The Los Angeles Angels will host the Detroit Tigers on Friday night in Anaheim, Calif., and among Angels starter Alex Cobb’s top priorities will be to figure out a way to keep Jonathan Schoop from doing damage.
Schoop, who has played first base, second and designated hitter this season, has been one of the league’s best hitters in June. And he’s done it despite a poor start to the season.
Schoop hit just .198 in April and started to turn things around in May (.275) before getting hot in June. Schoop, who went 2-for-4 with a home run in Thursday’s 7-5 loss to the Angels, is hitting .386 (22-for-57) with a 1.280 OPS this month.
“When Schoop gets going the way he has for the last month, I want to get him as many at-bats as I can,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said.
Overall, Schoop is hitting .275 with 12 homers, 33 RBIs and a .794 OPS. A second All-Star appearance is a possibility — he was an All-Star in 2017 while with Baltimore — but he said it isn’t something he’s concerned about.
“I’m not thinking about that kind of stuff,” he said. “I’m just thinking about things I could control. About personal goals, (they’re) always a good thing to achieve. The main thing is trying to win with the team or trying to go to the playoffs or trying to get a win.”
The right-handed Cobb (4-2, 4.98 ERA) may draw on his experience as a teammate of Schoop’s — they played together with the Orioles in 2018. This season, Cobb has been up and down, pitching into the sixth inning four times, but failing to go more than three innings in three other starts.
He’s coming off one of the bad ones, when he gave up five runs and seven hits in three innings against Arizona, but he received a no-decision because the Angels rallied for an 8-7 win on June 12.
Cobb and the Angels have an opportunity to get back to .500 or better against a Tigers team that is near the bottom of the American League Central.
“There’s a method; there needs to be a grittiness about Angels teams,” manager Joe Maddon said. “That’s how we made our mark — playing the game properly, relentless execution of fundamentals. You know you’re in for a hand-to-hand combat situation when you play against us. That’s what I’m looking for. That’s the vibe.”
Right-hander Jose Urena (2-6, 5.16) will be on the mound for Detroit, coming off his worst start of the season last Saturday against the White Sox. He lasted only 1 2/3 innings, giving up eight runs (seven earned) on five hits and three walks.
–Field Level Media