The Los Angeles Angels still are clinging to the hope of reaching the postseason, but they have their work cut out for them thanks to their recent skid. One day after ending its six-game losing streak, Los Angeles begins a four-game series against the host Chicago White Sox on Monday.
The Angels’ slide dropped them 4 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second wild-card spot in the American League, a deficit they maintained by outlasting Houston 7-5 on Sunday night. Brandon Phillips and Justin Upton both went deep in the triumph, with the latter increasing his career-best totals to 35 home runs and 108 RBIs. Upton has homered three times in the last two contests for Los Angeles, which has seven games remaining. Chicago looks to damage the Angels’ playoff chances after doing it to Kansas City by taking two of three over the weekend. Avisail Garcia homered and drove in three runs in Sunday’s 8-1 victory, reaching the 80-RBI mark for the first time in his career.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), CSN Chicago-Plus
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Ricky Nolasco (6-14, 5.06 ERA) vs. White Sox RH James Shields (4-7, 5.40)
Nolasco’s winless streak reached six starts on Wednesday as he settled for a no-decision against Cleveland after allowing two runs and five hits over five innings. The 34-year-old Californian has not been victorious since Aug. 16, when he put forth a similar effort at Washington - giving up two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 frames. Nolasco has struggled against Chicago in his career, going 1-4 with a 6.00 ERA in eight starts.
Shields is coming off a loss at Houston on Wednesday in which he yielded three runs on six hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings. The 35-year-old had one cause for optimism, however, as he kept the ball in the park for the first time in 10 outings. Shields, who also hails from the Golden State, is 6-4 with three complete games, one shutout and a 3.13 ERA in 14 career starts against the Angels.
1. The Angels host Seattle for a three-game series after their set against the White Sox, while Minnesota visits AL Central-champion Cleveland for three contests before hosting Detroit for three to end the season.
2. Chicago 1B Jose Abreu could miss his second straight game due to a bruised left shin that continues to cause him pain.
3. Los Angeles CF Mike Trout is 2-for-9 with a homer lifetime against Shields.
PREDICTION: Angels 9, White Sox 6