|7:07 PM PT8:07 PM MT9:07 PM CT10:07 PM ET22:07 ET2:07 GMT10:07 7:07 PM MST9:07 PM EST9:37 PM VEN6:07 UAE (+1)9:07 PM CT, May 2, 2019
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California Attendance: 40,064
Sanchez, Jays look to nail down series finale vs. Angels
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Aaron Sanchez will start on the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Angels, and among his fans, certainly, will be his manicurist.
He will oppose left-hander Tyler Skaggs, who will try to pitch the Angels to a sweep of the three-game series.
Sanchez (3-1, 2.32 ERA) has an unfortunate history of issues with his fingernails and blisters on his fingers over the past couple of seasons, limiting his ability to take the mound every five days.
So when Sanchez had a broken fingernail during his start April 21 against Oakland, Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo didn't hesitate taking him out of the game after only four innings.
Sanchez received an extra day of rest before his following start on Saturday, also against the Athletics, and the nail held up fine. The right-hander ended up getting the win after throwing five innings and giving up one unearned run and two hits.
"No problems. I just need to throw more strikes at the end of the day," Sanchez said after the game. "When I came out last game, I caught it at the right time. It was fine going into today. It just bothers me a bit I was only able to go five."
Before the problems with blisters and fingernails limited him to 28 starts over 2017 and '18, Sanchez appeared on his way to becoming one of the best starters in the league. In 2016, he made a career-best 30 starts and went 15-2 with a 3.00 ERA. He was an All-Star and finished seventh in the Cy Young award voting.
He is 0-1 with a 3.14 ERA in four career games (three starts) against the Angels, and has held Mike Trout to one hit in five at-bats against him.
Trout, though, also has three walks against Sanchez, a tact that pitchers across the league seem to choose, preferring to pitch around Trout rather than challenge the Angels center fielder. Trout went 2-for-4 with a walk on Wednesday in the Angels' 6-3 win over the Blue Jays, and has reached base in all 28 games he's played this season.
That set an Angels record for consecutive games reaching base to start a season, passing Darin Erstad's mark of 27 set in 2000. Trout's 30 walks lead the majors.
Skaggs (2-2, 3.15 ERA) will make his second start since missing two weeks because of a sprained ankle. In his initial start after the injury, Skaggs' numbers looked good -- no runs and three hits in five innings -- but he admitted he was a little out of sync.
"A little rusty," he said. "I missed a lot of spots. Luckily they didn't hit that many mistakes."
Skaggs has been mediocre in his career against Toronto, going 2-2 with a 4.11 ERA in five starts. He'll be facing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the first time, but would do well to take advice from the pitchers who faced Guerrero in the first two games of the series: The third baseman is 0-for-6 with three strikeouts and two walks against Angels pitching.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 2, 2019