Thursday was the kind of night at the ballpark that prompted psychological talk of all kinds. The Angels relished in the discomfort they created for their opponents, the New York Yankees. They cherished their own fortitude to recover from a four-run deficit and win 10-5 at Yankee Stadium. And they considered the implications of their recent play without their star.

How else to explain Cameron Maybin’s baserunning exploits beyond the nervousness his presence engenders? How to explain 26 comebacks among 38 victories? And, above all, how to explain that they have played as well without Mike Trout for nearly four weeks as they did over two months with him?

The Angels thought it would be best to consider matters of the mind — even the “subconscious.” Utilityman Cliff Pennington, who did not make an out in four trips to the plate Thursday, said Trout’s absence had induced better performances from the Angels’ lesser players, knowingly or not.

“It’s never on purpose, but sometimes when you have the best player on the planet, guys kind of look to see: ‘Is he gonna win this for us?’ ” Pennington said. “Now that we don’t have him, the other guys step up. And we needed it. Because, without it, we would have been in trouble.”

The Angels are 38-38. Playoff prognostications still list their odds as long. But, in need of treatment or not, they remain more alive than they have been since September 2015.

They have achieved their status without much effective starting pitching and without Trout, but with a suddenly swelling, balanced offense.

Beginning Thursday’s thorough effort, Maybin homered on the game’s second pitch. But the Angels soon fell behind. Their starter, Jesse Chavez, issued two walks and gave up a run-scoring single in the first inning, and more hits in the second. First, with one out, was a Chris Carter double. Then a Ronald Torreyes soft single off of Chavez’s right hip, and a run-scoring groundout by Brett Gardner. Next, Aaron Hicks rapped a single to right, and runners were on the corners for Aaron Judge.

On a 3-and-2 count, Chavez left a cutter over the middle of the plate. Judge deposited it into Monument Park, 425 feet from the plate, and pushed the Yankees ahead 5-1.

“It was supposed to be a cutter in,” Chavez said. “Well, it cut over.”

The Angels made it two in the third, when Pennington singled, Maybin walked, Albert Pujols blooped a run-scoring single into right field, and Yunel Escobar lined a single to the same location.

Chavez kept it at that margin for two more innings, then gave way to four relievers, who went on to retire 15 of 16 Yankees.

Chavez, the owner of a 3.86 earned-run average at Angel Stadium but a 6.31 mark everywhere else, incurred his own scorn.

“I just have to figure out these road woes,” he said. “They’re killing me. They’re bothering me so much.”

In the sixth, the Angels again halved the Yankees lead. Escobar doubled and Luis Valbuena singled him in. The runs continued in the seventh, aided by a Starlin Castro error on a Maybin grounder that could have been a double play. Maybin soon swiped second base, took third on an errant throw and scored when Pujols singled past a drawn-in infield.

A walk, a wild pitch and an Andrelton Simmons double later, the Angels led by three. They led by five after the eighth, when a wild pickoff attempt on Maybin allowed the Angels to take three extra bases and cued cerebral thoughts.

“I love creating chaos, making those guys frantic, and you could see it tonight,” Maybin said. “When I get on base, guys get worried, get nervous. Guys behind me get good pitches. They make mistakes on the mound, throwing balls away.”

Manager Mike Scioscia was asked how he thought his players had endured. He declined to scrutinize their mentality, instead forcing his focus to Friday’s series opener in Boston.

“I’m not real big on doing introspectives of the team,” Scioscia said.

“The schedule keeps coming. You just keep playing.”

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Matt Shoemaker’s recovery from a forearm strain has stalled. Hopeful as of Wednesday that the right-hander could start Sunday at Boston, the Angels on Thursday sent Shoemaker back to Orange County for further evaluation and additional testing by team doctors.

“I think it’s moving in the right direction,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “But, we want to make sure that they’re not missing anything.”

Scioscia said that rookie right-hander Parker Bridwell would draw Sunday’s start, the 25-year-old’s third spot start of the season.

The Angels also revealed, for the first time, that Shoemaker underwent an MRI examination Saturday night, the results of which demonstrated no structural damage in the area. As of Saturday afternoon, Scioscia and Shoemaker had said there were no plans to have an MRI exam.

Shoemaker played catch on Tuesday and Wednesday in New York, first from 90 feet and then 120, testing the strained extensor muscles to ascertain if the pain would go away and allow him to throw a bullpen session Friday.

“I can make myself feel it,” he said Tuesday. “But, obviously, the medical, training staff, they’re saying, ‘Hey, stop picking at it. Stop trying to feel it to see if it’s gone.’ That’s why we’re going into this with the light 90-foot catch. ‘You don’t feel it? OK, let’s go more and longer.’”

Shoemaker, 30, has a 4.52 earned-run average in 14 starts. He suffered a forearm strain two years ago, but he said that injury was in a different part of the muscle. Club physicians have repeatedly assured him that the current strain is not related to his elbow, as forearm injuries often are.

Street back

The Angels activated Huston Street from the disabled list. The longtime closer had been sidelined for more than three months, first because of a lat strain suffered during spring training and then because of corresponding complications.

He also spent August and September on the disabled list after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. So, it has been nearly 11 months since he last pitched in a major league game or traveled with his teammates.

“You do appreciate it, a lot,” Street said of being back with his teammates. “When you rehab for as long as I did, last year and this year, you get a real sense for the minor leagues.”

Street, 33, will be a free agent at year’s end unless the Angels exercise their $10 million team option for 2018. He has spent almost all of his career as his club’s closer, but he will not handle that role right away for the Angels.

Short hops

The Angels demoted right-hander Mike Morin to triple-A Salt Lake to create space for Street. Morin has shuffled back and forth several times this season. … Scioscia said that right-hander Bud Norris, on the disabled list because of an inflamed right knee, is slated to begin throwing this weekend. He’s eligible to be activated at month’s end.

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The Angels scored nine unanswered runs and raced past the New York Yankees, 10-5, on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. In a thorough offensive performance, they reached base 15 times and converted more than half of their opportunities with runners in scoring position to come back to .500, 38-38.

Dynamo leadoff hitter Cameron Maybin homered on the game’s second pitch, but the Angels soon fell behind. Angels starter Jesse Chavez induced weak contact for the first two outs of the game, then issued walks to Aaron Judge and Matt Holliday. When he threw two balls to Starlin Castro, catcher Martin Maldonado and pitching coach Charles Nagy visited the mound.

Chavez pumped a 92-mph fastball, fouled off. Castro then looped the 2-and-2 pitch into right field, scoring Judge. Next, Gary Sanchez hit a ball deep into the shortstop hole, where Andrelton Simmons quickly fielded it and threw to third, where Yunel Escobar tagged out Holliday.

Chavez recorded the first out of the second on a lineout, then allowed a double to Chris Carter, and a single to Ronald Torreyes, a light liner which bounced off of his right hip. After examination by a team trainer, Chavez stayed in the game. Brett Gardner grounded out, which brought in a run. Aaron Hicks singled to right, which put runners on the corners. And Judge deposited a 425-foot homer beyond the center-field wall, which put the Yankees ahead by four, 5-1.

The Angels made it two in the third, when Cliff Pennington singled, Maybin walked, Albert Pujols blooped a run-scoring single into right field, and Escobar lined a single to the same location.

Chavez kept it at the margin for two more innings before he gave way to Yusmeiro Petit in the fifth. Petit was effective, striking out three in two innings. In fact, four Angels relievers combined to offer hitless relief until there were two outs in the ninth.

In the sixth, the Angels again halved the Yankees’ lead. Escobar doubled and Valbuena singled him in. An inning later they threatened to move ahead. Pennington singled into right, and Maybin tapped a ready-made double-play ball to second base. But Starlin Castro let the ball evade him, and the Angels had runners on the corners without an out as the bullpen door opened for left-hander Chasen Shreve.

Kole Calhoun tied the score with a sacrifice fly, and Dellin Betances replaced Shreve. Maybin soon swiped second base, took third on an errant throw, and scored when Pujols singled past a drawn-in infield. A walk to Escobar and a wild pitch moved both men into scoring position. They both scored when Simmons drilled a double into left.

The Angels needed nothing more, but they produced more in the eighth, when Pennington doubled, Maybin walked, and a wild pickoff attempt allowed Pennington to score and Maybin to take third. Calhoun produced another sacrifice fly to cap the scoring.

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It was not a set of circumstances that foretold success. The American League leader in home runs allowed took the mound against the New York Yankees, the most powerful team in the major leagues, at Yankee Stadium, a park susceptible to home runs.

Predictably, homer-prone right-hander Ricky Nolasco surrendered two more homers and bore the loss in the Angels’ 8-4 defeat to the Yankees on Wednesday.

Since April 27, Nolasco has started games at Angel Stadium four times and across the country: in Seattle, Oakland, St. Petersburg, Houston, and New York (twice.)

The Angels have not won once. They are winless in Nolasco’s last 10 starts.

In the second inning, the Yankees scored first when Didi Gregorius took advantage of this ballpark’s short right-field porch for a two-run home run. Similarly struck balls are home runs 3% of the time and hits 5%, according to MLB’s proprietary Statcast trove of data.

Come the fourth inning, Angels catcher Martin Maldonado battled Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery to a 3-and-2 count, then received a hanging slider and crushed it 401 feet to left field. Andrelton Simmons had earlier singled, so the score was tied.

But Nolasco let Yankees on base in every inning he pitched, so it did not stay that way for long. In the fifth, he issued a leadoff walk to Aaron Hicks, then recorded two outs on one key 3-and-2 pitch to Aaron Judge. Nolasco placed a 93-mph fastball along the outside edge of the zone for a called third strike, and Maldonado fired down to second baseman Danny Espinosa, who tagged out Hicks.

Next, Nolasco pumped a fastball along the outer edge of the strike zone to Matt Holliday, who pushed it out to right field for a go-ahead solo shot.

In the sixth, Nolasco continued to struggle. Gary Sanchez singled to left. Didi Gregorius lined out to center. Chase Headley walked, which brought Angels manager Mike Scioscia out of the visiting dugout and Mike Morin out of the bullpen. Austin Romine soon doubled, and Nolasco’s line was cemented: five runs in 5 1/3 innings, with five walks and five strikeouts.

His 2017 earned-run average is an unsightly 5.23. He has given up 23 homers, now tied for the major league lead.

Considering the margin of victory, the Angels had the bad fortune of facing Dellin Betances in the eighth and Aroldis Chapman in the ninth Betances, a dominant, hulking right-hander, had not pitched in six days. He struck out Kole Calhoun and Albert Pujols before inducing a light groundout from Yunel Escobar.

Chapman entered and quickly closed out the game after Tyler Clippard gave up another two-run home run to Maldonado. Yankees manager Joe Girardi was desperate to stop his club’s seven-game losing streak.

The Angels (37-38) received no hits from the first four men in their lineup, one night after those same men combined for nine.

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The Angels on Wednesday cut short their experiment to find starting-pitching depth on the midseason free-agent market. They released veteran right-hander Doug Fister from their triple-A affiliate.

After the Angels asked him to remain in the minor leagues to make more starts, Fister requested and received his release, under the terms of the opt-out clause contained in his contract. The club paid him less than $20,000.

Fister, 33, had sustained success in the major leagues but struggled to a 4.64 earned-run average for Houston last year. His velocity steadily decreased in recent seasons.

The Angels repeatedly said they were encouraged by the velocity he displayed over three triple-A starts, in which he logged a 4.02 ERA.

But general manager Billy Eppler and the club’s staffers have grown increasingly confident in other pitchers who have emerged in the five weeks since Fister signed.

“Billy went through all of the scenarios,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, “and felt like right now, this is the way to go.”

A year ago this week, the Angels promoted Tim Lincecum and watched him pitch to a league-worst 9.16 ERA over nine starts. Then, because of injuries, they had no alternatives.

This year, they have successfully turned to right-handers Alex Meyer and Parker Bridwell from triple-A Salt Lake.

“Both of them have pitched well,” Eppler said. “We’re comfortable with those guys. That was, ultimately, the decision that our baseball operations and our staff has made.”

Eppler said the possibility of Fister’s moving into a bullpen role was not broached.

Short hops

Huston Street arrived in New York on Wednesday. The right-hander expects to be activated Thursday for the first time this season. He was out because of a lat strain he suffered in March. … Right-hander Matt Shoemaker (forearm strain) again played catch Wednesday, hoping to be activated in time to start Sunday in Boston. … Mike Trout continues to work out in his hometown of Millville, N.J. Scioscia said Trout was taking “baby steps” in his recovery from a torn thumb ligament.

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At the conclusion of Parker Bridwell’s postgame media session Tuesday night, reporters scattered around Yankee Stadium’s spacious visiting clubhouse, targeting the night’s stars. Unfamiliar with his major league surroundings, Bridwell lingered for several seconds before approaching a reporter.

“Am I good to leave now?” he said.

A year ago this month, the Angels arrived in New York requiring a spot starter for the series opener. They turned to left-hander David Huff, who couldn’t finish four innings, lost, and signed to pitch in South Korea the next month.

This time, they offered Bridwell, by no means an established pitcher. That has been the theme of the club’s campaign, one week short of the halfway mark. Stricken with similar injuries as in 2016, they have resorted to better replacements. To date, those stand-ins are saving the Angels season.

Upon trouncing the Yankees 8-3, the Angels ascended back to .500, only one game out of a wild-card slot. They crushed seven extra-base hits in a sturdy, balanced offensive performance that began at once.

Cameron Maybin knocked starter Michael Pineda’s second pitch into the right-field corner for a double. After Kole Calhoun walked, Albert Pujols ripped the first pitch he saw into left field and Maybin galloped home.

In the second inning, Eric Young Jr.’s tapper slithered through the legs of first baseman Chris Carter. With one out, Danny Espinosa stroked a double to center field, driving in Young. Espinosa scored when Calhoun slapped a single to left-center field. At that, the Angels went quiet.

Making the second start of his career, Bridwell walked four men in the first three innings. Still, he held the Yankees hitless until the fourth inning, when Starlin Castro rapped a single to right field. Bridwell walked Gary Sanchez before inducing three consecutive flyouts, the second of which brought in a run.

He began the fifth amassing two more outs through the air before Aaron Judge smashed an elevated fastball for a home run. Bridwell retired one more batter and exited holding a one-run lead, which Blake Parker quickly surrendered on a Sanchez solo shot to right field in the sixth inning.

It had been 10 months since Parker gave up a home run. He was a Yankees middle reliever then. Now handling high-leverage situations, he has been another worthy replacement, a man claimed off the waiver wire who probably would not have made the opening-day roster if Huston Street had been healthy. Instead, he has a 2.16 earned-run average in 331/3 innings.

After Parker’s rare mishap, the Angels immediately pushed back ahead. Maybin started the seventh inning with a home run to left field, and Calhoun followed with a double to right. Next, Pujols nearly sent a baseball beyond the wall, but settled for an out that moved Calhoun to third base. Yunel Escobar drove in Calhoun when he hit a ball off the top of the left-field wall, and he, too, scored when Luis Valbuena singled.

Martin Maldonado doubled and scored in the eighth inning, and Valbuena hit a home run to center field in the ninth.

Six Angels registered two or more hits, including the first five hitters. Maybin, the leadoff man, led with three, much to the delight of Escobar, who vacated the spot when he strained a hamstring last month.

“Even when I was leading off,” Escobar said through an interpreter, “I was always telling Maybin that was his spot.”

And so the Angels have weathered the majority of the time they will be without center fielder Mike Trout, thanks to Maybin, Escobar, and unexpected performances from the likes of Bridwell, Parker and Young.

“I know we don’t have Mike, but I think tonight’s indicative,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We did a lot of good things without our best player. Guys are starting to do some of the things that we projected.”

The victory boosted everyone’s mood and made postgame humor atypically accessible. Additionally, it extended the club’s record on Tuesday in 2017 to 12-0, four short of the all-time record to begin a season, held by the 98-win 1997 Baltimore Orioles.

“What’s tomorrow?” Scioscia said. “Tuesday?”

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A year ago this month, the Angels arrived in New York for a mid-week series needing a spot starter for the opener. They turned to a journeyman left-hander named David Huff, who couldn’t finish four innings and allowed five runs in a losing effort.

This time, they offered the New York Yankees young right-hander Parker Bridwell, by no means an established pitcher, but a bit better of an option. That has been the story of the club’s campaign. Faced with similar injuries as last season, they have resorted to better replacements. To date, those replacements are saving the Angels’ season.

After an 8-3 victory at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night, the Angels are back at .500, 37-37, and one game out of the wild-card race. They crushed seven extra-base hits in a sturdy offensive performance that began at once.

Cameron Maybin hit Yankees starter Michael Pineda’s second pitch into the right-field corner for a double. Kole Calhoun drew a six-pitch walk. Pujols ripped the first pitch he saw into left and Maybin scampered home. The Angels’ first out was Yunel Escobar’s tapper back to Pineda, but it put two men in scoring position for Luis Valbuena, who lined out to shortstop. Andrelton Simmons struck out, and the Angels squandered a potential-filled position.

They quickly found themselves in another, when Eric Young Jr.’s tapper to first to begin the second went through the legs of first baseman Chris Carter. With one out, Danny Espinosa stroked a double to the right-field wall, scoring Young. Espinosa soon scored when Kole Calhoun slapped a single to left-center. At that, the Angels went quiet for awhile.

Making the second start of his major league career in his first road game, Bridwell walked two Yankees in the first inning and one more in each of the next two innings. Still, the first hit he allowed occurred to begin the fourth, when Starlin Castro rapped a single to right.

Bridwell followed with another a walk, to Gary Sanchez, before inducing three consecutive flyouts, the middle of which brought in a run. He began the fifth amassing two more air-outs before Aaron Judge crushed a fastball out to right-center for a solo shot. Bridwell exited after one more batter, holding a slim lead, which Blake Parker quickly surrendered on a Gary Sanchez solo shot to right.

Had Parker retired Sanchez, he would have completed 20 consecutive innings without allowing a run. It had been 10 months since Parker permitted a home run. He was a Yankee middle reliever then. He has been another valuable replacement, a man who probably would not have made the opening-day roster if Huston Street had been healthy. Instead, he has a 2.16 earned-run average in 33 1/3 innings and a case for All-Star candidacy.

After Parker’s mishap. the Angels quickly pushed back ahead. Maybin commenced the inning with a home run to left field, and Calhoun followed with a double to right. Pujols nearly sent a baseball beyond the wall, but settled for an out that moved Calhoun to third. Escobar scored him when he drove a ball off the top of the left-field wall and reached third base. He, too, scored when Valbuena singled.

Martin Maldonado doubled and scored in the eighth, and Valbuena notched a solo shot to center in the ninth.

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The Angels recently welcomed Cam Bedrosian back into their bullpen, and they expect to do the same with Huston Street this week. But their hope of debuting a complete bullpen was nixed when Bud Norris inflamed right knee flared up after he pitched Sunday.

Norris was put on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday and the Angels recalled right-hander Mike Morin from triple-A Salt Lake. Manager Mike Scioscia said he expected Norris to be out only the necessary 10 days.

The knee has bothered Norris for much of the season. Last month in Miami, he had to exit an appearance early because weakness within the joint was preventing him from firing into his delivery. But he expressed confidence he could pitch through it with consistent treatment.

After he relayed his latest feelings Sunday, he underwent an MRI examination, which demonstrated no structural damage, according to Scioscia.

“We wanted to take the chance to take a half-step backwards, let it calm down,” the manager said.

Norris, 32, signed a minor league contract with the Angels in January and became their closer after injuries to the three men who entered training camp competing for the spot. In 34 games, he has 42 strikeouts, 13 walks, a 2.43 earned-run average and 11 saves in 13 chances.

Scioscia did not say who he will next entrust with closing opportunities. Even as Norris garnered nearly all of the club’s chances in recent weeks, Scioscia bristled at suggestions that he had anointed Norris the team’s closer.

Bedrosian and fellow right-hander Blake Parker are the plausible candidates.

Change of plans for Mike Trout

Scioscia had said Mike Trout would travel with the team to New York and Boston to rehabilitate his torn thumb ligament while observed by the team’s training staff.

Trout did travel east on the team charter, but he is not with the team. He’s spending the week working out in his hometown of Millville, N.J.

On Tuesday he took his first swings since the injury. When the team travels to Boston on Thursday, he is scheduled to head to Orange County and begin hitting off of a tee. Trout developed the plan in tandem with two club training staff.

“We had a couple things outlined about what he might do,” Scioscia said. “They all felt he’d get more done going back to the West Coast for the weekend, as opposed to Boston, where there’s no cage and not a lot that he’s going to be able to get out of there.”

Short hops

Right-hander Matt Shoemaker played catch for the first time since he exited early from a start last Wednesday with a forearm strain. He said the strain is feeling better. His hope is to start Sunday in Boston, the next time his rotation spot is up. … No decision has been announced aboutDoug Fister. The right-hander can opt out of his contract if he’s not called up Wednesday. Fister has been pitching for Salt Lake.

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Fourteen years ago, Cameron Maybin was a hotshot high school sophomore widely projected to become a top Major League Baseball draft pick and, in time, a top center fielder.

USA Today published a feature on Maybin and former USC guard O.J. Mayo as up-and-coming stars.

The first part of that prognostication about Maybin quickly came true: The Detroit Tigers selected him with the 10th pick in 2005 and he ascended to the majors two years later. The second did not.

But now, at 30, he’s closer than ever to fulfilling it.

In the final season of a contract extension he signed three teams ago, Maybin has established himself as the Angels’ leadoff hitter, a more patient plate presence than ever before.

He believes the improvements date to 2015 when he was with the Atlanta Braves, who acquired him on the eve of the season to be Eric Young Jr.’s platoon partner. Maybin, facing less pressure, followed the advice of Braves hitting coach Kevin Seitzer and ceased trying to be the power threat he had been projected to be. Instead, he focused on spraying liners to the middle of the field.

“I think that’s how it started,” said Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, a teammate then and now. “He looked good at the plate and never looked back, really. He’s been a different hitter ever since that year.”

Simmons compared Maybin’s dramatic late-career improvement with that of Milwaukee Brewers slugger Eric Thames, who returned from the relative obscurity of playing pro ball in South Korea to become one of the major leagues’ best hitters.

“It doesn’t happen often where it doesn’t happen early, but I still believe it happens,” Simmons said. “I still believe stuff clicks for people. It’s how you approach your at-bats, what people tell you you’re capable of, what you’re supposed to do. Maybe eventually you get to the point where you do something a little different, because you’re tired of the other way that didn’t work for a couple years.”

Maybin had some success early in his career, but it was always abbreviated, layered around injuries. He also served a 25-game suspension for testing positive for amphetamines.

Over the first nine seasons of his major league career, Maybin logged a below-average .313 on-base percentage. Everything about his offensive game, other than baserunning, was below average.

Over the last two seasons, still somewhat marred by injuries, Maybin has logged a .380 on-base percentage, tied for 16th-best among the 189 major leaguers who have batted 600 or more times in that span. He has walked in 14% of his plate appearances this season, which puts him in similar territory on league leaderboards.

He is batting .270 with a .408 slugging percentage and a league-leading 21 stolen bases. Everything about his offensive game is above average.

“That separation between his average and on-base [percentage] is an all-time high for Cam,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Hopefully it’s just another step he’s taking to what you would like to see in a player. It’s not like he’s consciously trying to take walks. He settled into a nice rhythm last year and he’s gotten back to that after the first month of the season, when he struggled.

“I think he’s taking the walks when they’re there and when there’s a pitch he can hit hard, he’s putting a good swing on it.”

The walks have made Maybin the club’s most intriguing trade piece. Three talent evaluators said that within the last week that they expect Maybin to attract the most interest among players the Angels could trade if they move further out of wild-card contention in the coming weeks.

Short hop

The date of right-hander Doug Fister’s next start has not been determined, general manager Billy Eppler said. Fister, 33, is with triple-A Salt Lake. He can opt out of his contract with the Angels on Wednesday if he has not been promoted to the big leagues. The Angels passed him over for a start this week in favor of Parker Bridwell.

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Hello, Angels fans. Your favorite baseball team is off Monday. For a night, their record will rest at 36-37, which translates to an 80-win pace for a full season. If it seems like they have been hovering around .500 all year, it is because they have.

As always, there is a plenty to talk about concerning the team, so let’s get to the weekly mailbag questions and answers.



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