The vulnerability of the Angels’ starting staff became evident Aug. 10, when it was announced that 23-year-old left-hander Tyler Skaggs would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Suddenly there was no safety net, and guys like Hector Santiago and Matt Shoemaker were going to have to step up in the back end of the rotation.

So far, they have. After last weekend a 3.76 ERA in 14 starts. Santiago has a 2.59 ERA in 59 innings since being called back up from Triple-A on June 10.


Chris Carter, who last year made a run at the Major League record for most strikeouts in a single season (he struck out 212 times, third-most all-time), has turned it around this year — and maybe his career — in a span of about six weeks with an impressive display of power that’s made him the feared slugger the Astros had hoped.

On Monday, Carter became the second Houston player this season to be named the American League Player of the Week, hitting .321 with four homers, nine RBIs and a 1.083 OPS last week.


Outfielder Craig Gentry (fractured right hand) is set to begin a rehab assignment after experiencing no issues in batting practice in Sacramento on Saturday. Gentry was hurt July 27 at Texas.

“Gentry had a good day,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. “Felt great as far as taking BP and so forth.”

Melvin did not announce specific plans for Gentry’s rehab assignment, but Gentry will begin his path back to the Majors with either Triple-A Sacramento or Class A Advanced Stockton.


Rookie pitcher Roenis Elias had just returned from a 10-day stint with Triple-A Tacoma that was designed largely to give him a break and ease the amount of stressful innings he’s accumulated.

But in a 4-1 loss to the Phillies on Monday, after escaping a bases-loaded jam in the fourth following a single, walk and hit batter, Elias got the hook as his record fell to 9-10 with a 4.09 ERA. Elias will now be given two extra days of rest before his next start, pushed back to next Monday against the Rangers in Seattle. He’s thrown 138 2/3 innings this season, second to the Royals’ Yordano Ventura (139 2/3) for the most by any rookie in the majors.


With 36 pitchers taking the mound so far, Texas is in position to blow past the 2002 Padres for most pitchers used in a season. They need one to tie and two to set the record. … he Rangers’ mostly inexperienced bullpen is on a hot streak. With three perfect innings against the Angels, Phil Klein, Neal Cotts and Roman Mendez needed only 30 pitches between them to retire all nine batters they faced.

“They’ve done an outstanding job,” manager Ron Washington said of his relief corps. “We’ve been sort of keeping ourselves in ballgames and they’re the reason why.”

Compiled by Rachel Lister from wire reports.