Rookie outfielder Mike Trout has been a major piece to the success of the LA Angels of Anaheim this season and the club hopes to have him back in the starting lineup tonight against the Cleveland Indians.
Trout did not start in Monday's 3-0 win over the Indians to kick off a three- game series and is bothered by a sore right pinkie finger suffered while sliding headfirst into second base with a leadoff double on Sunday at Toronto. Trout, who has been named Rookie of the Month the last two times, had X-rays taken on the finger which came back negative. Trout had started 49 straight games dating back to May 7.
The young slugger did appear in Monday's game as a pinch-runner and remained in the game at left field. He was just named to the All-Star team and is batting .339 with nine homers and 33 RBI this season.
Kendrys Morales homered last night and both Alberto Callaspo and Howie Kendrick ended with an RBI apiece for the Angels, who pulled within five games of Texas for the AL West lead and won for the ninth time in 12 tries. The Angels are 5-2 on a nine-game road trip and received seven shutout innings from All-Star ace Jered Weaver. Scott Downs pitched the last two innings for his seventh save.
"He had some tough hitters over there who can put the ball in play," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia about Weaver. "He used all his pitches there and did a good job of keeping them off-balance all night."
Dan Haren will handle pitching duties for Scioscia's club tonight and has won two straight starts and five of his last seven outings. In Thursday's 9-7 win against the Blue Jays north of the border, Haren held on for the win even though he was taken for six runs and seven hits in six innings. Haren is 6-7 in 16 starts with a 4.53 ERA this season and has permitted 20 runs in his last four starts (3-1).
The right-hander defeated Cleveland on April 28 with eight innings of one-run ball in a 2-1 win and is 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 11 career starts against the Tribe.
Cleveland opened a seven-game homestand on a sour note last night and has lost seven of its last 10 games. The Indians had won two straight and three of four games until Monday's meeting with the Angels, who reached Ubaldo Jimenez for three runs and eight hits in 7 2/3 innings. Jimenez is now 7-7 on the season.
"Ubaldo pitched well again for us tonight," said Cleveland manager Manny Acta. "We can count on him to do that every five days. Unfortunately, we couldn't get anything going for him at the plate."
Shin-Soo Choo led the Tribe with two hits.
The Indians will also host Tampa Bay on the residency and sit two games behind the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.
Toeing the rubber for the Tribe tonight will be Zach McAllister, who will make his sixth start of the season. McAllister defeated Baltimore the last time out with 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball on Thursday to improve to 2-1 in five starts with a 3.82 ERA. The righty has never faced the Angels in his career.
The Indians won two of three meetings with Anaheim from April 27-29 at home.