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Angels Extend Win Streak to Six, Sanchez Loses No-Hitter from Mauer Single

With Los Angeles Angels lefty Jason Vargas on the mound, he helped his team reach its sixth straight win on Friday with a 5-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

In his 7 1/3 innings of pitching, Vargas (4-3) gave up just two runs from five hits. In May, the pitcher is a 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA from his five previous starts.

Jason Vargas

Jason Vargas

He has a come a long way from his April pitching where he went 0-3 and found his ERA at 6.74 back on April 16. It now sits at 3.43.

Vargas appears to like taking the mound in May as he’s 12-4 since the beginning of the 2009 season, according to ESPN.

So what’s the difference between pitching in April vs. May? Vargas said via MLB, “I don’t feel any different than before. It’s just that the situations and outcomes have been different. I’ve been a little more efficient with pitch counts and controlling the count.”

Along with Vargas’ strong pitching, teammate center fielder Mike Trout had multi-hit game No. 21 with his two hits, stolen base No. 11, and two scored runs. For the month, Trout is now at .366 in hitting.

As for the Royals, short stop Miguel Tejada grabbed his second home run for the week and now he has No. 306 in his career.  But it was too little too late to lift the team for a win. The Royals has now lost for a 14th time in 18 games. They sit at a season low as they’re three games under 500 and 5.5 games back from the first-place Detroit Tigers (27-19).

But for the Angels (21-27), things are coming together as it has battled challenges in its starting rotation. During the six-game win streak, the team’s starting pitchers have a 1.98 ERA.

The Angels are 10 games behind the first-place Texas Rangers (31-17) and sit at +2500 to win this year’s World Series. The chances look even slimmer for the Royals at +4500.

On Saturday, righty Billy Buckner will take the mound for the Angels. He started his career with the Royals in 2007 and was promoted by the Angels from Triple-A on May 16. The Royals will have righty Jeremy Guthrie (3.49 ERA) on the mound.

In the Angels’ last meeting against Guthrie on May 14, Trout joined three of his teammates to homer off him in the team’s 6-2 victory. Josh Hamilton also plays well against the pitcher as he has batted .320 with three home runs with two doubles.

Mauer Ends Sanchez No-Hitter

Anibal Sanchez

Anibal Sanchez

Looking to join an elite group of pitchers, on Friday Tigers righty pitcher Anibal Sanchez was in the ninth inning with one out, on his way to his second career no-hitter. But not so fast.

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer acted as the spoiler when he hit a single up the middle, snapping Sanchez’s perfect game. But it wasn’t all gloom and doom as the outing represented the fourth one-hit game for Sanchez. He now joins in 2013 fellow pitchers Jordan Zimmermann (Washington Nationals), Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox), Shelby Miller (St. Louis Cardinals) and Jon Lester (Boston Red Sox) in the one-hitter club.

Sanchez does have a no-hitter from his 2006 rookie season and had he captured this multiple no-hitter, he would have been league pitcher No. 28 to do so in history.

The pitcher said of Mauer’s hit via MLB, “In the end, he got the hit. But I feel good. I’ll take my nine innings.”

For the Twins catcher, this isn’t the first time one of his hits ended a no-hitter; it was his third.

With the Tiger’s 6-0 win, they have won four in a row. They sit at +650 to win this year’s World Series while the Twins are +20000.

On Saturday, righty P.J. Walters takes the mound for the Tigers–a first since September–while righty Doug Fister (3.62 ERA) has pitching duty for the Twins.

Look for another Tigers win (-210, 9 o/u).


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