The Angels are beginning to create some distance in the American League West.
Behind a strong start from Jered Weaver and home runs from Chris Iannetta and Albert Pujols, the Angels defeated the Athletics 4-0 last night at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
Weaver allowed just three hits and three walks over seven scoreless innings in the victory. He’s now tied with Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello for the American League lead with 15 wins. As for the offense, Iannetta lifted a two-run homer off Jon Lester in the fifth inning which fell out of a leaping Coco Crisp’s glove and over the center field fence. Pujols added a solo shot for some insurance in the seventh.
The Angels now have a season-high three-game lead over the A’s, who have lost 12 out of their last 18 games. Still trying to find their footing after Garrett Richards’ knee injury, the Angels will send Cory Rasmus to the hill tonight in what is likely to be a bullpen game. Oakland will counter with Jeff Samardzija.
Your Friday box scores:
Athletics 0, Angels 4
Twins 1, Orioles 9
Reds 1, Pirates 2
Yankees 6, Blue Jays 3
Phillies 1, Mets 4
Marlins 2, Braves 5
Red Sox 8, Rays 4
Tigers 7, White Sox 1
Cubs 7, Cardinals 2
Indians 6, Royals 1
Rockies 2, Diamondbacks 5
Rangers 13, Astros 6
Brewers 2, Giants 13
Nationals 8, Mariners 3
Dodgers 2, Padres 3 (12 innings)
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.