AL WEST NOTES

Angels

General Manager Jerry Dipoto stressed the importance of sticking to “our model” as the reason he won’t pursue high-end free-agent pitching in the wake of an elbow injury that will sideline LHP Tyler Skaggs through 2015. To reach the postseason and play deep into October, the Angels must get consistent - though not necessarily overpowering - starting pitching, stout relief from a deep and dominant bullpen, and enough offense to out-hit any pitching deficiencies.

Astros

CF Dexter Fowler (back) came off the DL and started Wednesday. Fowler had not played since June 26. Fellow OF George Springer (quadriceps) had a setback in his rehabilitation and will be shut down for two weeks. Springer has been out since July 19. “It’s more frustrating than anything because I want to play and help,” Springer said. “But … I have to be smart about it.”

Athletics

SS Jed Lowrie was back in the starting lineup. He had missed time with a bruised right index finger. … Starter Jason Hammel said he was pleased his slider and his sinking two-seam fastball are now producing the ground balls he likes to induce. He said he was back to “trusting my stuff and really competing out there.” The right-hander’s turnaround is an encouraging sign. Hammel had lost his first four starts following the July 4 trade from the Cubs. “This is the best he’s pitched from what I’ve seen,” manager Bob Melvin said.

Mariners

Felix Hernandez set Major League record with 16 straight starts of 7.0+ innings and 2-or-fewer earned runs. He passed Gaylord Perry’s mark of 15 with Cleveland in 1974. Hernandez is 9-2 with a 1.41 ERA (19 ER, 121.0 IP) with 134 K’s over his last 16 starts (since May 18). … OF Michael Saunders (oblique) had his rehab assignment delayed a few days. He left Triple-A Tacoma to be with his wife for the birth of their child. … The Mariners opted to add a position player, calling up OF James Jones from Triple-A Tacoma. Seattle had an open roster spot after pitcher Erasmo Ramirez was optioned. Jones was sent to the minors on Aug. 1, after Seattle acquired OF Austin Jackson from Detroit at the trade deadline. Jones had been slumping, seeing his average drop to .258 and was in a 3-for-41 slump when he was sent down.

Rangers

Spokane, the Rangers’ short-season Class A team, had four relievers combine for an 11-inning no-hitter in a 3-0 win over Everett last week. It was the first extra-inning no-hitter in Northwest League history. The pitchers were Derek Thompson (five innings), Shane McCain (three), Adam Parks (two for the win) and Luis Pollorena (one for the save). … RHP Tanner Scheppers, out for the season with an inflamed elbow, said he would be a reliever next year.

Compiled by Rick Crotts from wire reports.

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