SEATTLE -- Only three qualified starting pitchers have received less run support than Matt Shoemaker this year, a list that includes Julio Teheran of the Braves, Jerad Eickhoff of the Phillies and James Shields, first of the Padres and now of the White Sox.The Angels' offense had been on a
SEATTLE -- Only three qualified starting pitchers have received less run support than Matt Shoemaker this year, a list that includes Julio Teheran of the Braves, Jerad Eickhoff of the Phillies and James Shields, first of the Padres and now of the White Sox.
The Angels' offense had been on a tear when Shoemaker took the mound against the Mariners on Sunday, leading the Majors in hits (379), batting average (.290) and on-base percentage (.352) over a 38-game stretch that dated back to June 23. Then they mustered only one run off James Paxton and Tom Wilhelmsen, suffering a 3-1 loss that dropped Shoemaker to 6-12 on the season.
Shoemaker didn't have his best stuff, and was helped considerably by the Mike Trout catch that robbed Leonys Martin of a home run in the fourth inning. But he still managed to pitch seven innings of three-run ball and now has a 2.80 ERA over his last 15 starts, striking out 101 batters and walking only 14 in 103 innings.
He somehow has only four wins in that span.
"Unfortunately sometimes those things happen," said Shoemaker, with a 4.07 ERA on the year. "My focus is just to go out there and give our team a chance."
• Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar was a late scratch from Sunday's lineup because of a bruised left knee and was not available to pinch-hit. Escobar tweaked the knee while grounding into a game-ending double play in Saturday's 8-6 defeat from Safeco Field. But Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Escobar will be available for the next game, against the Cubs from Wrigley Field on Tuesday.
• Victor Alcántara, ranked eighth in the Angels' system by MLBPipeline.com, has transitioned to the bullpen for Double-A Arkansas. Alcantara throws his fastball in the upper-90s, but struggled to command secondary pitches and had mixed results as a starting pitcher. The 23-year-old right-hander has a 4.69 ERA and 4.4 walks per nine innings in nearly 500 innings in the Minors. A move to the bullpen seemed long overdue.
Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.