Aaron Sanchez will likely have friends and family in the stands when the Toronto Blue Jays open a four-game series at the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.
Sanchez will also have plenty of motivation to keep the Blue Jays rolling.
A right-hander who grew up in a desert community halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas <a title="Authentic Carl Gunnarsson Jersey" href="http://www.officialblues.com/authentic-adidas-carl-gunnarsson-jersey">Authentic Carl Gunnarsson Jersey</a> , Sanchez is scheduled to make his first major league start at Angel Stadium in the series opener.
Sanchez (3-5, 4.35 ERA) was a supplemental first-round draft pick of the Blue Jays out of Barstow (Calif.) High School in 2010. The Angels had three picks before Sanchez was chosen, and the organization had twice drafted Sanchez’s stepfather, Mike Shipley, in the 1970s, but they opted to take infielder Kaleb Cowart with the 18th overall pick, reliever Cam Bedrosian at No. 29 and outfielder Chevy Clarke at No. 30.
Four picks later, the Blue Jays nabbed Sanchez.
Cowart continues to struggle to break into the majors with the Angels, Bedrosian hasn’t performed up to expectations either <a title="Womens Mattias Ekholm Jersey" href="http://www.officialpredators.com/authentic-adidas-mattias-ekholm-jersey">Womens Mattias Ekholm Jersey</a> , and Clark is currently playing independent ball for the Cleburne Railroaders.
Sanchez, meanwhile, made his major league debut in July 2014, was chosen to the American League All Star team while going 15-2 in 2016, and his 3.00 ERA that season led the AL.
Sanchez has faced the Angels (39-35) three times in his career, but his only two starts came in Toronto (34-29). He’s 0-1 overall against Los Angeles with a 2.03 ERA. He threw one inning of scoreless relief at Angel Stadium in 2015.
Sanchez is 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA in three starts this month after going 0-3 with a 5.96 ERA in May.
“It’s been a battle the first couple months, trying to get back into the swing of things,” Sanchez told reporters after his last start, when he allowed three runs and six hits in six innings of a 6-5 win against the Washington Nationals. “As of late <a title="P.K Subban Jersey" href="http://www.officialpredators.com/authentic-adidas-p.k-subban-jersey">P.K Subban Jersey</a> , it’s been trending up.”
That can also be said of the Blue Jays, who have won four of five following their 5-4 win against the visiting Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, improving to 28-1 this season when scoring five or more runs.
The Angels had an off day at home on Wednesday after holding on the defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 on Tuesday night to earn a split of the two-game series.
They plan to send Tyler Skaggs to the mound for the series opener. Like Sanchez, he’s undefeated this month after going winless in May. Skaggs has won all three starts in June, allowing one earned run in 20 innings for a 0.45 ERA.
He went 0-2 in May with a 4.28 ERA and had a sub-par outing in Toronto on May 23, allowing three runs and six hits in five innings. He avoided taking the loss when the Angels scored four runs in the ninth inning of the 5-4 win.
This might be his best stretch since undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2014.
“With Tyler, we’ve seen a constant growth in confidence,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told the Los Angeles Times. “This guy’s worked so hard to get back to where he was and even a little above that now.”
Skaggs (6-4, 2.81) is 2-2 overall in his six-year career against the Blue Jays with a 4.11 ERA.
Red-hot Mike Trout will appear in his 1 <a title="Authentic Pekka Rinne Jersey Kids" href="http://www.officialpredators.com/authentic-adidas-pekka-rinne-jersey">Authentic Pekka Rinne Jersey Kids</a> ,000th career game for Los Angeles. He is 16-for-23 with four homers and nine RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak.
The Minnesota Twins have reinstated shortstop Jorge Polanco after he served an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Polanco was reinstated Monday before the Twins’ game with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Speaking through the team’s interpreter, Polanco said that the time away from the game ”was very difficult.”
The Twins are hoping that the 24-year-old shortstop builds off his breakout 2017 season. Polanco batted .316 with 10 homers and 42 RBIs over his last 55 games in 2017.
”I’m really glad that I’m back,” he said. ”Looking forward to going out there and playing hard.”
Polanco flied out to left in his first at bat of the 2018 season.
Twins manager Paul Molitor welcomed Polanco back.
”It’s good to see him,” Molitor said. ”He had to pay a price for something that happened. He took it head on, took accountability and did his time, so to speak.”
Molitor had a bit of advice for Polanco.
”Be yourself,” Molitor said. ”Don’t worry about trying to make an extreme impression or whatever it might be that you might try to make up for lost time. Just be the player that we know that you can be. That’ll be plenty good enough.”
To make room for Polanco on the 40-man roster, the Twins designated outfielder Ryan LaMarre for release or assignment.