Los An­ge­les Angels

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - AL WEST -

The Angels made a se­ries of moves that bol­stered their play­off chances. Justin Up­ton and

Bran­don Phillips joined the team for the fi­nal weeks.

“I loved it,” Mike Trout said. “Ob­vi­ously, when you bring in two guys like that, hav­ing great years, been in the league for a while, it def­i­nitely helps you, for sure.”

Many wrote off the Angels dur­ing a spotty first half. So-so per­for­mances and in­juries, es­pe­cially to the ro­ta­tion, buried them in the Amer­i­can League West, as the Astros ran away with the di­vi­sion lead.

But the Angels never lost hope, kept fo­cus on a wild-card spot and then sprang into ac­tion at the end

of last month with two big ad­di­tions. A lineup that fea­tures Al­bert Pu­jols, An­drel­ton

Sim­mons and Trout got more daunt­ing. “We just got deeper,” Trout said. Right- han­der Gar­rett Richards is back from his bi­ceps in­jury, and that is news. He orig­i­nally was thought to be out for the year. “I’ve put in a lot of work, a lot of time,” Richards said. “I’ve been pretty pa­tient.” Richards’ re­turn comes on the heels of Tyler Sk­aggs and An­drew Heaney, two other in­jured starters, get­ting back into the ro­ta­tion. The Angels lost an­other starter, how­ever. Right-han­der JC Ramirez is out for the sea­son be­cause of an el­bow in­jury.

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