Published November 20, 2014
While the Angels' hopes of an American League West title draw dimmer by the day, Los Angeles has quietly entrenched itself in the wild card race and enters action today just 2 1/2 games back of the free-falling Boston Red Sox.
The Angels can further cut into that lead tonight, as the Red Sox are idle.
Los Angeles took advantage of another Boston loss on Wednesday, as Dan Haren secured his first road win since late July and Vernon Wells belted a two-run homer and added a two-RBI single, helping the Angels to a 7-2 win over the Jays.
"We can control one thing, us winning," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Hopefully that help will come."
Haren (16-9), who allowed just four hits, was removed after being hit by a line drive on his left wrist off the bat of Eric Thames. The ball deflected to second baseman Maicer Izturis, who threw to first for the out. Haren tumbled to the ground in pain and was replaced by Hisanori Takahashi in the ninth inning.
Scioscia said Haren has a bruised wrist.
"Hopefully the wrist will improve," the manager said. "The next couple of days he'll get some treatment on it and be ready to go for his next start. We'll evaluate that as the next day or two go on."
Haren equaled his career-high in victories from 2008 with Arizona. The right- hander also snapped a five-start winless stretch on the road, winning outside Anaheim for the first time since July 30 at Detroit.
Peter Bourjos homered, tripled and singled for Los Angeles, which has just seven games remaining, including three at home with the Rangers to conclude the season. Texas holds a five-game lead on the Angels in the AL West.
Dustin McGowan (0-1) fanned eight batters and allowed five hits and two runs over five innings in the third contest of this four-game set.
Hoping to keep the momentum rolling for the Angels tonight will be struggling right-hander Ervin Santana, who has lost his last three starts and has surrendered 10 runs in his last two outings. Santana was roughed up by Baltimore on Saturday, as he gave up five runs and five hits in seven innings, dropping him to 11-12 on the year to go along with a 3.40 ERA.
Santana pitched a complete-game gem to beat the Jays the last time he faced them and is 6-4 lifetime against them with a 3.76 ERA in 11 starts.
Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with right-handed rookie Henderson Alvarez, who is 1-2 with a 3.62 ERA. Alvarez did not get a decision against the New York Yankees on Saturday, as he allowed five runs and nine hits in six innings of a 7-6 loss.
He has never faced the Angels.
The Angels have won five of their nine matchups with the Blue Jays this season.