It’s not hard to see why the Angels aren’t winning. Here’s how their rotation has fared since the All-Star break:
Jered Weaver: 5-1, 2.83 ERA
Dan Haren: 2-2, 5.04 ERA
Ervin Santana: 2-1, 5.06 ERA
Zack Greinke: 1-1, 5.54 ERA (since being acquired)
C.J. Wilson: 0-4, 5.61 ERA
Besides Kevin Jepsen, all of the relievers have ERAs over 5.00, too.
In light of his recent struggles, the Angels have decided to skip Haren’s next turn in the rotation. He actually pitched well in his first three starts after the break, only to give up 12 runs — 10 earned — in seven innings in his last two starts.
On Thursday, Haren surrendered seven hits, two of them homers, in 3 1/3 innings versus a Rays lineup that had gone 27 up and 27 down against Felix Hernandez the day before.
Haren’s troublesome back appears to be playing a role here, though he says it’s not as bad as it was earlier this season. The plan is for him to rejoin the rotation next Saturday against the Tigers. The Angels have Monday off, so they won’t need to replace him.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.