C.J. Wilson will try to extend his winning streak to six games today as he takes the mound for the LA Angels of Anaheim in the finale of a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Wilson has not been handed a losing decision since being defeated by the White Sox on May 17. The Angels' ace has given up just one earned run or less in all but one of his seven starts since the loss to Chicago. The talented left- hander was in trouble on multiple occasions on Tuesday versus Baltimore, but he found his way out each time he was in a jam and only allowed one earned run in seven innings.
The Angels never recovered after allowing seven runs in the second inning of Saturday's game. Toronto finished on top 11-2 to hand the visitors their first back-to-back losses since June 3-4.
"It was a bad game," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after his club dropped back-to-back games for the first time since June 3-4. "We're just going to turn the page on it."
Mike Trout had his 11-game hitting streak snapped in defeat. Albert Pujols also failed to hit safely on Saturday after recording two consecutive multi- hit games. Trout, Pujols, and Mark Trumbo make up one of the offensive trios in baseball and will be looked upon to bounce back today.
The Blue Jays are going with their own left-hander, Aaron Laffey, as they try to win for the third time in a row. Laffey held Boston scoreless for six innings in his first start of the season on Tuesday. The southpaw's strong performance earned him another starting nod, but his opponent today is not ideal. Laffey owns a career ERA of 8.22 in 15 1/3 innings against the Angels. His poor history against the Angels provides an opportunity for Laffey to demonstrate how far he has come.
"Just coming up, helping the team out in the bullpen, I've always done whatever the team needed me to do. But getting this opportunity is something I've been waiting for a couple of years now," Laffey said.
Third baseman Brett Lawrie will look to build on Saturday's spectacular performance. The rookie went 3-for-4 with a home run, double, and three RBI to lead the Blue Jays, who have scored 25 runs in the first three games of the series.
Colby Rasmus, Jose Bautista and Kelly Johnson all knocked in a run for Toronto on Saturday. Bautista comes into Sunday leading the MLB with 26 home runs. The Blue Jays are second in the majors with 102 team home runs.
Yunel Escobar has been clutch for Toronto in the series so far, going 5-for-12 at the plate with a double, home run, and team-best five RBI.
Despite their back-to-back losses, the Angels have won 14 of their last 17 games away from home. The Angels trail Texas by 6 1/2 games in the American League West standings. Toronto is in last place in the AL East standings with a 40-38 record, trailing the division-leading Yankees by 7 1/2 games.