The Los Angeles Angels are making a move up the American League wild-card standings and seek their fifth consecutive win when they visit the Seattle Mariners on Saturday. The Angels rallied from a four-run deficit on Friday en route to a 6-5 victory, their second straight over Seattle to open the four-game series.
Albert Pujols collected three hits, including a two-run single during a four-run seventh, to help Los Angeles climb within one-half game of Minnesota in the wild-card race. Tampa Bay and the Mariners are tied with the Angels, but Seattle missed an opportunity to remain in the lead as its bullpen imploded. Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz belted his eighth homer in 11 games and recorded two RBIs to raise his major league-leading total to 92. Angels superstar Mike Trout walked three times and scored twice but was hitless in two at-bats after registering multiple hits in eight of his previous 12 contests.
TV: 9:10 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), ROOT Northwest (Seattle)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH JC Ramirez (10-10, 4.21 ERA) vs. Mariners RH Erasmo Ramirez (4-4, 5.10)
JC Ramirez lost his last outing as Baltimore reached him for six runs and eight hits in seven innings. The 28-year-old has lost five of his last eight starts and alternated wins and losses over his last seven outings. JC Ramirez is 1-0 with a 5.00 ERA in six career relief appearances against Seattle, and the victory occurred prior to him being moved into the rotation this season.
Erasmo Ramirez has served up five homers over 8 1/3 innings in two starts since being re-acquired from Tampa Bay. The 27-year-old lost to Kansas City in his last outing, when he gave up five runs and eight hits - three homers - in five frames. Erasmo Ramirez went 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts versus the Angels this season while with the Rays and is 4-2 with a 2.49 ERA in 10 career appearances (six starts).
1. Angels RHP Andrew Bailey (shoulder), who has missed the last four months, is expected to be activated prior to Saturday’s contest.
2. Seattle LHP James Paxton (pectoral) was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday and will miss at least three weeks.
3. Los Angeles 1B C.J. Cron recorded a run-scoring single in the seventh-inning uprising on Friday and is 10-for-23 with two homers and seven RBIs over his last six games.
PREDICTION: Mariners 4, Angels 3