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The Los Angeles Angels haven’t faced right-hander Zack Greinke since the 2015 season Womens Greg Olsen Jersey , but they’ve continued to feel his effects.
Greinke (5-5. 3.97 ERA) is scheduled to start when the Arizona Diamondbacks open a three-game series Monday night at Angel Stadium.
The Angels (38-34) have lost five of their past six to fall eight games back of the final American League wild card.
The Diamondbacks (39-32) dropped their past two after winning six of seven. Their lead in the National League West has dwindled to 1 1/2 games over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Angels remain just as starved for playoff success as they were in July 2012 when they acquired Greinke in a deal that sent young infield prospect Jean Segura to the Milwaukee Brewers as part of the package.
It was an exciting time in Anaheim.
Albert Pujols, a three-time NL Most Valuable Player, was in his first season with the Angels at age 32. Los Angeles center fielder Mike Trout was in his first full season in the majors and already an All-Star.
Greinke even did his part, going 6-2 with a 3.53 ERA in the last two months with the Angels, but they missed the playoffs for a third straight season and he opted to sign with the Dodgers in the offseason.
Still in his prime, Greinke went 51-15 in three seasons with the Dodgers and helped them reach the playoffs each year.
Meanwhile, Segura was named an NL All-Star a year after he was traded by the Angels and the 28-year-old shortstop continues to improve. Only now he’s in the AL West with the Seattle Mariners and playing a key part.
After Segura was traded to the Diamondbacks and he led the NL in hits in 2016, he was dealt to the Mariners, where he entered the weekend with the second-highest batting average in the majors (.344).
The Mariners lead the Angels by eight games for the final AL wild card.
Meanwhile, the Angels are still seeking their first playoff win since 2009.
They’ve had success when facing Greinke in the past. He’s 3-5 with 3.91 ERA in 12 career appearances against the Angels, including 11 starts.
Several Angels players have also hit well against Greinke during their careers.
Luis Valbuena is 11-for-26, Pujols and Justin Upton are each 10-for-29, and Trout is 5-for-15.
They’ll try to drop Greinke’s season record below .500, something he hasn’t experienced this late in a season since 2010.
“As long as I’m able to make good pitches, it’s fine,” Greinke told reporters after his last start.
The Angels will have one of their most successful starters this season ready to oppose Greinke.
Jaime Barria (5-2, 2.61) has solidified himself as a regular starter for the Angels, both through his performance and injuries to other pitchers.
He took the loss in his last outing, but even that performance included plenty of positives. The 21-year-old right-hander went five innings against the Mariners, allowing three runs (two earned) and eight hits in the 6-3 loss.
“I think Jaime has definitely pitched himself onto our depth chart from spring,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters last week. “We’re encouraged at how much he’s grown, where he is right now and how much he’ll help us this year. There’s no doubt, he’s pitched his way into more looks for us.”
Barria has allowed more than two earned runs in just one of eight starts this season.
Kyle Freeland has a silhouette of a mountain range tattooed along his right arm.
So, no, the Denver native doesn’t mind pitching in a little thin air.
Freeland elevated his game once again at Coors Field and the Colorado Rockies scored the go-ahead run in the seventh on a throwing error by shortstop Brandon Crawford to rally for a 5-2 win over the San Francisco Giants on Monday night.
Freeland (8-6) settled in to go seven strong innings after surrendering a homer to Gorkys Hernandez on the first pitch of the game.
That mistake hardly weighed on him.
”There were a lot more pitches to be thrown Youth JuJu Smith-Schuster Jersey ,” said Freeland, who allowed three hits. ”You have to have faith in your offense they’ll come through for you.”
The left-hander hardly feels intimidated by the hitter’s park. Freeland has allowed three or fewer runs in all but one of his seven starts at Coors Field this season.
”To me, it’s still the game of baseball. You have to make your pitches,” Freeland said of his approach at Coors. ”If you don’t make your pitches, there’s a strong chance they’re going to get whacked – hard.”
Part of Freeland’s good groove of late has to do with the development of his changeup. He’s throwing it with confidence – and success.
”There is a poise factor that comes into play when you’re playing this game,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”He’s learning this at the highest level. … I love the day that Kyle pitches.”
Scott Oberg threw the eighth and Wade Davis worked his way around a one-out double by Buster Posey in the ninth for his 24th save. He struck out Crawford to end the game.
Madison Bumgarner (1-3) was cruising along until the seventh when he began to unravel. After allowing three straight singles, he was replaced by reliever Reyes Moronta, who walked Nolan Arenado and then allowed the tying run on a double play. Ian Desmond followed with a roller that Crawford gobbled up only to throw wide to first, allowing the tiebreaking run to score.
”Just didn’t throw it 100 percent. I gave it about an 80-percent throw,” Crawford explained. ”One-hopper, I had time.”
Pinch-hitter Tom Murphy added an insurance run in the eighth, with Charlie Blackmon bringing in another on a sacrifice fly. Arenado finished 2 for 3 with two walks.
Bumgarner ran his streak to 22 scoreless innings before it came to a halt in the seventh when he was charged with three runs, two earned. Before Monday, the left-hander hadn’t allowed a run since June 16 in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.
”I don’t care about the streak. I’m just trying to win,” Bumgarner said. ”That’s a tough loss. Everything was going our way early on and didn’t go our way late. That’s all there is to it.”
Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto (elbow) was schedule to throw a bullpen session Monday in Sacramento, while RHP Jeff Samardzija (shoulder) was slated to make a rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento. ”It’s a fairly big day in Sacramento,” manager Bruce Bochy cracked. ”Tomorrow, we’ll have a plan.”
Rockies: RHP Bryan Shaw (right calf strain) had a bullpen session Monday and ”threw the ball well,” Black said. Shaw will throw a simulated game Wednesday and may soon go out on a rehab assignment. … RHP Chad Bettis wore white tape on his middle finger after developing a hot spot during Sunday’s start. Bettis was pulled after three innings. ”We’re concerned about him for sure,” Black said.
Austin Slater played a big role in keeping the Rockies off the scoreboard early by making a sliding catch in left field to end the third with the bases loaded. Slater also had a diving catch in the second.
Giants: RHP Chris Stratton (8-5, 4.45 ERA) faces the Rockies on Tuesday for a second time in less than a week. He allowed five runs over four innings last Thursday.
Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela (2-1, 6.23) will be recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque and make his first start of the season Tuesday. He takes the place of opening day starter Jon Gray, who was optioned to Triple-A over the weekend.
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