Blue Jays-Angels Preview
Marcus Stroman doesn't have the reputation nor the $16 million salary of C.J. Wilson, but the 23-year-old has been making a name for himself since joining the Toronto Blue Jays' rotation while his counterpart in this matchup continues to struggle.
The right-hander looks to help visiting Toronto take two of three from the Los Angeles Angels as Wilson tries to snap out of his funk in Wednesday's finale.
Stroman (4-2, 3.44 ERA) is 3-2 with a 2.08 ERA in seven starts after another solid outing Friday, when he allowed three hits and struck out seven in seven innings of Toronto's 1-0, 12-inning loss at Oakland.
The rookie, initially called up from the minors May 4 and possibly for good May 31, threw a season-high 115 pitches. He's struck out 20 in 21 2-3 innings while giving up three runs over his last three starts.
"I feel comfortable. I feel like I've gotten into a pretty good groove," Stroman said. "Just trying to help the team win each and every start up here."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia hasn't felt very comfortable with Wilson (8-6, 4.23) on the mound lately, as the left-hander has allowed 16 runs in 13 innings over his last three starts after giving up six runs in 4 1-3 of Los Angeles' 7-6 win over Houston on Friday.
Wilson went 6-3 with a 3.00 ERA in his first 10 starts, but he's dropped off dramatically while posting a 6.18 ERA in eight outings since.
"He needs to get into good zones with all his pitches and get more quality strikes earlier in the count than he has been," Scioscia said. "If he does that, I think you're going to see him get back into that mode of getting ahead and putting hitters away the way that he does when he's very successful."
Wilson had a rough outing against the Blue Jays on May 12, giving up five runs - a three-run homer to Jose Bautista and a two-run shot to the now-injured Brett Lawrie - over six innings of a 7-3 loss. He's 2-2 with a 4.62 ERA in his last six starts against Toronto.
Bautista is 8 for 18 lifetime off Wilson, and he'll look to improve on that mark after the Blue Jays (48-44) ended a season-worst five-game losing streak with Tuesday's 4-0 victory.
Jose Reyes, who is 14 for 24 with three homers and five RBIs during a six-game hitting streak against the Angels, went 4 for 5 with an RBI single in the fifth and a two-run homer in the seventh. He's hitting .344 over his last 14, raising his average 20 points to .267 in the process.
Toronto also snapped a seven-game road losing streak while ending a five-game run for Los Angeles (52-37). The Angels saw their home winning streak come to an end at 11, one short of the franchise record set in 1967.
Erick Aybar had two of the five hits for the Angels, who were shut out for the first time since May 16 and lost for just the third time in their last 23 in Anaheim.
Albert Pujols went hitless after going 10 for 17 with two homers and eight RBIs over his previous four.