The Los Angeles Angels are on the brink of matching the franchise’s longest home winning streak and the sputtering Toronto Blue Jays seem poised to get them there.
The Angels will go for their 12th straight home win Tuesday night while also trying to send the Blue Jays to their longest slide on the road in almost two years.
Los Angeles (52-36) has surged to baseball’s best home record at 31-14 with a staggering 20-2 stretch that includes a .296 batting average and 2.77 ERA. The Angels are looking to tie the team record of 12 consecutive home wins set in 1967.
They pulled closer to that mark Monday by beating Toronto 5-2 despite losing Jered Weaver after two perfect innings and 24 pitches due to tightness in his lower back.
The offense, batting .311 during the streak, picked up the slack with 10 hits – four doubles – while Howie Kendrick and Albert Pujols continued punishing pitchers.
Kendrick has a .462 average with 10 RBIs over his last 10 home games, collecting three hits with one double and one RBI in Monday’s opener of this three-game series.
Pujols, meanwhile, if 16 for 29 while driving in 10 runs and scoring nine of his own in seven games at Anaheim after getting two hits with an RBI.
"If you get momentum and some confidence going, and guys start feeling good and kind of feed off each other in the dugout and in the locker room, it’s fun to be a part of," left fielder Josh Hamilton said.
Tyler Skaggs (4-4, 4.16 ERA) will try to make his contribution to the Angels’ record books as he gets his first home start since coming back from a hamstring strain that kept him on the disabled list for nearly a month.
The left-hander was impressive upon his return on the road Wednesday, yielding two runs in 7 2-3 innings and not figuring in the decision of a 3-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
"I was kind of locked into the game, just excited to pitch after a month," Skaggs said. "It has been a long time. The team has been winning and I want to be a part of that. I was like a kid in a candy store, I was so excited."
Skaggs’ only career meeting with the Blue Jays was a 5-3 win at Toronto on May 10 in which he allowed three runs – two earned – and four hits in eight innings.
The Blue Jays (47-44) are hitting .178 while totaling 10 runs during a seven-game road losing streak. They last dropped eight in a row from Aug. 7-25, 2012.
If Toronto wants to end the funk it will need to start by giving knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (6-8, 4.10) some run support. The right-hander has a 3.74 ERA in his last five starts, but is 0-4 while being backed by three runs or fewer over the past four. That includes losing three straight road games despite a 2.82 ERA.
He tossed a six-hitter Thursday, yielding two earned runs while the offense got just five hits – four singles – in a 4-1 loss at Oakland.
"They’re doing the best that they can and that’s just part of being on a team and trying to pick each other up," Dickey told MLB’s official website. "It just comes with the territory."
Dickey didn’t get a decision in his most recent start against the Angels, allowing four runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-4 loss Sept. 11. This is his first start in Anaheim since a loss with Seattle on April 18, 2008.