Coming off just their second shutout of the season on Friday night, the LA Angels of Anaheim now shoot for back-to-back wins for the first time in two weeks as they challenge the Baltimore Orioles in the third game of a four-game set.
Winners of just three of their last 10 games overall, the Angels already find themselves seven games out of contention in the American League West standings, despite their 4-0 victory last night.
Mike Trout delivered his fourth home run of the season, plating three overall as he posted a pair of hits in four at-bats. Mark Trumbo connected on his seventh home run of the year, while J.B. Shuck pitched in with a pair of hits and a run scored at the bottom of the lineup.
Designated hitter Josh Hamilton continued to struggle for his new club, striking out three times in four trips. Hamilton, who was second in the league in home runs (43) and RBI (128) last year with Texas, already has 37 strikeouts in 120 at-bats this season against two home runs and nine knocked in.
The star of the show for the home team was hurler Jason Vargas, who went the distance, allowing just three hits and walking a pair while striking out three for his first win in four decisions and his fourth career shutout.
"I take more satisfaction in the way we played the game and the way we were able to be so efficient out there and not really give them an opportunity to put together a big inning," Vargas said. "The plays that we made out there early, late, in the middle of the game, they just really set us up for success."
Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez was saddled with the loss, evening his record to 2-2 on the campaign as he gave up three runs on six hits over six innings. Gonzalez also struck out five.
Nick Markakis and Adam Jones both delivered doubles for the visitors, but still the O's find themselves heading into the weekend in third place in the AL East, 3 1/2 games off the pace set by Boston.
Recently named the International League Pitcher of the Week at Triple-A Norfolk, Freddy Garcia has been promoted back to the majors and will get his first career start with the Orioles on Saturday. The 36-year-old, who was signed to a minor league contract by Baltimore after being released by San Diego in the spring, has delivered a 4-0 record and a 2.67 ERA in 33 2/3 innings at Norfolk.
The right-hander, who has registered 21 strikeouts and just two walks so far this season, has a fantastic 16-3 mark all-time against the Angels in his career, sporting a 2.66 ERA in 28 appearances.
To make room for Garcia on the roster, the O's will most likely send right- hander Zach Clark back to Triple-A on Saturday.
While Garcia is getting his first taste of major league action this season, LA's Tommy Hanson is aiming for his third win in 2013. The right-hander worked six innings for the third time in four games in his most recent outing on Sunday, allowing a pair of runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out six at Oakland. While Hanson did not factor into the decision, the Angels did suffer the 10-8 setback on the road.
Against the Orioles Hanson, who spent the first four years of his career over in the National League with the Atlanta Braves, has a record of 1-0 and a 1.64 ERA, although he has issued 11 bases-on-balls and fanned only seven in 11 innings versus Baltimore.
Since 2011 the Angels own a record of 14-6 versus Baltimore.