A pair of aces face off in a game involving two teams that have struggled mightily since the All-Star break.

Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers

Los Angeles was swept in a three-game series by the worst team in the league, as they leave Baltimore and head to Detroit.  In the series, the starting staff posted an 8.80 ERA, which led manager Mike Scioscia to hold a closed door meeting after Thursday’s 5-4 loss.  This is obviously a disappointing series and a disappointing game tonight,” he said after the meeting.  The Angels are now 7-12 since the All-Star break and have lost seven of their last eight road games.  The club is 1-4 this month (-440) and 33-29 in August the last three seasons combined (-880).  Los Angeles faces off against Detroit for the first time since May 2, trailing 5-2 in the season series, as the club is 11-16 against the AL Central division this season.  The Halos are 49-26 overall versus the Tigers since the start of the 2002 season.  Outfielder Bobby Abreu will lead the offense this weekend, owning a career average of .350 (50-for-143) against Detroit.

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Two second-place teams do battle in the first game of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field

Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox

Los Angeles starts a seven-game road trip tonight leading into the All-Star break, after posting a dominating 11-0 home victory over the Kansas City Royals on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.  The Angels also made some moves to boost the team’s offense over the weekend, but will play out the week with a shorter pitching staff.  “We’re looking right now to get through the week with 11 pitchers,” manager Mike Scioscia said.  The Halos have won five of their last six road games and are an MLB-best 12-3 in their last 15 road contests.  Overall, the team is an incredible 122-86 on the road the past three years (+4,330).  Los Angeles also brings a 25-12 record into this contest since May 25, which is the best mark in the American League.  The club leads the season series 2-0 over the White Sox, picking up a two-game sweep on May 19-20.

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The two teams that make up the Southern California Freeway Series are heading in opposite directions.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Dodgers left Boston without picking up a victory, after losing a 2-0 pitcher’s duel on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.  “They did many things better,” said Dodgers catcher Russell Martin.  “They’re a tough team to beat.”  The club returns to the Southern California area after a day off to face a team that swept them the previous weekend.  Manager Joe Torre’s club is 2-7 (-660) during interleague play this year and 16-26 (-1,330) the last three seasons.  Outfielders Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp hope to lead the offense on Tuesday night against a right-handed starter.  Ethier is batting .331 this season against righties compared to .295 versus southpaws, while Kemp has hit 10 of his 11 home runs against them.

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A pair of aces matchup against each other in the series finale.

Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals

Los Angeles picked up its sixth win in eight games on Wednesday night, grabbing a 7-2 road victory over the Kansas City.  The Angels have now won 11 of their last 13 games against the Royals, including eight of the last 10 at Kauffman Stadium.  The team’s offense is currently searching for someone to replace 1B Kendry Morales, who is on the disabled list with a broken leg.  Manager Mike Scioscia may have found a temporary solution, giving C/DH Mike Napoli his second start at the position.  He enjoyed a successful month of May, hitting .322 with eight home runs and 17 RBIs.  “Mike’s value to our team is important at any time,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.  Los Angeles has compiled an 11-8 daytime mark this season (+360) and the team is 79-34 over the last three years (+4,610).

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