Blue Jays-Angels Preview
Riding unprecedented power surges, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder
Jose Bautista and Los Angeles Angels catcher Mike Napoli might need
to contribute more homers with a pair of inconsistent starters
heading to the mound Wednesday night.
Bautista, the major league home run leader, will try to support
Brandon Morrow, while Napoli will attempt to give Joel Pineiro a
lift in the finale of a three-game set in Anaheim.
Bautista hit his eighth homer in 11 games and 15th overall
Tuesday night, but it wasn’t enough in an 8-3 defeat.
Napoli helped put away that victory with his fifth homer in
eight contests, a solo shot in the sixth inning.
That power could be needed again with Morrow (3-4, 6.80 ERA) and
Pineiro (3-5, 5.00) heading to the mound.
Morrow is 1-2 with a 10.80 ERA in his last three starts and
couldn’t take advantage of his team’s six home runs Friday in
Arizona, including one from Bautista. He gave up six runs over four
innings in an 8-6 loss.
“It’s tough when you get six home runs and you lose,” said third
baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who hit three in that game.
With 17 1-3 scoreless innings heading into Friday’s start in St.
Louis, Pineiro seemed to have gotten past a three-game losing
streak during which he posted a 9.98 ERA. The right-hander, though,
was tagged for nine runs and nine hits in three innings in a 9-5
loss to his former team.
Napoli tried to help Pineiro with a go-ahead two-run homer in a
four-run second inning, but the right-hander allowed five runs in
his final frame, including a grand slam to Cardinals pitcher Brad
“Just overall, it was embarrassing,” Pineiro said. “They just
hit me around.”
Pineiro hasn’t started against Toronto since a 7-3 win for
Seattle on July 24, 2006, and he’s 2-4 with a 4.70 ERA in eight
career starts versus the Blue Jays. Morrow lost his only career
start against the Angels – also for the Mariners – despite allowing
two runs in five innings on Sept. 11, 2008.
Napoli has a single and three strikeouts in his career against
the right-handed Morrow. Bautista, meanwhile, has doubled twice in
nine career meetings with Pineiro.
Pineiro, also right-handed, could get a boost with the return of
Torii Hunter. The Gold Glove outfielder was off Tuesday night while
attending his son’s high school graduation in Texas.
The status of Blue Jays outfielder and leadoff hitter Fred Lewis
is unknown after he was scratched due to a bunion on his left foot.
Lewis needed surgery to remove one from his right foot in 2008, but
manager Cito Gaston said this injury isn’t serious.
He could return Wednesday as the Blue Jays try for their first
road series win over the Angels since taking two of three May