Major League Baseball

All-Star Minor, Rangers welcome Angels to town

mlb5ANGELS (42-43) AT RANGERS (46-38)
8:05 p.m. ET; FSSW, FS-W, MLB.TV

Fresh off his first All-Star selection, Texas Rangers left-hander Mike Minor will get back to work against the Los Angeles Angels in the opener of their four-game series on Monday night.

Minor (8-4, 2.40 ERA) learned on Sunday that he was chosen to play in the All-Star Game on July 9 in Cleveland.

Also selected from the Rangers were outfielder Joey Gallo and designated hitter Hunter Pence, giving the Rangers three All-Stars for the first time since 2013.

“It’s been a lot of hard work, but it has paid off,” Minor told reporters on Sunday. “The last couple of years, I feel like, were really about getting healthy and staying healthy. This year, I wanted it to be more about results on the field. I like that I can look around the room now and say I’m an All-Star.”

Minor leads the American League in ERA and has won his past three starts. He threw his second career shutout against the Angels on April 16, allowing just three hits while striking out seven and walking two.

The Angels’ lineup had changed considerably since, as Los Angeles has since added designated hitter Shohei Ohtani and left fielder Justin Upton to the 25-man roster.

Ohtani, who missed the first five weeks of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, hit two home runs in a 12-3 loss to the visiting Oakland A’s on Sunday. He has 10 home runs since May 31.

Minor is coming off his second complete game of the season on Wednesday, going the distance in the 4-1 victory against the Detroit Tigers. Minor allowed one run and five hits in the win, which was the fourth straight game the Rangers scored exactly four runs for him.

In fact, Texas hasn’t scored more than four runs in any of Minor’s past seven starts, starting with a 3-2 loss to the visiting Angels on May 25 in which he did not receive a decision.

Rangers manager Chris Woodward said he believes Minor is the best pitcher in baseball right now.

“When you have the weapons he has, it just isn’t fair sometimes,” Woodward said. “You watch those poor guys trying to swing, and it’s just unfair.”

Minor is 3-0 with a 2.23 ERA in seven games (five starts) against the Angels in his career.

The Angels plan to recall Jose Suarez (2-1, 5.57) from Triple-A Salt Lake and give him his fifth major league start, all since June 2.

Suarez most recently went five innings at the Toronto Blue Jays on June 20, giving up five runs and eight hits, including three home runs. He did not receive a decision in the 7-5 loss.

Angels second baseman Tommy La Stella is 0-for-6 in his career against Minor, but his hot bat will likely keep him in the lineup in the lefty-vs.-lefty matchup. La Stella was one of the few bright spots in Sunday’s loss, going 3-for-4 to push his average to .304.

La Stella also learned on Sunday that he had been selected to his first All-Star Game.

“I had a lot of really great people around me, and still do,” La Stella said afterward. “I wouldn’t have been in that position in the first place, to even be on a major league team.”

–Field Level Media

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