Albert Pujols made his return to St. Louis this weekend, but his Los Angeles Angels have dropped the first two games of the series heading into Sunday night’s finale.
The Cardinals (40-36) have now won nine of their last 13 games with a 24-15 home record this season.
Sunday’s series finale will be shown on ESPN, as Miles Mikolas (5-7) and Tyler Skaggs (6-6) will face off with a 7 p.m. ET start time.
The Los Angeles Angels (38-40) are still in the playoff hunt, as they trail the first-place Houston Astros (48-30) by 10 games. The Angels are currently fourth in the American League West and 5-5 over their last 10 games with a 19-22 away record this season.
Friday’s win for the Cardinals was on the back of outfielder Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna got the Cardinals on the board in the fourth inning with an RBI single to tie the game at 1-1. Ozuna struck again in the sixth inning with a 414-foot homer to centerfield to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. Ozuna knocked in another run in the seventh inning, as the veteran finished 3-for-4 with the home run, three RBI and two runs scored.
Michael Wacha has had a very hot and cold career with the Cardinals but turned in a good outing on Friday. The Cardinals pitcher pitched six innings, allowing one earned run on five hits, and striking out four. Wacha kept the heart of the Angels lineup in check.
Mike Trout and Justin Upton were the only two Angels to finish with multiple hits, but outside of that, the bats went silent after an RBI double from Upton in the first inning. The only difference was that the Cardinals put up runs even though both teams finished with eight hits.
Both teams have added some players to the injured reserve over the past couple of days. While Jed Gyorko remains on the 10-day IL for the Cardinals, the club recently added pitcher Austin Gomber. Gomber (biceps), who’d recently begun throwing at the Cardinals’ spring training facility in Jupiter, Fla., recently experienced a setback with shoulder fatigue according to general manager Michael Girsch.
The Angels have two of their key offensive weapons on the 10-day IL with Andrelton Simmons dealing with an ankle injury, and Kevan Smith dealing with a left-hand metacarpal sprain. The absence of Simmons certainly hurts the Angels defensively, as they also have two of their pitchers on the IL too. Trevor Cahill is on the 10-day IL with an elbow injury, and JC Ramirez is still trying to make his way back off the 60-day IL.
The bats have a chance to break open on Sunday considering that Skaggs holds a 4.61 ERA, and Mikolas has a 4.48 ERA. Even with both teams playing in the middle of the pack right now, fans can still enjoy the series by having Pujols back in St. Louis.
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