The Los Angeles Angels host the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third game of a three-game series on Thursday afternoon. This is a matchup between two teams that are out of the playoff race, with the Diamondbacks in a distant last place in the National League West, and the Angels in fourth place in the American League West, 4.5 games out of second place behind the Houston Astros.
In the first game of their series on Tuesday, Arizona jumped out to an 8-1 lead after four innings before Los Angeles came storming back to tie the game 8-8 after seven innings. David Peralta stepped to the plate in the top of the eighth inning and put the Diamondbacks in the lead, hitting the seventh home run of the game to give Arizona the 9-8 win. Kole Calhoun had three hits, including two home runs and five RBI, while Carson Kelly had three hits, including a home run for Arizona. Dalton Varsho also homered for the Diamondbacks. Justin Upton homered for the Angels, while Jared Walsh went 3-5 with a home run and three RBI.
This preview was written before game two of the series on Wednesday night.
Diamondbacks look to end season strongAfter beginning the season with a 13-11 record, it has been all downhill since for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona has lost 20 of their last 25 games since August 19. All five wins in that span have been by three runs or less. The Diamondbacks have had an eight-game losing streak as well as two five-game losing streaks in their last 25 games.
Leading-hitter Ketel Marte (.290) is on the IL with a wrist injury. Peralta is hitting .286 to lead the healthy Diamondbacks. Calhoun has hit a team-leading 11 home and has 29 RBI, which is second on the team, while Christian Walker leads Arizona with 31 RBI.
“Pretty cool, man," Calhoun said about his two home run performance on espn.com. "The first one was kind of surreal, first time back, old team, hit a homer. And then the second one, this is crazy. Crazy game, crazy night. Just very grateful for that opportunity to play here again and get a win against your former team. Pretty cool."
The Diamondbacks have hit just 44 home runs this season, while batting .230, which is 23rd in the majors. Even after their five home run performance on Tuesday, Arizona is still last in home runs per game at 0.93. Their pitching staff hasn’t been any better. They are giving up 5.32 runs per nine innings and 1,75 home runs per game, which is next-to-last in baseball.
Left-hander Alex Young takes the mound for Arizona in the series finale on Thursday afternoon. He is 2-3 with a 4.42 ERA this season. He is 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA on the road this season. Young hasn’t yet faced the Diamondbacks in his career.
Angels look to take series finaleThe Los Angeles Angels, after a horrendous start to the season, have been playing pretty well lately, winning eight of 12 games through Tuesday’s game. With 11 games to play entering Wednesday’s action, the Angels can’t afford to lose too many games the rest of the season, as they are 4.5 games behind the second-place Astros for the second automatic playoff bid in the AL West.
“The whole time, we thought we could come back in that ballgame," Angels manager Joe Maddon said on espn.com about their comeback attempt on Tuesday . "We had a great vibe. We battled and got back into it. We were in good position to win it, and we didn't do it."
David Fletcher leads the Angels in batting this season with a .308 mark, while Mike Trout is having another stellar season. He is tied for second in baseball with 16 home runs, seventh in RBI with 39, and fourth in OPS at 1.042. Los Angeles has hit 69 home runs this season and they have a .242 team batting average.
Griffin Canning gets the nod for the Angels on Thursday. He is 0-3 with a 4.57 ERA this season. He gave up three runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings on Friday versus the Colorado Rockies. This will be his first start against Arizona in his career.