Suddenly, The Angels Look Like the Angels

Pitcher Shane Loux epitomizes what is suddenly happening with the Angels. After a sloppy 0-2 start where he looked worse than the journeyman he is supposed to be, he has given up just two runs in his last two starts, pitching 13 impressive innings. The Angels have won both those games.

The latest was a 5-3 victory over Oakland that is the Angels third straight victory and gives them six wins in their last eight games (after a 6-11 start). The hot streak will get challenged in the two upcoming games against a very good Toronto team, but for now the Angels look like the team everybody in the West feared before the season. They are just two games off the division lead and are heading home.

Loux gave up five hits in his seven innings of work, not blowing people away (three strike outs) but getting outs in a professional manner all night long. Of course, it helps to be facing the team that has scored the fewest runs and has the lowest batting average of any team in the majors.

Meanwhile, it was the two guys at the top of the Angels order — Chone Figgins and Gary Mathews Jr. — that drove in all five of the Angels runs. Both had run scoring singles in the second inning, then a Mathews double in the fourth scored two more. The last run came on a Figgins sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Another good sign is that Darren Oliver came in and pitched the eighth inning, his first outing since coming off the disabled list.

Brian Fuentes came in and mopped up the last couple of outs to pick up his seventh save of the season.

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