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|Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:06 am Post subject: Eifert was
|Already the owner of two American League Most Valuable Player awards by age 25 James White Jersey , Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout is showing there’s always room for improvement.
Trout is having the best offensive month of his major-league career heading into the second game of a four-game series against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
The Angels (40-35) won the series opener 8-5 on Thursday night at Angel Stadium, getting two home runs from Luis Valbuena and another from Kole Calhoun for the second straight game.
Trout went 0-for-2 but drew three walks and scored two runs against the Blue Jays (34-40).
Trout is hitting .433 in June with five home runs and 12 RBIs. His on-base percentage rose to .471 for the season.
Trout’s previous best batting average for a month was .392 in July of 2012, his first full season in the majors. He also had 10 home runs and 23 RBIs during that stretch.
A big difference in Trout’s game this season has been his walk-to-strikeout ratio. He had 12 walks and 21 strikeouts in July 2012 but has 17 walks and 13 strikeouts so far this month.
“I’m just trying to look for my pitch, and if it’s not there, I’m just taking my walks,” Trout told reporters earlier this week. “For me, if I try to expand the strike zone, that’s when I get in trouble.”
Trout has also done well in his career against Toronto’s scheduled starter on Friday night, Marco Estrada. Trout is 4-for-10 with two home runs off the right-hander.
Estrada (4-6 Jalen Richard Jersey , 4.66 ERA) will try to stay on a roll after winning his past two starts. He went eight consecutive outings without earning a win before this latest stretch.
His last start may have been his best of the season. He threw 6 2/3 shutout innings in a 2-0 win on Saturday against the visiting Washington Nationals, out-dueling right-hander Max Scherzer, who leads the National League with 10 wins.
Estrada faced the visiting Angels during his winless stretch four weeks ago and surrendered four runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. Toronto went on to lose 8-1.
Estrada is 1-2 in his career against the Angels with a 6.95 ERA, his highest against any AL team.
Angels first baseman Albert Pujols is 4-for-10 in his career against Estrada, and shortstop Andrelton Simmons is 6-for-12.
“For four years now, every single day, when Marco Estrada’s time comes around, he gives all he has,” Toronto second baseman Devon Travis told Sportsnet after the win against the Nationals last weekend.
Angels starter Andrew Heaney was matched against Estrada in his only career appearance against the Blue Jays and it didn’t go well for the left-hander. He gave up eight runs in 3 1/3 innings of the 15-3 loss in Anaheim on Aug. 22 Saquon Barkley Jersey , 2015.
Heaney (3-5, 3.64) was in line to win his last outing after allowing three runs and three hits in eight innings against the Oakland A’s on Sunday, but the bullpen gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth before Oakland won in the 11th.
Carlos Dunlap walked into the Cincinnati Bengals locker room and noticed a group of videographers and reporters waiting by his locker in a far corner of the room.
”Y’all looking for me?” he said.
Indeed, Dunlap was the focus on the first day of mandatory minicamp after skipping most of the voluntary offseason workouts in Cincinnati. The ninth-year defensive end chose to work out on his own while his agent negotiated a new deal with the team, costing him $300,000 in bonuses.
Rather than skip the minicamp as well, he decided to catch up on what he’s missed with a new defense being implemented.
Plus, he’s encouraged by the progress made on a deal that would keep him in Cincinnati well beyond 2018.
”There are no hard feelings between any of us,” Dunlap said Tuesday. ”This is the process. Both sides understand it.”
Dunlap is a key to the Bengals’ hopes of a turnaround this season. They slid to 18th in the league overall and 30th against the run last season while missing out on the playoffs for a second straight year. Coordinator Paul Guenther left to join Jon Gruden with the Raiders P. J. Williams Jersey , and Teryl Austin was hired as his replacement.
Dunlap has been a game-changer in Cincinnati with his ability to rush the quarterback and bat down passes. He’s second on the team’s career sacks list with 64 , and he’s been the best lineman in the league at batting down passes over the past few seasons.
Coaches have been trying to get him to be more consistent not only from game-to-game, but within games as well. His number of plays could diminish this season as Cincinnati integrates some of its young pass rushers into the line rotation.
Carl Lawson had 8 sacks last season, the most by an NFL rookie and one sack shy of Dunlap’s team rookie record from 2010.
”They’re very adamant about having a big rotation, and I would too with all this talent on the D-line,” Dunlap said.
Dunlap and tackle Geno Atkins have anchored the line since 2010. Atkins leads the NFL in sacks by an interior lineman over the past few years. Dunlap had a career-high 13 sacks in 2015, but slipped to 8 the following season and 7 last year, third on the team.
By working out on his own the past few months, he missed a chance to learn the system implemented by Austin. He said the biggest change is in terminology.
”They’re pretty much similar in scheme – minor tweaks here or there – but they’re things we already had in our defense Dee Ford Jersey ,” Dunlap said. ”So it’s not like a full spring cleaning or anything.”
Coach Marvin Lewis said Dunlap won’t get much time on the field during the three-day minicamp because he’s missed so much practice time.
”It’s a chance for him to get a preview of what will happen during training camp,” Lewis said. ”He’ll get very limited repetitions (in minicamp) just because these guys have been working here for an amount of weeks and he hasn’t been here.”
WOODSIDE CHARGED: Rookie quarterback Logan Woodside – a seventh-round pick from Toledo – practiced Tuesday after arraignment in northern Kentucky. He was charged over the weekend with speeding and driving under the influence in Bellevue, Kentucky, according to information in his case file in Campbell County District Court. The Bengals said they’re aware of the matter and gathering information. Lewis declined further comment.
EIFERT MISSING: Tight end Tyler Eifert was in the locker room but didn’t participate in the afternoon practice. Lewis declined to say why the often-injured tight end wasn’t on the field. ”He was here all morning and then all of a sudden he wasn’t,” Lewis said. ”I’m sure he’s being dealt with in some kind of medical fashion. That’s the only reason a guy wouldn’t be here.”
Eifert was limited to two games last season because of chronic back problems. He signed a one-year deal after the season. Lewis said Eifert has been doing well so far in his latest comeback.
”When we start to play football, then we’ll have an idea where he is,” Lewis said.
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