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Angels Wrap Up 9-Game Homestand Searching For Series Win Versus Rangers

Jaime Barria Toes The Slab As The Halos Fight To Reach .500 For The 27th Time This Year

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

With this four-game wraparound series against Texas concluding this evening, the Angels are on the verge of winning just their fourth series in over a month. August saw the Halos finish 14-15, averaging 4.24 runs per/game, while through just four September games, they are 2-2 with the pitching staff leading the way with a 2.50 ERA, which ranks second in all of Major League Baseball. The Angels lead the season series against Texas 10-5 with only four head-to-head games remaining (including tonight). By virtue of already winning the season series (thanks to a 4-1 win on Saturday), this is just the third time in the last seven seasons the Angels won a season series against Texas and first since 2018.

Looking to carry the torch of great pitching over the past week will be right-hander Jaime Barria. The 25-year-old Panamanian will make his first start of September after going 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA in nine games (seven starts) thus far this season. Following back-to-back quality starts in July that earned Barria two wins, August humbled him with two losses, an ERA near seven (6.75) and a four-game streak of lasting 4.1 innings or less on the hill. The one saving grace of Barria this season the Angels hope to play a factor tonight is his love of pitching at Angel Stadium. In four games (three starts), the righty limits opposing batters to a .269 average, while yielding just five earned runs in 18 innings (2.50 ERA). In comparison to the road, Barria’s ERA is 7.97 in 20.1 innings and an opponent BAA of .318. The last time Barria squared off against the Rangers was back on September 18, 2020 where he picked up the win, matching a career-high with eight strikeouts and yielding just two runs in 6.1 innings.

Opposing the Angels will be fellow right-hander A.J. Alexy. The Honey Brook, PA native will be making his second career start after debuting with the Rangers on August 30 against the Colorado Rockies. In that start, he picked up the win after tossing five scoreless innings with just one hit allowed (2nd inning Double to C.J. Cron) and sprinkling in four strikeouts. This year in the minors, the 23-year-old combined to go 3-1 with a 1.66 ERA in 16 appearances (10 starts) between Double-A Frisco RoughRiders and Triple-A Round Rock Express. Alexy was originally drafted into the Los Angeles Dodgers organization as an 11th round pick in 2016, until he was traded over to the Rangers on July 31, 2017 in a four player deal that was headlined by Yu Darvish going to the Dodgers.

Player To Watch

Jo Adell has looked completely different this year in all facets of the game in comparison to 2020. He presents a more confident swagger along with being patient at the plate and a force to be reckoned with in the outfield. During the first eight games of this homestand, Adell has found his stroke at the plate. In 27 at-bats, the former 2017 first round pick is batting .296 with 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5 Runs scored and 3 walks. To zoom in deeper in his recent stats, Adell is riding a three-game hit streak against Texas that continued yesterday with his second-career multi-home run game (first was on August 29, 2020 vs. Seattle).

To make matters even greater for Adell, he has gone full “Beastmode” with runners in scoring position. In a limited number of at-bats (29), he has capitalized by slashing .379/.400/.759 and driving in 20 of his 21 runs batted in during these situations.

Angels News & Notes

  • RHP Austin Warren is back at Angel Stadium and off the Covid-19 List
  • LHP Packy Naughton named starter for tomorrow’s game versus the San Diego Padres; Wednesday is TBD
  • No set date yet for Shohei Ohtani’s next start. Early projections guess that it could be Friday or Saturday in Houston
  • 2 Angels minor league pitchers (RHP Ben Rowen and LHP Ryan Smith) named “Pitcher of the Week” in their respective leagues