Rangers’ A.J. Alexy ready for encore vs. Angels
Texas Rangers right-hander A.J. Alexy will try to follow up his impressive major-league debut with another solid performance when he faces the Los Angeles Angels on Monday in the finale of their four-game series in Anaheim, Calif.
Alexy (1-0, 0.00 ERA) threw five shutout innings last Monday and allowed one hit in a 4-3 win against the visiting Colorado Rockies.
Alexy was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2016 MLB draft and then traded the following year to the Rangers in the Yu Darvish deal. He was the third starting pitcher to make his MLB debut for the Rangers in a span of six days.
“It’s been an unbelievable experience just being here,” Alexy said. “I’m just unbelievably grateful for the opportunity.”
Jake Latz made his MLB debut for Texas in a 7-2 loss against the Cleveland Indians on Aug. 25. Two days later, Glenn Otto made his debut and threw five shutout innings in a 5-4 loss against the Houston Astros.
According to STATS, inc., the Rangers are the first MLB team since 1900 to have two pitchers make their league debuts and throw at least five innings while allowing two or fewer hits within a span of four games.
“It’s a cool success story for the organization,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “We’re going to need that, obviously, as we move forward when we’re a much more competitive, contending team.”
Latz hasn’t had another appearance since his debut, but Otto started Friday against the Angels and gave up two runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings. He was overmatched by Angels right-hander Shohei Ohtani in the 3-2 loss, however.
The Angels plan to counter with right-hander Jaime Barria.
Barria (2-2, 5.40) is looking to recapture the success he had in late July, when he rejoined the Angels and strung together his two best outings of the season.
He took a step back in August, however, going 0-2 in five starts with a 6.75 ERA.
The final month of the season will be key for Barria’s future with the Angels, who have seen some of their younger pitchers take major strides this season.
Jose Suarez threw their only complete game this season in a 4-1 win against the Rangers on Saturday night.
Patrick Sandoval improved significantly for Los Angeles before a stress fracture in his lower back ended his season last month.
In his last outing, Barria showed some promise, holding the New York Yankees scoreless for the first three innings, benefiting from two of their five double plays in the game.
Barria gave up a home run to lead off the fourth before ultimately allowing two runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings, leaving him ineligible for the win in the 6-4 victory.
Angels outfielder Jo Adell will look to put a bow on a solid series so far. He’s 6-for-10 in the past three games and blasted two home runs in the 7-3 loss on Sunday.
Angels manager Joe Maddon said the difference on Sunday was Adell took advantage of good pitches to hit.
“Moving forward, if you see your pitch, it’s got to go forward and cannot be taken or fouled off with any kind of regularity, “Maddon said. “I thought that’s what he did (Sunday).”
–Field Level Media