Lyle Spencer has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2005, covering the Padres and Angels. He has covered Major League Baseball as a reporter and columnist since 1971.
|Fulfilling their destinies as rivals in the AL Central, the Twins' Aaron Hicks and the Tigers' Anthony Gose go way, way back
More» Gose laces sharp RBI single up the middle|
|Torii Hunter watches Mike Trout, like so many others he has mentored over the years, with the unabashed pride of a parent -- or an involved big brother who has done his job well.
|A pitching staff that has fueled the Angels' drive back to the top of the American League West could be getting an upgrade before the non-waiver Trade Deadline -- without the necessity of sacrificing talent in a swap. Jered Weaver, longtime ace, is close to rejoining the rotation.
More» Weaver strikes out seven over 6 2/3 innings|
|"The things we see Mike do every day showed up for the home audience," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said as the Major League All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player two years running returned to the embrace of his buddies for a second-half opening with a four-game series against the Red Sox.
More»Trout completes career cycle in All-Star Game|
|Consider the Wild West of the AL, housing the new-look A's. At midseason, it looks like a two-horse race between the Astros and Angels. The hungry hearts from Houston have led the division since April 19, but the defending division champs from Anaheim appear to have their high-profile act together at last. So, where does that leave the Rangers, Mariners and A's, all below .500 but by no means out of it? To sell or not to sell is the question. Each club has a few weeks to sort it out.
More» Gallardo shuts down O's to extend streak|
|One year ago, Clayton Kershaw was being hailed as not just baseball's best pitcher but as the game's most dominant southpaw since the prime of Sandy Koufax.
More»Greinke dynamite in first half, could start ASG|
|Kole Calhoun was not a happy camper last Wednesday as the Angels right fielder packed for a road trip. He'd gone 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in a loss to the Yankees that afternoon, and he was scuffling, his slash line having slipped to .258/.314/.375.
More» Calhoun hits a three-run homer to center|
|Given his resume, Bill Stoneman seems the ideal choice to assume the GM role for the balance of the season. It was vacated by Jerry Dipoto when he stunningly decided to step down on Wednesday in the middle of the season.
More»Angels react to Dipoto stepping down as GM|
|There is no reason to believe the exit of Jerry Dipoto as Angels general manager should have a negative impact on the performance of the players on the field.
|Alex Rodriguez has had a nice career against the Angels alone: 70 homers, 165 RBIs, 173 runs scored and 251 hits with a .322 batting average and .654 slugging percentage in 201 games.
More» A-Rod ties the game with an RBI single|
|The Mickey Mantle comparisons persist and won't be going away any time soon. Mike Trout is the image of No. 7 in pinstripes, chiseled from the neck to the ankles, and he plays like the Yankees legend, crushing baseballs and running them down with blinding speed in center field.
More» Trout puts on fielding clinic, hits home run|
|It took 18 Angels players 13 innings and four hours, 31 minutes to get it done, but they finally subdued the Astros, 2-1, on Wednesday to take a series they badly needed for reasons both mathematical and emotional. These Astros are a force to be reckoned with, and dealing with it are the four clubs chasing them in the American League West.
More» Halos top Astros on Featherston's walk-off|
|The Puerto Rico Baseball Academy in Gurabo, P.R., is to be commended. One of its graduates, Carlos Correa, is a polished gem embarking on what promises to be a fulfilling career in a highly demanding profession.
More» Correa hits mammoth homer, flirts with cycle|
|Hardly a day passes now that Albert Pujols doesn't pass a legend on some historical list. Before Mike Trout emerged as the consensus best player in the baseball, it is worth recalling that Pujols preceded the Angels' center fielder with that universal distinction.
More» Pujols goes yard twice vs. Astros|
|Yasmani Grandal did the most amazing thing in his first at-bat Sunday night against the Giants. He dropped a bunt leading off the second inning against Tim Lincecum and legged it out for a single. In a matter of moments, Lincecum was five runs down.
More» Grandal beats the shift, picks up bunt single|
|The Giants, who come alive on the road, are clearly in their element all over the landscape. No offensive unit in the Majors is as productive on the road as the reigning and three-time World Series champions.
More» Belt connects on a two-run homer to right|
|Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke is paid handsomely to pitch, but he enjoys every phase of the game: hitting, fielding, running the bases. He's an athlete who pitches, not a guy with a freakish arm and no other visible skills.
More» Greinke strikes out eight over seven strong|
|Justin Upton was convinced the Padres were on the verge of busting out with one of those 15-5 streaks that would have had them right in the thick of the National League West race with the Dodgers and Giants.
More»Brock talks about Black's dismissal, Padres' future|
|Now and then, like a thunderbolt from a quiet sky, a play is made that instantly transcends the game and becomes the stuff of legend. It is so out of this world, so stunningly surreal, that it is sure to be remembered long after the game's outcome.
More» Pederson crashes into the wall for great grab|
|The game doesn't get any better than this. That's what Padres manager Bud Black was thinking as he watched Justin Upton prevail in a thrilling duel of stars with the Dodgers' Zack Greinke on Saturday night.
More» Upton hits go-ahead homer, call confirmed|