Los Angeles (27-20) at Toronto (23-24)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 7:07 pm EDT Wed May 21, 2008
  • TV: KCOP
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Los Angeles Angels haven’t had much luck playing in Toronto recently, but earned a tight win in their series opener at Rogers Centre.

Jon Garland has been having success north of the border for years.

Garland, who is 5-0 lifetime in Toronto, will look for his first win there in an Angels uniform on Wednesday night against the Blue Jays.

Garland (4-3, 4.32) got off to a rocky start in his first season in southern California after being dealt by the Chicago White Sox in the offseason. He was 3-3 with a 5.94 ERA in his first six starts with Los Angeles (27-20), giving up seven earned runs in two of those outings.

But since May began, Garland has looked like a different pitcher. He’s 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA this month, and has gone eight innings in two of his three starts.

He only went six innings on Thursday, but Garland admitted to being a bit anxious before that start, which is understandable since it was against his former team.

Garland allowed three runs on seven hits but didn’t pick up a decision in the Angels’ 4-3 loss.

“I have those nerves every time I step on the mound,” Garland told the team’s official Web site.

Garland’s history in Toronto would seem to quell his nerves on Wednesday, but his ERA in his five wins there is 4.38. He received nearly seven runs of support per start from the White Sox, something the Angels haven’t been able to provide him with lately.

Los Angeles has scored only seven runs for Garland in his last four outings.

The Angels could only muster three runs on five hits on Monday against the Blue Jays (23-24), but that and John Lackey’s impressive start was enough to deliver a 3-1 win—Lackey’s first since Sept. 28.

“It’s huge,” said catcher Mike Napoli, who hit two homers and had five RBIs Sunday before walking three times on Monday. “He’s our top dog and we need him. It’s good to see.”

The Angels’ offense could see a boost on Wednesday, when the speedy Chone Figgins (.306, 11 stolen bases) is eligible to come off the DL.

Shaun Marcum (4-2, 2.50) has been the most effective starter for Toronto, and he had pitched at least eight innings in his last two starts before taking the mound on Sunday in Philadelphia.

But after giving up a two-run homer in the first inning, Marcum never returned after a rain delay of more than two hours. He’ll now start on just two days’ rest against the Angels after throwing 22 pitches on Sunday.

Marcum is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two career starts against Los Angeles.

The Blue Jays’ offense is scoring just 3.8 runs per game, which ranks 13th in the AL. The Jays haven’t scored more than six runs in a game since an 11-run outburst in Baltimore on April 15, and Tuesday’s loss was the 10th time they’ve scored one or fewer runs since.

With Vernon Wells sidelined until at least late June with a fractured left wrist, Alex Rios has had added pressure to produce, but the right fielder has been mired in a horrible slump throughout the month.

Rios is hitting just .165 (13-for-79) with two RBIs since May 2.

“It’s been a little rough for me at this time,” Rios told the Blue Jays’ official Web site. “But I know I’m going to get through it. It’s a long season— it’s a long battle.”

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Starting Pitchers

J. Garland Col vs. S. Marcum Cle
14-8 Record 9-7
4.90 ERA 3.39
90 K 123
59 BB 50
1.51 WHIP 1.16

Scoreboard

Wednesday, May 21