|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
Toronto Blue Jays at Los Angeles Angels
- After a 5-11 start in 2019, the Blue Jays have gone 9-3 since April 15, including 6-1 on the road. The Toronto pitching staff has a .213 opponent batting average for the season, second lowest in the majors (Houston -- .206), and the team's starters have a 3.08 ERA, second lowest in MLB (Tampa Bay -- 2.04).
- The Angels dropped nine of 10 games between April 15 and April 24 but have since won three of four, scoring 27 runs. The Halos are scoring 6.50 runs per game with an .840 OPS in their wins compared to an average of 3.41 runs and a .649 OPS in defeats.
- The teams have met 420 times entering this series, with only two games separating them -- 211 wins for the Angels to 209 for Toronto. Since 2016, the games between the clubs in Los Angeles are an even split, with each team winning six times.
- Freddy Galvis ranks third among qualifying switch-hitters with a .315 batting average. Galvis, who has never had a batting average above .263 over a season, has a .352 mark on the road, with multi-hit games in six of 13 contests away from home.
- Since April 8, Mike Trout is hitting .259 with only one homer and four RBI in 16 games. Trout has only eight at-bats all season with runners in scoring position; he has 10 walks and has been hit by pitches twice with RISP.
- Griffin Canning is set to become the ninth different pitcher to start a game for the Halos this season, matching Atlanta for the most starting pitchers in 2019. He will be the 21st pitcher used by the team, tying for third most in the league.
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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