jesus Sucre produced multi-hit efforts for the Rays, with Sucre adding a pair of RBIs.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

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

Valbuena sparks flagging offense with 2 HRs

Angels first baseman showing potential after difficult first half

Valbuena sparks flagging offense with 2 HRs

ANAHEIM -- Luis Valbuena provided the spark for the Angels' offense, not once, but twice in a 6-3 loss to the Rays on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.

The Halos first baseman teed up a solo home run in the seventh inning off Rays starter Alex Cobb, then launched a two-run shot off reliever Jumbo Diaz in the bottom of the ninth to pull Los Angeles within three. The performance marked the 31-year-old's fifth career multi-homer game, and served as a testament to his consistent approach at the plate, despite a rough first half.

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Kaelen Jones 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.

Richards cleared to begin throwing program

Angels righty will need six to eight weeks before taking the mound

Richards cleared to begin throwing program

ANAHEIM -- Since landing on the disabled list in April, Garrett Richards' injury status had remained stagnant, as he waited for his irritated nerve in his right biceps to heal enough for him to resume throwing. But Richards' recovery finally took a step forward Friday, when he was cleared to begin a throwing progression.

Richards has played catch for the last two days and remains in the embryonic stages of his rehab, but the development is nonetheless an encouraging sign for him and the Angels.

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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.

Jones homers in second straight for Bees

Jones homers in second straight for Bees

Rafael Devers put his entire skillset on display while leading Pawtucket to a 7-4 win over Syracuse in his Triple-A debut on Saturday.

Devers, the No. 12 overall prospect (Red Sox's No. 1), was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate and also showed off his defensive ability with an impressive bare-handed play at third base.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trout compares return to Opening Day

Angels star goes 1-for-5, steals base in first game back from DL

Trout compares return to Opening Day

ANAHEIM -- Forty-six days.

That's how long it's been since Mike Trout last suited up in an Angels uniform since sustaining a torn UCL in his left thumb Memorial Day weekend. But the reigning American League MVP finally returned to his club Friday, batted third and started in center field in the Angels' 10-inning, 2-1 loss to the Rays.

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Kaelen Jones 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.

Angels fall to Rays in 10 in Trout's return

Angels fall to Rays in 10 in Trout's return

ANAHEIM -- On the night Mike Trout made his long-awaited return from the disabled list, the story for much of Friday night was the classic pitchers' duel occurring inside Angel Stadium between Rays rookie Jacob Faria and Angels veteran Ricky Nolasco.

A 1-1 deadlock was eventually snapped, thanks to the heroics of Brad Miller. The Rays second baseman lifted a double off of Angels reliever Cam Bedrosian to score Wilson Ramos for the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning, pushing Tampa Bay past the Angels, 2-1.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Kaelen Jonesis a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

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

Nolasco gets ninth quality start in loss to Rays

Angels veteran once again suffers from lack of run support

Nolasco gets ninth quality start in loss to Rays

ANAHIEM -- Ricky Nolasco served up seven innings of one-run ball and allowed just two hits in the Angels' 2-1 loss to the Rays on Friday night at Angel Stadium.

The 34-year-old fanned six batters and walked two. Despite the Angels' offensive struggles -- highlighted by going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position -- Nolasco kept his team in the game.

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Kaelen Jones 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.

In starting role, a new chapter for Maldonado

Angels catcher thankful for opportunities leading up to breakout season

In starting role, a new chapter for Maldonado

Life hasn't been all roses for Martin Maldonado, but the starting catcher for the Angels is grateful for every step he took on the way to the Majors.

"I remember when we didn't have a car to go to practice, and my mom had to borrow one so she could take me," said the Puerto Rican backstop, known for his strong and accurate arm.

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Joshua Vazquez is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

First weeks of 2nd half to be telling for Halos

First weeks of 2nd half to be telling for Halos

ANAHEIM -- Coming out of the All-Star break, the Angels enter what will likely be a season-defining stretch for the club. As it stands, the Halos are 45-47 and only three games behind the Rays for the second Wild Card spot in the American League. The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline is fast approaching, and whether the Angels emerge as buyers or sellers will hinge entirely on their ability to keep themselves in the Wild Card mix over the next two-and-a-half weeks.

The good news for the Angels is that they've likely played their last game without superstar Mike Trout, who has missed six weeks with a torn thumb ligament. Trout is expected to rejoin the Angels' lineup on Friday, when they open a key three-game series against Tampa Bay at Angel Stadium. His return should help boost the Angels' slumping offense, which averaged an AL-worst 4.10 runs per game in the first half.


But Trout will not be able to single-handedly cure all the Angels' ills. With three starting pitchers on the disabled list, the Halos could use some rotation help, though the club's ability to make impactful moves is limited by its lack of a robust farm system.

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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.

Inbox: Don't give up on Skaggs, Richards

Inbox: Don't give up on Skaggs, Richards

Is it time to give up on either Tyler Skaggs or Garrett Richards? Or both? @dsilva_714 via Twitter

I don't think so. While it's true that Skaggs and Richards have both missed significant chunks of the season due to injury for a second consecutive year, they are still talented pitchers, which makes them valuable commodities for the Angels. Skaggs had a minor setback in his return from an oblique injury, but he's still on track to rejoin the Halos' rotation in late July or early August and should help boost the pitching staff.

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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.

Despite injuries, Halos within reach of WC berth

Team sits just three games back of second Wild Card spot with Trout set to return

Despite injuries, Halos within reach of WC berth

ANAHEIM -- A year ago, the Angels entered the All-Star break with a 37-52 mark, felled in large part by a starting rotation that was decimated by injuries. A similar script unfolded this season, but with an added kick, as the Halos saw three starters and their superstar, Mike Trout, land on the disabled list for extended periods of time.

But unlike last year, the Angels managed to stay afloat amid waves of adversity, going 45-47 in the first half. The Halos trail the first-place Astros by 16 1/2 games in the American League West, but they're only three games behind the Rays for the second AL Wild Card spot. Plus, they are expecting to get Trout back in their lineup when they open the second half on Friday.

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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.