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 Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.