Angels back alone atop AL West as Shoemaker handles Marlins
AUG 27, 2014 2:34a ET
While everybody else in the Los Angeles Angels' rotation has dealt with serious injuries and wild inconsistency this summer, Matt Shoemaker has been unshakable for two months.
His teammates provided the rookie with far more support than he required in his latest milestone win.
Mike Trout had an RBI double and Albert Pujols added a two-run single during Los Angeles' five-run fourth inning, and the Angels regained sole possession of the majors' best record with an 8-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night.
Shoemaker (13-4) yielded two hits over seven scoreless innings as the Angels (78-53) moved one game ahead of the AL West rival Oakland Athletics, who lost to Houston.
Five days after Shoemaker took a no-hitter into the seventh inning at Fenway Park, he walked two and struck out six while holding his seventh consecutive opponent to fewer than two earned runs.
"It's confidence from consistent hard work," the heavily bearded Shoemaker said. "I want to go out there and use every pitch I can, and be aggressive every time."
Trout slowed his August slump with three hits, and Efren Navarro drove in two runs as the Angels pounded out 16 hits in their 10th victory in 14 games.
"We had a couple of great at-bats tonight from everybody," Trout said.
Six Angels drove in a run as their lineup bounced back from a poor series opener, but Los Angeles won with another outstanding start from its 27-year-old rookie right-hander. Shoemaker's emergence has steadied a rotation that lost Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs to season-ending injuries.
"You just can't ask for a better game," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Today there was no doubt we needed some length from Matt. Getting into the seventh is huge."
With his fourth win in a row, Shoemaker passed the Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka for the major-league victories lead among rookies.
Nathan Eovaldi (6-9) gave up 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings while dropping his third consecutive start for the Marlins, who have lost four of six.
The Angels chased Eovaldi after their first six batters reached base in the fourth. Pujols then delivered a 6-0 lead on reliever Sam Dyson's first pitch.
"My arm feels great," Eovaldi said. "It's probably the best I've felt in my career. No issues. It's extremely discouraging and real frustrating. I'm just going through a rough little rut right now, so I have to keep grinding and work through it."
Miami didn't get a runner to second base until Garrett Jones' two-out, two-strike double in the ninth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia's ensuing RBI double allowed the Marlins to avoid their first shutout loss since June 21.
Giancarlo Stanton went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.
Erick Aybar extended his hitting streak to 11 games with his sixth consecutive multihit performance, matching his career best. He is batting .465 (20 for 43) during his hit streak and .379 in interleague play this season.
Shoemaker is the first undrafted, American-born rookie to win at least 13 games since John Montefusco won 15 for the Giants in 1975. He also became just the fourth pitcher in Angels history to make consecutive starts with at least seven shutout innings and two or fewer hits, joining a group including Nolan Ryan.
Marlins: Reliever Bryan Morris was sent back to Miami after feeling discomfort in his right hip.
Angels: The Angels designated LHP Wade LeBlanc for assignment and recalled reliever Yoslan Herrera to add fresh arms to their weary bullpen. Herrera pitched the ninth, giving up both Miami runs.
Marlins: Henderson Alvarez (10-5, 2.57 ERA) pitches the series finale.
Angels: Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.38) attempts to add to his late-season surge in his first career start against the Marlins.