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|7:07 PM PT8:07 PM MT9:07 PM CT10:07 PM ET22:07 ET2:07 GMT10:07 7:07 PM MST9:07 PM EST9:37 PM VEN6:07 UAE (+1)9:07 PM CT, June 25, 2019
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California Attendance: 37,260
Reds look to regain momentum vs. Angels
The Los Angeles Angels and Cincinnati Reds open a two-game series in Anaheim, Calif., on Tuesday night and both teams will try to continue keeping pace with the rest of the playoff contenders.
The Angels return home after going 6-5 on their road trip, keeping them within four games of the final wild-card spot in the American League entering this week.
The Reds come in on a two-game losing streak but won a season-high six straight games before that, including the first sweep this season against the AL West-leading Houston Astros. Cincinnati enters the week 3 1/2 games back of the second wild-card spot in the National League.
"We can say, 'Hey, we've put ourselves in position here with a long way to go,'" Reds manager David Bell told reporters after a 7-5 loss at the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday. "You just keep moving forward. It is just a week, but it was a real important week."
The Angels have been pleased lately with their Mike Trout-anchored offense, which owns the eighth-best batting average in the majors at .260, but the team could use more consistency out of the starting pitching.
Los Angeles starters have gone at least six innings just 19 times in 79 games, the fewest in the majors.
"Pitching and defense wins championships," Angels manager Brad Ausmus recently told reporters. "Starting pitching is the biggest chunk of that. We definitely need, as a whole, to pitch better. If we do, the way our offense has come around, it gives us 1/8a 3/8 legitimate shot at a playoff spot."
The Angels will look to left-hander Andrew Heaney to provide some length.
Heaney (0-1, 5.68 ERA) missed the first two months of the season after he was shut down during spring training because of elbow inflammation. He's still looking for his first win after five starts. Heaney has gone at least six innings just once.
Heaney gave up five runs in 3 2/3 innings at the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, his poorest outing of the five this season. He said he met with pitching coach Doug White and they spent extra time combing through that performance.
"I think we got an idea of what I was doing and how to fix it," Heaney said.
Heaney will try to follow up the strong performance by fellow left-hander Tyler Skaggs, who threw five shutout innings in a 6-4 win at the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, helping the Angels salvage a win from the three-game series. This will be his first meeting vs. the Reds.
"Skaggs has looked better," Ausmus said. "I think Heaney is going to be fine. I'm really not too worried about the two lefties at all."
The Reds plan to send right-hander Tyler Mahle to the mound to oppose Heaney.
Mahle (2-7, 4.17 ERA) is coming off the longest outing of his three-year major league career and maybe one of his best, holding the Astros to two runs and four hits in seven innings on Wednesday. The Reds won 3-2, but Mahle did not receive a decision. This will be his first time facing the Angels.
"That's what makes him good," Bell said of Mahle. "He competes."
--Field Level Media
Updated June 24, 2019