Alex Cobb aims to pitch Angels to series win at Texas

MLB

Alex Cobb hopes to leave a lasting impression on the Los Angeles Angels when he makes his final start of the season in the rubber game of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers on Thursday afternoon in Arlington, Texas.

Cobb (8-3, 3.46 ERA) has been the second-best starting pitcher for the Angels this season behind two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani.

The Angels (75-83) acquired Cobb in an offseason trade after he struggled mightily in three seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, posting an overall record of 7-22 with a 5.10 ERA.

Cobb, 33, will be a free agent following this season, and he’d prefer to stay in Anaheim.

“I’ve loved every minute since the second they called me in the offseason and told me I was coming over,” Cobb said. “Everybody’s treated me with just so much respect and kindness, and I’ve always been a huge fan of (Angels manager Joe Maddon). He gave me my first chance when I was 23 years old, and he gave me another chance at 33.”

Cobb played for Maddon during his first four seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays from 2011-14.

Cobb had his best years in that window, highlighted by an 11-3 record and 2.76 ERA in 2013.

“I try to avoid comparisons, but he looks very similar to when I had him in Tampa Bay,” Maddon said. “There’s no difference. The velocity is the same. When that split is on, it’s devastating. He’s competitive and he’s a great athlete. I don’t know what the future holds for him or what his intentions are, but what I saw the last two times, it’s what I saw in the past.”

Texas (58-100) is scheduled to start rookie right-hander Glenn Otto, who is still looking for his first major league win after five up-and-down starts.

Otto (0-3, 8.92 ERA) threw five shutout innings in his debut on Aug. 27 against the Houston Astros. The Rangers built a 4-0 lead after six innings, but Otto didn’t earn the win after Houston scored five runs in the seventh and ultimately won 5-4.

He came back a week later and faced the Angels in his second big-league start, holding them to two runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings of a 3-2 loss.

Otto dropped his next three outings, but he pitched well enough to win his most recent appearance, allowing two runs and five hits in five innings against the Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 23.

Unfortunately for Otto, he did not receive any run support and the Rangers lost 3-0.

“I’d like to think I’m progressing pretty well,” Otto said. “I’m learning a lot through adversity. These are the best hitters I’ve ever faced in my life. I want to feel as close to the same physically and mentally as possible every time I go out.”

The Angels recalled outfielder Taylor Ward from Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday, and he made immediate contributions in his first major league game since July 20. He collected two hits and scored a run in Los Angeles’ 7-2 win against the Rangers.

Ohtani also had two hits, two stolen bases and a run. He is just the fifth major-leaguer with at least 45 home runs, 25 stolen bases and 100 runs in a season, joining Alfonso Soriano (2006), Chipper Jones (1999), Larry Walker (1997) and Barry Bonds (1993).

–Field Level Media

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