Part of the reason for a slim-or-none market is that it's May, and with two Wild Card berths in each league, more teams are still within shouting distance. The Braves, however, are in the market for a southpaw, with both Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty out for the year with torn elbow ligaments.
Possibilities include Scott Downs of the Angels and Mariners' southpaw Oliver Perez, both of whom are set for free agency following the season. White Sox lefty Matt Thornton could also be available if the White Sox fail contend beyond the All-Star break.
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Trout became the sixth-youngest player to hit for the cycle, notching a single, double, triple and home run in the Los Angeles Angels' 12-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Let’s run through our collection of notes on Trout’s big day.
The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that Trout is the youngest American League player to hit for the cycle, and the youngest player with one in either league since another phenom, Cesar Cedeno of the Houston Astros, hit for the cycle at age 21 in 1972.
Trout and Alex Rodriguez are the only 21-year-olds in AL history to hit for the cycle. Trout is 25 days younger than Rodriguez was when he hit for the cycle for the Seattle Mariners in 1997.
Trout is also one of only three players in that same span to hit for the cycle in a game in which he also drove in five or more runs and stole at least one base.
The two instances happened more than 80 years ago: Babe Herman for the 1931 Brooklyn Dodgers and Tony Lazzeri for the 1932 New York Yankees.
This was the seventh time someone has hit for the cycle in Angels history, the first since Chone Figgins had one in a loss to the Texas Rangers in 2006. Trout is the sixth different Angels player to hit for the cycle. Former Angels infielder and manager Jim Fregosi had two of them.
It marked the second straight season that a player hit for the cycle against the Mariners. Aaron Hill did it for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season.
Trout entered the day hitting .278 for the season. He’d raised his batting average 17 points in May, but was 1-for-12 in his previous four games, and 1-for-9 on pitches in the lower half of the strike zone or below it.
That’s unsual because that’s the area in which Trout thrived last season.
Trout was the best hitter in baseball when at-bats ended in pitches to that area last season, leading the majors in all three slashline stats (.360/.394/.608). His 21 home runs were tied for seventh-most in the majors.
Until Tuesday, Trout hadn’t had that kind of magic, with a .259 batting average against those pitches.
But Tuesday may have cured what ailed him. All four of his hits came against pitches in the lower half of the zone, or just below it, including the final hit, a home run on a pitch that wasn’t even knee-high.
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mike Trout hit for the cycle and drove in five runs, Josh Hamilton celebrated his 32nd birthday with a homer and a triple, and Howie Kendrick also went deep in the Los Angeles Angels' 12-0 rout of the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Trout, last season's AL rookie of the year and MVP runner-up, became the sixth player in Angels history to complete the cycle and the first to do it since Chone Figgins on Sept. 16, 2006, at Texas.
After taking a called third strike his first time up, Trout reached on an infield single in the third inning, hit an RBI triple in the fourth and added a three-run double in the sixth before homering in the eighth on a 2-0 pitch from Lucas Luetge.
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Chicago White Sox walked six more batters Sunday, two of which forced in runs, and the offense found few holes in the defense of the Los Angeles Angels, who earned a split with the 6-2 victory at Angel Stadium.
How it happened: The strike zone seemed to be a moving target for White Sox pitchers as the series unfolded. After they issued 10 walks in Saturday’s 12-9 loss, Jake Peavy walked a season-high five in the first four innings Sunday, the last two forcing in runs to give the Angels a 4-0 lead. Peavy, who was trying to win five straight decisions for the first time since April 2008, also issued leadoff walks in the third and fourth innings and both came around to score. Angels catcher Chris Iannetta walked to start the third and Los Angeles failed to move him over with both a hit-and-run and a sacrifice attempt, but No. 9 hitter J.B. Shuck laced a two-strike single to center that Alejandro De Aza bobbled just enough to put runners on the corners with no outs. Erick Aybar then drove a two-run double down the right field line for a 2-0 lead. The Sox pushed across one run in each of the final two innings on an Alex Rios double in the eighth and a De Aza sacrifice fly in the ninth.
What it means: The White Sox finished 4-3 on the road trip, a bit of a downer considering it included a season-long four-game winning streak. With the Cleveland Indians completing their three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners, the loss dropped Chicago to six games back in the American League Central. As for the good news, Rios’ RBI double extended his hitting streak to 14 games and Adam Dunn returned to the lineup after leaving Saturday’s game with back spasms. Unfortunately, he didn’t make contact, striking out three times and walking in his other plate appearance.
Outside the box: Peavy has posted 125 victories in his career but none have come against the Angels. He fell to 0-4 against the club, the only team he hasn’t defeated when making at least five career starts. He’s now 0-3 at Angel Stadium, a bit surprising since he pitched so well while playing in Southern California from 2002-09 with the San Diego Padres. His five walks and seven strikeouts were also off kilter. He entered the game with a 6.38 walk-to-strikeout ratio, fourth best in the American League.
Off beat: The White Sox came in hitting .317 over their last six games, so Sunday’s poor offensive showing may seem like a step back. However, they didn’t swing the bat as poorly as the numbers would indicate. Rios lined out to Aybar at short to end the first, Conor Gillaspie lined out to center to end the second and the Angels’ infield snared line drives by Alexei Ramirez and Paul Konerko to begin and end the fourth. Mike Trout also made a diving catch on Jeff Keppinger's bullet in the right-center field gap to save a run in the seventh.
Up next: The White Sox head home to begin a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox beginning Monday. Chicago will send right-hander right-hander Dylan Axelrod (1-3, 4.27 ERA) to the mound against Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester (6-0, 2.72) in the 7:10 p.m. CT start from U.S. Cellular Field.
APNewsNow. Angels 6, White Sox 2. With AP Photos.
By JOE RESNICK
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jason Vargas scattered four hits through seven scoreless innings, Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick each hit two-run doubles, and the Los Angeles Angels coaxed a pair of bases-loaded walks out of Jake Peavy in the fourth inning of a 6-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
Vargas (3-3) struck out six and walked three while helping the Angels gain a split of the four-game series. The middle of the Chicago lineup -- Alex Rios, Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko -- were a combined 0 for 8 with a walk against the left-hander, who posted his first victory in six career starts against the White Sox.
Peavy (5-2) gave up four runs, four hits and five walks over six innings after going 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA in his previous five starts.