3 Things We Learned From The Angels’ 6-3 Win Over The Rangers

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Updated: April 28, 2017

The Angels kicked off a six-game stint on the road versus the Texas Rangers this evening. The Angels got the better of their rivals in the series opener, ultimately winning by a final of 6-3. It was the team’s fifth victory in a row.

Starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs made his second start of the year against Texas. In a start at home on April 11 Skaggs allow five runs over the course of five innings of work. Tonight his stuff against the Rangers was far superior. In five innings of work, Skaggs only allowed a single run. Additionally, he struck out a half dozen on the night.

In the sixth inning of the AL West showdown, five-tool talent Mike Trout once again demonstrated why he is the best player in the Milky Way. With the game tied 1-1 at that point and with Kole Calhoun, Trout was not in the mood to monkey around. On a 2-1 pitch the superstar clobbered a laser like shot out to deep center field to give the Angels a two run edge. Alas, the Rangers came back in the bottom of the inning and knotted the score up as they similarly did in the first.

Southpaw José Álvarez toed the rubber in the ninth for the Angels and finished off the Rangers in what was a 1-2-3 inning. As a result, he earned his first save in the majors.

Three more takeaways to take into account after tonight’s game consist of the following.

1. Escobar Breaks Out Of Slump In Big Way

Headed into this ball game, third baseman Yunel Escobar had only two hits in his last seven games. It is little bit weird to think about because he started the year on fire in the batter’s box. As a matter of fact, there were several days earlier this year when he was batting over the .400 mark. While no hitter is expected to sustain such an average, his numbers have plummeted since mid-April.

But a glimmer of light came about off Escobar’s bat in this one. This evening Escobar helped get the Angels on the board after seeing just one pitch. That’s all it took, ladies and gentlemen. He launched an absolute bomb to left center field to give his team the early advantage. According to the team’s broadcasters, the ball landed an estimated 438 feet from home plate. Talk about some serious distance! Given that Yunel tends to mainly spray a lot of singles the vast majority of the time, seeing something outside of the norm provided a sigh of relief.

2. Skaggs Continues To Pitch At High Level

For the third time in a row, southpaw Tyler Skaggs performed at a very high level. In his prior pair of starts the starting pitcher tossed a combined 14 innings, allowing only two runs in the process.  In tonight’s case, the stats were essentially no different.  In five innings the lefty only gave up one run in the first inning. Otherwise, Skaggs’ performance was clean in that respect. He did not surrender any freebies tonight, either. It is safe to say that he has rebounded nicely after a not so wonderful start to 2017.

Probably the only disappointing thing about his game was that he was not given the nod after the fifth inning. It was puzzling initially since he only threw 76 pitches all in all. To say that it was puzzling is not even a good enough way of putting it. Thus, at least one more inning on the mound would have made sense logically. However, rumor has it that Skaggs left prematurely on account of right side tightness. For a team that is already derailed by injuries, let’s hope that this is nothing serious in scope.

3. Pujols Turns Back The Clock Yet Again

Cleanup specialist Albert Pujols has been in a regression ever since he transferred over from the National League. Although that is true, it is does not mean that the Machine is no longer able to make baseballs cry here and there. If baseballs do happen to have feelings of any caliber, Pujols surely caused some waterworks in the eighth inning of this one. With Calhoun and Trout on for the slugger, Albert did Albert things. On a hanging breaking ball right over the heart of plate, the Angels’ slugger hit a tape measure shot to deep left field that gave the Halos a 6-3 lead. It was the 594th round-tripper of his career, making him one step closer to that magical 600 figure.

Right-handed pitcher Jesse Chavez is scheduled to start in game two of the series tomorrow. It will not be an easy one for Chavez, though. The Rangers plan to counter with their ace Yu Darvish. First pitch is set for 4:15 PDT.

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