Dugout Digest – the Angels are making things interesting

The Los Angeles Angels are living up to their hype this offseason, despite getting smashed with injuries. After their 7-5 win on Thursday over the Mariners, the Angels are just a game and a half behind the A’s. That’s shocking considering how much Oakland dominated the division in the early going of the season, but the Angel weren’t exactly struggling in April either. Now, we’ve got a race there. And who knows, with the Astros finally showing a pulse, maybe we could see a lot more fun in the AL West this year.

Game of the Night: Red Sox 4, Braves 3. Not content with losing three in a row to Boston, the Braves decided to make it an even four straight on Thursday to finish the sweep. The Braves led 3-1 after seven and a half, and their defense contributed significantly to this meltdown. Brock Holt led off the bottom of the eighth with a single, and moved to second on a Justin Upton error. Xander Bogaerts singled him in to make it 3-2, and after Dustin Pedroia hit an infield single, A.J. Pierzynski tied the game with a single of his own that was capped with an error on B.J. Upton. The Braves got out of the rest of the inning unscathed thanks to closer Craig Kimbrel, but Kimbrel did his part to lose the game in the ninth. He walked Jackie Bradley Jr. and Holt to lead off the inning, and allowed a sharp grounder by Bogaerts to third baseman Chris Johnson. Rookie second baseman Tommy La Stella mishandled Johnson’s throw, and Bradley scored from second on the play to end the game.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Josh Collmenter threw a complete game shutout for Arizona in their 4-0 win over the Reds, allowing three hits, striking out five, and walking none. Zack Wheeler pitched the Mets to a 4-1 win over the Phillies, giving up one run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings, walking none and punching out nine. Ubaldo Jimenez had a nice start for the Orioles in their 3-1 loss to the Astros, allowing one run on three hits in six innings, walking three and striking out eight. In the win for Houston, Brad Peacock gave up one run on six hits in six innings, striking out eight and walking none.

Hitting Lines of the Night: In Toronto’s 8-6, ten inning loss to the Royals, Edwin Encarnacion went 2/4 with a pair of two-run homers. Erick Aybar helped the Angels beat the Mariners 7-5, going 3/5 with a three-run homer and a stolen base. The Giants beat the Cardinals 6-5, and in the loss, Allen Craig went 2/3 with a double, a homer, two runs, two RBI, and a walk. In the win, Michael Morse went 2/4 with a double, a homer, and three RBI. In Arizona’s win over Cincinnati, Aaron Hill went 3/4 with a homer and two RBI.

Other Games: The Rangers edged the Twins 5-4, and the Tigers held off the A’s by the same score. The Pirates doubled up the Dodgers 6-3.

Today’s Games: Julio Teheran starts for the Braves in Miami. David Price gets the nod for the Rays in Boston. Corey Kluber and the Indians host the Rockies. A.J. Burnett and the Phillies host the Mets. Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals host the Rangers. J.A. Happ gets the nod for the Blue Jays against Jason Vargas and the Royals. Travis Wood and Marco Estrada face off in Milwaukee. Madison Bumgarner and Adam Wainwright will duel in St. Louis. Mike Leake starts for the Reds in Arizona. Garrett Richards starts for the Angels in Oakland. Justin Verlander and Hisashi Iwakuma will rumble in Seattle. Francisco Liriano starts for the Pirates in Los Angeles against Josh Beckett, looking for his second straight no-hitter.

National TV: Orioles-Astros (8 PM, MLB Network), Giants-Cardinals (8 PM, MLB Network)

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

I'm the managing editor of Awful Announcing and the news editor of The Comeback. I also made The Outside Corner a thing for six seasons.