Game 17: Angels-Rays …

If the Angels are looking for their power, this may not be the place to find it. The Angels came in tied for last in the American League in homers (11 — and zero by their Nos. 3 and 4 hitters today). David Price, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore — the three starters they’ll face in this series — have combined to give up seven in nine starts.

On to the lineups (No. 15 in 17 games), with Kendrys Morales getting the day off against a southpaw starter (one of two in this series), Torii Hunter getting in his first game at DH (he got 81 plate appearances there last year), Maicer Izturis getting his third start at the hot corner and Mark Trumbo getting the nod in right field (the second of his career) …

Angels (6-10)

Erick Aybar, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Albert Pujols, 1B
Hunter, DH
Trumbo, RF
Vernon Wells, LF
Izturis, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
Peter Bourjos, CF
Pitching: RH Ervin Santana (0-3, 6.75 ERA)

Rays (9-7)

Desmond Jennings, LF
Ben Zobrist, 2B
Carlos Pena, 1B
Evan Longoria, 3B
Luke Scott, DH
Matt Joyce, RF
B.J. Upton, CF
Jose Molina, C
Sean Rodriguez, SS
Pitching: LH Price (2-1, 4.20 ERA)

Some notes from pregame …

  • Mike Scioscia, on Hunter’s DH days this year compared to last year: “He’s going to definitely DH today because of the turf, and we’ll see how the rest of this series goes. I don’t know if it’s going to be greater, but we’re going to pick our spots. At times, he’s going to get a chance to just rest, and he’ll get days off, too.”
  • If you’re scoring at home (and I know a lot of you are), Trumbo has now made starts at five different positions — first base, third base, left field, right field and DH — and has made just one at the hot corner since April 13. “It’s a work in progress,” Scioscia said of where Trumbo stands at third. “I think in spring he showed the skill set to do what we feel a third baseman needs to do. It’s just that he had a couple of bumps in the road early, but we’re still working on it. He played third the other night, and we’re going to still mix it in there.”
  • You want some good news? OK, here goes: The Rangers have lost two of their last three, and the Angels have won their first game in four of their first five series. They’ve also won five of their last six games in St. Pete. (Sorry, best I can do on short notice.)
  • Wait, here’s something better: The rotation has looked more like what we would’ve expected these last seven games, posting a 2.92 ERA with six quality starts, a 0.91 WHIP and a 41/8 strikeout-to-walk ratio (credit: Stats LLC).

Some links from the last couple days …

Some AL West links …

And Mike Miller‘s minutes with the Heat are rising.

Alden

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