Mike Ford ‘getting comfortable’ with Angels ahead of Astros series

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels will host the Houston Astros on Friday night in Anaheim, Calif., with a first baseman who is the very embodiment of the term “journeyman.”

Mike Ford likely will be in the lineup for the Angels, the fourth major league club for which he’s played this season alone. Ford, a left-handed hitter, played one game for the Giants, 16 games for the Mariners and five games for the Braves before Atlanta released him Aug. 10 and the Angels signed him to a minor league contract on Aug. 16.

He’s also played a total of 34 games for four Triple-A teams this season.

With the Angels losing regular first baseman Jared Walsh for the season because of thoracic outlet syndrome, Ford, 30, was a good option to play out the string in an otherwise lost season for the club.

Ford played in six games with Triple-A Salt Lake before joining the Angels, and he’s made an immediate impact. In seven games, he’s hitting .333 (8-for-24) with two home runs and a .991 OPS. Both home runs came against the Yankees, the team for which he played from 2019-21.

Angels interim manager Phil Nevin was the Yankees’ third base coach during the same time.

“He’s looked really good,” Nevin said. “He’s elevating the ball. That’s one thing when he got over here we talked about. He’s hit more balls in the air. The last two nights have been really good.”

Bouncing around from team to team and from the lineup to the bench, has been challenging, according to Ford.

“I’m just getting comfortable,” Ford said. “I don’t know how many times I’ve played three games in a row the last three years. Just getting the consistency and at-bats has helped me a bunch. It’s a very welcoming group. Just having Nev here, it’s very comfortable for me, knowing him prior. It’s been a great start and I hope to keep it going.”

Left-hander Reid Detmers (5-4, 3.47 ERA) will be on the mound for the Angels, his 21st start of the season. He’s coming off a victory his last time out, when he threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Toronto Blue Jays last Friday. He is 1-0 with a 2.81 ERA in three career starts against Houston.

Right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 1.69 ERA) will make his fourth start since joining the active roster after missing the first four months of the season with a strained right flexor tendon in his forearm.

Last Friday, he threw five scoreless innings in a victory over the Baltimore Orioles. He is 5-5 with a 3.01 ERA in 18 career starts against the Angels.

While the Angels are playing well, having won five of six, the Astros enter the final full month of the regular season with the best record in the American League. Astros manager Dusty Baker is looking for his team to stay sharp and healthy as the playoffs approach.

“You try to win 15 games a month,” Baker said. “We need to just continue to do the same and come out of the month healthy. There are some guys on this team who have had big Septembers, especially (Kyle Tucker). It will be good to get (Yordan) Alvarez back in September, but these guys are picking it up for him in the absence of the guys that are hurt.”

–Field Level Media

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