Angels aim to topple another AL East contender, host Yanks

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels finally will be able to bring loads of confidence into a series after playing some of their best baseball of the season against a playoff contender.

The Angels will face the New York Yankees in a three-game home series starting Monday after dominating the host Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend. Los Angeles not only outscored Toronto by a combined 22-3 in the three games, but they also didn’t give up a run over the first 21 innings.

The Angels even put their unique signature on Sunday’s sweep-clinching 8-3 victory, getting home runs from both of their stars: Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. It was the 28th blast of the season for each.

Los Angeles hit four homers on Sunday, while Ohtani had three hits one day after he pitched seven scoreless innings.

“It feels great, makes the flight home a lot better. We had a tough, tough trip in Tampa,” Trout said, referring to getting swept in four games by the host Rays. “But we come in prepared every day and try to win. That’s the mindset. We’re working hard every day to go out there and try to finish strong.”

The Angels went 4-6 on their road trip, which began with two losses in three games in Detroit. Now comes a matchup with the Yankees, who swept a three-game series from the Angels in New York from May 31-June 2.

Los Angeles will send left-hander Jose Suarez (4-6, 4.19 ERA) to the mound in the series opener. In three lifetime appearances (one start) against the Yankees, he is 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA in 13 innings.

The Yankees will be making the second stop on a 10-game, three-city road trip. They enter off a four-game series split with the Oakland Athletics, losing 4-1 on Sunday after getting just four hits.

Revived by a five-game winning streak that followed a brutal 3-14 run, the Yankees have now lost consecutive contests.

Yankees right-hander Frankie Montas (4-10, 3.84) was acquired from the A’s at the trade deadline, and while he did not pitch against his former team, he will take on a familiar foe in the Angels. In 15 appearances (12 starts) against Los Angeles, Montas is 4-2 with a 2.30 ERA in 70 1/3 innings.

Montas has plenty to prove, going 0-1 with a 7.32 ERA over his first four starts in a Yankees uniform. He enters off a solid performance against the New York Mets on Tuesday, when he gave up two runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings as the Yankees won 4-2.

The Yankees had 20 hits in a 13-4 victory over the A’s on Thursday, but had just six runs and 14 hits in the three games since. They had just one hit Saturday night.

“The last 22-plus hours have not been very good for us offensively,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after Sunday’s defeat. “We’ve got to do a better job, and we have to turn the page on this one. We have a big series starting, and we’ve got to get after it and really get some guys rolling.”

New York will be without left-hander Aroldis Chapman, who is out after an infection developed on his leg following a recent tattoo.

–Field Level Media

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