It’s funny what eight home runs in two games will do for a struggling offense. Here are some seasonal numbers and major league ranks entering Wednesday’s game, compared to after getting swept in Texas:
- Runs/game: 4.89 (11th) / 4.50 (9th)
- HR: 32 (t-1st) / 24 (5th)
- wRC+: 112 (6th) / 95 (17th)
- fWAR: 3.3 (3rd) / 1.8 (13th)
In other words, the season still is in its relative infancy while simultaneously also 30-percent complete.
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The Angels are going with the same lineup as Tuesday night except that Jo Adell is starting in right field instead of Justin Upton.
Griffin Canning makes his fourth start of the season for the Angels, facing Chris Bassitt for the A’s.
Andrelton Simmons is progressing from his ankle injury, and has taken at-bats at the Angels’ alternate training site in Long Beach. He might even be able to return from the injured list for the weekend series against the Dodgers, after Thursday’s off day.
“He ran well. He’s getting closer a lot more quickly,” manager Joe Maddon said on a conference call Wednesday. “I wouldn’t rule it out, but I haven’t had any final conclusions from the training staff yet.”
David Fletcher started the first four games of the season at third base when Anthony Rendon had an oblique injury, and Wednesday is his 15th straight start at shortstop in place of Simmons. Fletcher has been a fixture atop the lineup and is hitting .306/.388/.514 in the early going. But what about when Simmons returns?
“He’s an everyday player,” Maddon said. “We’ve got to figure out something. ... How do we maneuver these guys, where do we play them? But, Fletch plays. Fletch has got to play.”
Time: 1:10 p.m. PT
TV: Fox Sports West, MLB Network