|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, May 8, 2019
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan Attendance: 13,224
Lefties square off for Angels, Tigers
Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers
- The Angels are averaging 3.36 runs on the road this season, slugging .308 with only eight home runs. Their runs per game on the road this season ranks 26th in MLB, while their slugging and home run total both rank last.
- Detroit's relievers have posted a 9.99 ERA since April 26 and have allowed a home run in four straight games. Opponents are slugging .470 against the Tigers' bullpen this season, second highest in MLB behind the Orioles' bullpen (.516).
- The home team won seven of the eight games in this series last season, with Los Angeles sweeping a three-game set in Anaheim and Detroit winning three of four games at Comerica. The Angels outhomered the Tigers, 13-6, last season, while also outscoring them, 11-4, after the sixth inning.
- With two home runs on Sunday, Jonathan Lucroy has matched his home run total (four) from last season. After slugging .325 in 126 games with Oakland in 2018, he has a .408 slugging percentage in 29 games this season, including slugging .556 with eight runs scored in his last eight games.
- Miguel Cabrera is hitting .387 in his last seven games, but has only three extra-base hits in that time. Of his 36 hits this season, 29 have been singles, tied for the third-highest percentage (80.6) in MLB (minimum 30 hits).
- Shohei Ohtani traveled with the Angels to Detroit for this series and will be evaluated to determine if he's ready to play. The 2018 AL Rookie of the Year became the second player in MLB history to start at least 10 games and hit at least 20 home runs in a season (10 starts, 22 home runs), joining Babe Ruth in 1919 (15 starts, 29 home runs).
- Strasburg has HR, single in 3rd, 5 RBIs
- Sale snaps Fenway skid, BoSox 2-hit Jays
- Springer, Bregman spoil Trout's return
- Boone has profane rant, Yanks sweep Rays
- Indians beat Tigers 11th straight time
Matthew Boyd and Tyler Skaggs aren't yet regularly mentioned amongst the list of the American League's best starting pitchers.
Even so, the left-handers will continue trying to move into the conversation Wednesday night, when they oppose each other in the middle game of a three-game series between Boyd's Detroit Tigers and Skaggs' visiting Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels earned a 5-2 win Tuesday night, when rookie right-hander Griffin Canning tossed 5 1/3 solid innings to record his first big league win and Andrelton Simmons had a pair of RBI singles.
"Just one of those games," Tigers right fielder Nicholas Castellanos said, according to the Detroit News. "We battled, competed, we were able to scratch out two runs. But anytime you face a pitcher you've never faced before, it's going to be tough."
Boyd (3-2, 3.05 ERA) and Skaggs (3-2, 3.12) will each be looking to build off the impressive victories they earned in their most recent outings.
Boyd produced his sixth straight quality start on Friday, when he gave up two runs over seven innings as the Tigers beat the visiting Kansas City Royals 4-3.
The 28-year-old, who ranks among the AL's top 10 in both strikeouts (fourth with 57) and WHIP (eighth at 0.99), appears to have found the consistency that eluded him during a breakout season last year. Boyd allowed two runs or fewer in 17 of 31 starts in 2018 but still finished with a 4.39 ERA.
"It just feels like a continuation," Boyd said following the win over the Royals.
A spate of injuries has made it difficult for Skaggs to capture the promise he displayed as a first-round pick of the Angels back in 2009. But Skaggs, who missed the 2015 season recovering from Tommy John surgery and has been on the injured list five times since the start of the 2017 season, has allowed just two runs over 11 innings while winning both of his starts since coming back from an ankle ailment on April 26.
Skaggs allowed both of those runs over six innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, when he didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning. The 27-year-old has yielded two runs or fewer in four of his five starts this season.
"It's nice to have (Skaggs) back," Angels manager Brad Ausmus told reporters after Skaggs tossed five scoreless innings against the Kansas City Royals on April 26. "He's a guy we were counting on. Hopefully we keep him healthy the rest of the way and he continues to pitch well."
Boyd is 1-1 with a 3.48 ERA in two career starts against the Angels. Similarly, Skaggs is 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA in three career starts against the Tigers.
Angels first baseman/designated hitter Albert Pujols will likely continue his chase for his 2,000th career RBI on Wednesday night.
Pujols remained at 1,999 RBIs Tuesday, when he went 0-for-5. The future Hall of Famer is hitless in his past 10 at-bats since homering on Saturday. Pujols is looking to become the fifth player to reach 2,000 RBIs.
Another notable Angels player, designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, likely will play again after making his season debut Tuesday. Ohtani, who won the AL Rookie of the Year award as a two-way star last year before undergoing Tommy John surgery in October, went 0-for-4 with an RBI groundout and a walk in the series opener. He will be limited to designated hitter duties this season.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 8, 2019