Two starting pitchers headed in different directions will face off on Tuesday night when the Angels host the Mariners in the second game of a four-game series. While Joe Blanton fights to remain in the Los Angeles rotation, Seattle's Jeremy Bonderman will look to continue an inspiring comeback.
The Angels have recently rebounded from a disappointing start to the season, winning four of their last five games.
"I think there's no doubt that we did some of the things on the field that we need to see more of," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "… We're starting to do many more things that we need to do on the field to generate wins and we need that to continue."
Now, they just need starter Joe Blanton to do the same. If he doesn't start to turn it around against Seattle, Scioscia has hinted that he may not be around much longer.
The right-hander has a 1-10 record despite his six quality starts, and has a 5.87 ERA. The Angels hope that he can make the necessary adjustments to salvage his season.
For Seattle, Jeremy Bonderman will make his fourth start as he continues his comeback after being out of baseball since 2010.
The 30-year-old had a rough debut against the Twins on June 2, but since then has allowed just one run and six hits in 14 innings against the Yankees and Astros. He's working on 13 consecutive scoreless innings after shutting out Houston for eight innings in his last start, before winding up with a no-decision when the Astros rallied against closer Tom Wilhelmsen in the ninth.
Bonderman's fastball ticked up to 92-94 mph against the Astros as he continues getting stronger, but he said he's not worrying about that.
"I'm just trying to work the bottom half of the zone," he said. "I don't worry about velocity too much. The ball feels good, my arm feels good. So as long as my arm feels good, I don't really care about it."
Angels: Callaspo may be breaking out of slump
• Entering the series against Seattle, Alberto Callaspo was in a hitting slump. He went only 2-for-10 against the Yankees, and hadn't recorded a multi-hit game since June 8. The Mariners proved to be the remedy, as the third baseman went 4-for-5 and scored a run.
• Josh Hamilton, who was reportedly upset after sitting during Sunday's 6-5 loss to the Yankees, returned to the lineup on Monday with a bang. Hamilton hit a two-run homer in the 2nd inning, going 2-for-5 on the day.
Mariners: Team trying to manage injuries
• The Mariners have suffered all season with a rash of injuries, and manager Eric Wedge is having to get creative to fill the holes. Outfielder Jason Bay sat out Monday's game with a sore hamstring, while Michael Morse was limited at first base thanks to a sore quadriceps, and Kendrys Morales has been limited with a sore back.
Meanwhile, GM Jack Zduriencik was in Sacramento Monday night watching first baseman Justin Smoak, who played in his fifth rehab game in Triple-A Tacoma as he works back from a strained oblique. Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez is also on a rehab assignment in Tacoma.
• Having played only 20 games, Mariners rookie Nick Franklin has turned into a doubles-hitting machine. Franklin has hit a double in six of his past 13 games.
• After tacking on another error in Monday's game against the Mariners, the Angels now have 54 on the season, the most in the American League.