Trevor Gott shows well in his major-league debut against A’s

Trevor Gott

Trevor Gott/Photo courtesy of Los Angels Angels


Relief pitcher Trevor Gott made his major-league debut for the Angels in their 8-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday at Angel Stadium. Gott’s one inning of hitless relief in the ninth, striking out one, was about the only highlight for the team.

Afterward, Angels manager Mike Scioscia talked briefly about what he saw from Gott, who was throwing in the high 90s.

“There’s no doubt he has an exciting young arm and we saw it out there this afternoon,” Scioscia said of Gott, a 22-year-old right-hander. “And like I said, we’ll try to get Trevor to get his feet on the ground and see where he fits in. But his long-range potential is definitely as a back-end guy in a really good bullpen. So we’ll just see how he develops.”

Gott is listed as 6-foot, 190 pounds. He posted an ERA of 3.20 with 20 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings pitched at Double-A Arkansas this season. He had an ERA of 0.00 with 10 strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings pitched over seven appearances at Triple-A Salt Lake City.

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Matt Joyce sent to the bench, OF Daniel Robertson recalled

Matt Joyce/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels


The Angels had played 62 games before Sunday. Left-fielder Matt Joyce – acquired in an off-season trade that sent Kevin Jepsen to the Tampa Bay Rays – had played in 55 of them. But in 174 at-bats and 196 plate appearances, he was hitting .178 with four home runs and 17 RBIs. Manager Mike Scioscia’s lineup card Sunday for the Angels’ series finale against the Oakland A’s did not include Joyce’s name.

“He’s not going to play today,” Scioscia said. “But Matty needs to exhale, for sure. And I think he needs to find some things in his game that are … in the batters box right now, he’s just not in sync, not squaring the balls up.

“And he’s much better than he’s shown over these last, I mean, we’re going almost … it might be close to what, 180-200 plate appearances? He just has not found it.”

Efren Navarro, who also plays first, started in left field on Sunday. For more outfield coverage while Joyce finds himself, the Angels called up Daniel Robertson and optioned first baseman/designated hitter C.J. Cron to Triple-A Salt Lake City.

Scioscia said Joyce will get more opportunities to prove himself.

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Five things to take from Angels’ 6-2 victory over Tampa Bay

Garrett Richards

Garrett Richards/Photo courtesy of Los Angels Angels


Albert Pujols’ 17th home run of the season tied him for the team lead with Mike Trout, who also homered in this one. For Pujols, it was No. 537 for his career and moved him into 16th-place all-time; he had been tied with Mickey Mantle. Next up for Pujols is Mike Schmidt, who is No. 15 with 548.

Kyle Kubitza’s game-tying RBI single in the seventh inning ignited a three-run inning that allowed the Angels to take a 4-2 lead. That Kubitza’s clutch hit came the day after a mixed-results major-league debut was a sign that he has the wherewithal to get past the bad things that happen.

– When you don’t play a lot, you can raise your batting average in a hurry. Such was the case with Efren Navarro, who had three hits in this game to raise his average from .227 to .308.

– Nice outing by Garrett Richards. Much-needed, too, as he had seen his ERA rise from 3.12 to 4.14 over his previous two starts. Richards allowed just two runs on four hits in seven innings in this one while striking out seven and walking just one. He lowered his ERA to 3.97 in the process while earning his team-high sixth victory against four defeats.

– The Angels may only be 30-30, but this victory helped them gain a half game on idle first-place Houston and a full game on second-place Texas. The Angels are now only 3 1/2 games behind the Astros and just a game behind the Rangers.

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Albert Pujols moving up the ranks of other important lists

A lot has been made of Albert Pujols recently passing Jimmie Foxx on the all-time home run list and then tying Mickey Mantle. Pujols and Mantle each have 536 career home runs and are tied for 16th-place all-time.

However, Pujols, 35, has also moved into elite territory for RBIs and extra base hits. Prior to Thursday’s game at Tampa Bay, Pujols had 1,633 RBIs, which put him 30th all-time, just three behind No. 29 Ernie Banks (1,636).

Pujols is 15th all-time in extra base hits with 1,121, just one behind No. 14 Manny Ramirez (1,122) and 10 behind No. 13 Tris Speaker (1,131).

As for home runs, it will take a bit of time for Pujols to reach the next rung as Mike Schmidt hit 548. But since Pujols already has 16 this season, there is a good chance he’ll get there in 2015.

One other interesting note, Pujols is one stolen base shy of becoming just the fourth player all time to have at least 500 home runs, a lifetime .300 batting average and 100 stolen bases. The others are Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.

No offense to Pujols, but at 35 and one of the slowest runners on the team, he may never reach that milestone.

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