It’s only a four-team division and the Rangers still have a comfortable lead, but the Angels are suddenly in second place in the American League West.
Albert Pujols hit his fourth home run in five games and Ernesto Frieri converted his second save in as many chances as the Halos rolled to a 5-3 victory over the Mariners on Saturday evening in Seattle.
Pujols is working on a six-game hitting streak and has raised his batting average from .211 (on May 21) to .232 as of May 26. Frieri, meanwhile, boasts a dominant 22/7 K/BB ratio and 0.00 ERA in 10 innings since being acquired from the Padres.
Things are finally going right for the Angels, who have rattled off five straight wins.
Your Saturday box scores:
Angels 5, Mariners 3
Blue Jays 7, Rangers 8 (13 innings)
Padres 0, Mets 9
Tigers 6, Twins 3
Royals 4, Orioles 3
Yankees 9, Athletics 2
Nationals 8, Braves 4
Indians 7, White Sox 14
Giants 3, Marlins 5
Phillies 4, Cardinals 0
Cubs 2, Pirates 3
Rockies 3, Reds 10
Rays 2, Red Sox 3
Astros 3, Dodgers 6
Brewers 5, Diamondbacks 8
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.