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First-place Angels play host to Marlins
(SportsNetwork.com) - Following a successful road trip that left them atop the AL West standings, the LA Angels of Anaheim are back home and will start a three-game series Monday versus the Miami Marlins.
The Angels went 7-3 on their trip through Texas, Boston and Oakland, and avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the division-rival Athletics with Sunday night's 9-4 victory behind home runs from Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton. Hamilton had three RBI and Kole Calhoun collected three hits, drove in a run and scored a run.
Calhoun and Hamilton were a main factor in the nine-run outburst for the Angels, who scored a total of six runs in their previous three games. Hamilton has eight RBI in his last four games.
"We've kind of been taking it easy the last two days," Calhoun said. "We were bound to break out at some point."
Erick Aybar and Albert Pujols had two hits apiece, while the former is riding a nine-game hitting streak.
Jered Weaver benefited from the run support for the Angels and the staff ace improved to 14-7 by allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out eight batters and did not issue a walk.
The Angels, winners in nine of 12 games overall, are one game ahead of the A's for the AL West lead and will host them for four games later this week.
With starting pitcher Garrett Richards done for the season with a knee injury, the Halos called on Wade LeBlanc to fill the open rotation spot. LeBlanc gets the nod Monday and will appear in his second game (first start) with Anaheim. He allowed four runs over 6 1/3 innings of a 9-5 loss at Oakland on May 30 and did not record a decision.
LeBlanc was later claimed off waivers by the New York Yankees and threw an inning of relief versus the A's on June 4. The Yankees granted LeBlanc free agency on June 15 and he re-signed with the Angels two days later.
He went 10-3 with a 4.00 ERA in 21 starts with Triple-A Salt Lake this season.
LeBlanc, a left-hander, played for the Marlins during the 2012 and 2013 seasons and is 1-1 with a 5.60 ERA in three career starts against them.
Miami started a nine-game road trip with two losses in three games against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
In Sunday's rubber match in the Rocky Mountains, the Marlins suffered a 7-4 loss and Brad Hand was roughed up in the start to the tune of four runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Jeff Mathis and Christian Yelich each went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, while Giancarlo Stanton and Jeff Baker had an RBI apiece for Miami, which sits four games off a wild card spot and had won four of five games before losing two in a row.
"We still left some guys on base and had some opportunities to help ourselves out and score some runs," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "You have to do that in this ballpark."
The Marlins hope to change their recent fortune on this sojourn and will also visit Atlanta for three games.
Taking the mound for the Marlins Monday will be Jarred Cosart, who is making his fourth start with his new club since coming over from the Houston Astros. Cosart is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in three starts with Miami and threw six innings of one-run ball in last Tuesday's 4-3 win over Texas for a no-decision.
Cosart, who went 9-7 in 20 starts with Houston, has lost both of his starts against the Angels and is 5-3 in 11 road assignments this season.
The Marlins are visiting Anaheim for the first time since 2005, when they lost two of three matchups. They lost two of three home meetings with the Halos in 2011 and are only 3-6 all-time in this rare series.
08/25 10:50:40 ET