Blue Jays at Angels
A lack of offense recently has ruined what was the Los Angeles Angels' best start in 43 years, while nearly three weeks of run-scoring ineptitude has already sent the Toronto Blue Jays to their worst start in club history. Two teams in desperate need of a quick turnaround meet up for the opener of a four-game set Friday when Los Angeles hosts Toronto.
The Angels tallied 41 runs and claimed each of their first four one-run decisions - including a pair of thrilling late-inning rallies - to win six of their first eight contests, but the bottom has since fallen out with eight losses in their last nine outings. Los Angeles, which has totaled only 16 runs during its slide, concluded a 1-6 road trip through Kansas City and Houston with a 2-1 setback Thursday to the Astros, dropping the Angels to 0-10 when they score three or fewer runs (7-0 when they score more). The Blue Jays' nightmare start continued Thursday with a 4-1, 10-inning home defeat against Boston, leaving them with a league-worst 3-12 record and marking the first time in team history they have lost each of their first five series. Toronto has scored a total of 45 runs - second-worst in the majors - and tallied four runs or fewer in all but three of its contests, including 10 of its last 11.
TV: 10:07 p.m. ET, Sportsnet One (Toronto), FSN West (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Mat Latos (2016: 7-3, 4.89 ERA) vs. Angels RH Alex Meyer (2016: 1-3, 5.68)
With Aaron Sanchez and J.A. Happ landing on the disabled list earlier this week, Latos is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to take the mound in the opener. The 29-year-old journeyman, who made 17 appearances (12 starts) with the Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals last year, pitched two games with the Angels at the end of the 2015 season. Latos, who is 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts versus the Angels, has tallied a pair of no-decisions while posting a 1.00 ERA for Buffalo in the early going.
Meyer will draw his first start of the season and the seventh of his career Friday, as the Angels intend to promote him from Triple-A Salt Lake in an effort to give their rotation another day to rest. The Indiana native has yet to factor into the decision in any of his three minor-league turns, although he has posted a 4.80 ERA and 1.60 WHIP to go along with an 18:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Meyer fanned seven over five scoreless frames in his first and only big-league victory against the Blue Jays on Sept. 18.
1. Toronto CF Kevin Pillar is batting .424 during an eight-game hitting streak.
2. Los Angeles' rotation has a 2.98 ERA over the last six games after posting a 6.50 ERA over the previous six.
3. All three of Blue Jays 1B-DH Kendrys Morales' home runs this season have tied the game or given Toronto the lead, and two have come in the ninth inning.