Although he's come out of the bullpen at times this season, Matt Shoemaker wasn't expecting his most recent win to come in a relief appearance.
That's because the Angels' rookie right-hander was scheduled to start last Tuesday against the Phillies, but instead found himself pressed into an emergency appearance in the Halos' 19-inning marathon win over the Red Sox last Saturday night/early Sunday morning. As a result, he'll take the mound on Saturday night against the Rangers at Globe Life Park.
Shoemaker came through in a pinch during last weekend's 6-hour, 32-minute affair, entering the game in the 17th and delivering three scoreless innings to earn his 10th win of the season.
"His stuff looked really good," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We needed it, and it's just a great outing from Matt and he got rewarded with a win, so we're happy for him."
Shoemaker has been an important piece to the Halos' success this season as they chase the A's in the American League West and continue to lead the AL Wild Card race. The Angels moved within a game of Oakland after a 5-4 victory in the series opener against the Rangers on Friday night.
Shoemaker has been impressive in his first full big league season after signing with the Angels as an undrafted free agent in 2008. He has been particularly good since the All-Star break, posting a 2.70 ERA in five appearances (four starts and Saturday's relief outing).
"I've been looking at Matt Shoemaker since the day I got here," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "How in the world did we go through 50 rounds of a Draft and nobody takes Matt Shoemaker? This guy throws 88 to 95 miles an hour, mostly 91-92, with an outstanding split no matter what level he pitches at; he's got two different breaking balls that he can throw for strikes; he doesn't give away free bases."
Shoemaker's counterpart will be veteran right-hander Colby Lewis, who hopes he can help the Rangers snap an eight-game losing streak against the Angels. Like Shoemaker, Lewis has shown dramatic improvement in the second half of the season. In five post-All-Star break starts, Lewis has a 2.51 ERA after posting a 6.54 mark in 16 first-half starts.
Lewis has faced the Angels twice this season, and he hopes Saturday's start is more like his first outing against the Halos -- a May 2 start in which he allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings -- than his last one, in which he set a franchise record by giving up 13 runs (11 earned) in 2 1/3 frames on July 10 in Arlington.
"I don't think Colby is thinking about what happened against the Angels," manager Ron Washington said. "He is more concerned about executing his pitches."
Angels: Scioscia sticking Boesch at DH
With the Angels struggling offensively since the All-Star break, they called up hot-hitting outfielder Brennan Boesch from Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday and Scioscia penciled him in as the designated hitter that night against the Phillies.
Boesch, who posted a .326/.380/.625 line with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs in 84 games at Triple-A, has gone 0-for-7 with a walk and two RBIs in three games since being recalled, but will continue to get a chance as the DH, a spot that has also been occupied by Raul Ibanez, C.J. Cron and Efren Navarro this season.
"He's a guy who has shown throughout some small windows in his career that he can really attack the ball from the left side and match up versus some right-handers," Scioscia said before Friday's game. "He was having a great run in Triple-A. Hopefully he'll give us a boost. He can help deepen the bench."
Rangers: Andrus said it has been learning experience
Shortstop Elvis Andrus said he has found out one thing about the 2014 season.
It has been a learning experience for a young team.
"We've had to learn to handle adversity the whole year," Andrus said. "We know we can be better if we're healthy. We're going to get a lot better. But guys are learning and getting more experience. As soon as everybody gets back, it is going to be a lot better.
"It has been tough but we're focused on playing hard. That's the least you can do. In the end this is our job. We have to take it seriously. We know right up until the last game it's going to be tough, but we have to make sure we stay strong."
• Kole Calhoun has six multi-hit efforts in his last seven games after going 3-for-4 with a double, homer and three RBIs in Friday's 5-4 win.
• Mike Trout is 4-for-11 (.364) with a triple, a homer and five RBIs in his career against Lewis. Boesch is 5-for-18 (.278) with three homers and five RBIs against the right-hander.
• Adrian Beltre is the active leader with 32 home runs and 119 RBIs in his career against the Angels, including two RBIs in Friday's loss. He went 4-for-4.
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.