Friday, April 8, 2016

Shoemaker set for season debut vs. Griffin, Rangers

Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker will try to remain perfect against the Rangers when he faces right-hander A.J. Griffin on Friday night at Angel Stadium. Griffin will be making his first start for the Rangers and his first in the Major Leagues since Sept. 24, 2013.
Shoemaker is 4-0 with a 2.39 ERA in four career starts against the Rangers. That's tied with Collin McHugh of the Astros for the second most wins against the Rangers without a loss by an active pitcher. Wei-Yin Chen, now with the Marlins, is 5-0 against the Rangers.
Griffin missed the past two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery and some minor shoulder issues. He won the fifth-starter spot in Spring Training.
His last two Major League starts were against the Angels at the end of 2013 and he is 2-2 with a 2.81 ERA in five career starts against the Angels. Mike Trout is 3-for-15 with two home runs off him while Albert Pujols is 2-for-9 with a home run.
"I think those starts are pretty far off," Griffin said. "We've had a little time for them to cool off my trail."
Shoemaer had a rough spring in Arizona, allowing 19 runs in 25 innings. But he was better in his last start against the Cubs on Sunday, allowing two runs in five innings. That exhibition game was at Angel Stadium.
"I think Matt is where he needs to be," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think you saw that, getting out of Arizona, there's no doubt that his secondary stuff was crisper."
Things to know about this game
• Rangers manager Jeff Banister said backup catcher Bryan Holaday will get at least one game in Anaheim, but has yet to identify which one.
• The Angels expect Daniel Nava to start in left field on Friday with a right-hander on the mound. Craig Gentry was there on Thursday with a left-hander pitching.
• Carlos Perez is also expected back behind the plate for the Angels on Friday. Backup Geovany Soto started for the first time on Thursday.

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