Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Lincecum looks to rebound vs. Astros

Houston right-hander Scott Feldman (4-3, 3.07 ERA) will make his return to the starting rotation in the place of Lance McCullers on Tuesday, matching up against Angels right-hander Tim Lincecum (1-1, 5.00 ERA) in the second of a three-game set.
Lincecum will look to rebound after a disappointing home debut Thursday against Oakland. He lasted just three innings, giving up four runs in a 5-4 loss. Lincecum said he's still working on finetuning his mechanics on his surgically repaired left hip, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he's liked what he's seen so far.
"He's fit in seamlessly," Scioscia said. "He's mixed very well in the clubhouse, and on the mound there's no doubt that his stuff looks like he can really contribute for us. He's pitching better than we saw a couple of years ago in San Francisco, so from a physical standpoint, I feel like he's fine."
Lincecum has performed well against the Astros in his career, going 5-0 with a 0.99 ERA in nine starts. Each of Lincecum's first three starts as an Angel have come against American League West division opponents. 
Feldman will make his first start since April 24 against Boston. He's gone 0-2 with a 4.58 ERA as a starter this season, and will be asked to take over as McCullers (3-2, 3.91) deals with a blister on the tip of his right index finger.
"He deserves the first crack at it," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of Feldman. "It's a spot start and he'll be able to be stretched out a little bit depending on how efficient he is. He's pitched a lot in his career as a starter. It's not going to spook him at all. I'm glad we have Scott Feldman available to take on this role when something like this comes up."
Feldman has gone 6-9 with a 4.57 ERA in 29 career appearances against the Angels. He's worked against them twice in relief this season, tossing a scoreless frame each time.
Things to know about the game
• Hinch said McCullers stopped his throwing program simply as a precautionary measure with Feldman's availability and the All-Star break just two weeks away. McCullers could return to the rotation this weekend in Houston against the White Sox, or he could throw Monday, which would have been his normal day to pitch had he been able to make his Tuesday start.
• Scioscia said Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar is "making progress" in his return from a bone bruise in his left knee, but did not say whether or not he expects him to be back in the lineup on Tuesday. He hasn't played since suffering the injury in the seventh inning on Thursday. Jefry Marte has been the main replacement at third base, with right fielder Kole Calhoun assuming leadoff duties.
• Astros second baseman Jose Altuve extended his career-long on-base streak to 30 consecutive games with a third-inning single in Monday's series opener at Angel Stadium. He's the first Astros player to reach in 30 consecutive games since Willy Taveras a decade ago. It's the longest active streak in the Majors.

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