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5:07 PM PT6:07 PM MT7:07 PM CT8:07 PM ET20:07 ET0:07 GMT8:07 5:07 PM MST7:07 PM EST7:37 PM VEN4:07 UAE (+1)7:07 PM CT, June 26, 2019
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California  Attendance: 35,272

Angels' La Stella strives to torment Reds again

Tommy La Stella has earned a new nickname in the Los Angeles Angels' clubhouse.

Tommy "La Slugger" is getting high praise for the lofty power numbers he's put up through the first half of the season. He'll try to continue raising the bar when the Angels face the Cincinnati Reds in the finale of their two-game series on Wednesday evening in Anaheim, Calif.

La Stella combined for 10 home runs in his first five major league seasons with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves. He hit his 16th homer of the season on Tuesday night, albeit of the inside-the park variety, in a 5-1 victory against the Reds.

In addition to providing the Angels' first inside-the-park homer in Anaheim since 2006, when Chone Figgins accomplished the feat, La Stella had a single to bump his average back to .300. The second baseman also made a diving stop on a ground ball headed to right field to save a run in the first inning.

La Stella's overall play this season has made him one of three finalists to start at second base for the AL All Star team.

"He's extremely deserving," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. "He's a great teammate to boot."

Right-hander Tanner Roark is scheduled to start on the mound for the Reds.

Roark (5-6, 3.47 ERA) ended a personal three-start losing streak with a strong outing on Thursday at Milwaukee.

He allowed one run and three hits in six innings of the 7-1 win over the Brewers. Roark struck out seven, and he did not walk a batter for the second straight outing.

"We like when our pitchers attack," Reds manager David Bell said after game.

Roark told reporters after his most recent start that he's been having success at the top edge of the strike zone with his four-seam fastball.

"I've been working on it," he said. "Knowing when to go at the top of the zone and above the zone and trusting my hand position, my mechanics and delivery to get me to the right exact point to get the spin rate up or whatever you guys talk about."

Roark has made two hard-luck starts against the Angels in his career, both while still with the Washington Nationals.

In a game that drew more attention as the first matchup between young superstars Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, Roark threw 6 2/3 shutout innings against visiting Los Angeles on April 21, 2014, but the bullpen gave up four runs in the eighth inning and the Nationals lost 4-2.

He most recently faced the Angels on Aug. 16, 2017, and blanked them for four innings before giving up a solo home run to Luis Valbuena in the fifth inning and a two-run shot to Kole Calhoun in the sixth, resulting in a 3-2 loss.

Roark has never pitched at Angel Stadium.

Jonathan Lucroy owns the most success against Roark of any current Los Angeles hitter. He's 7-for-16 in his career off the right-hander with a home run.

The Angels plan to recall right-hander Jaime Barria from Triple-A Salt Lake and start him on the mound Wednesday.

Barria (2-2, 6.52 ERA) last pitched for the Angels on June 6, throwing five innings of relief against the visiting Oakland Athletics, allowing one run and three hits in the 7-4 loss.

Barria made 26 starts for the Angels as a rookie last season, going 10-9 with a 3.41 ERA.

--Field Level Media

Updated June 26, 2019

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