The Angels and the Blue Jays entered Tuesday's series opener with the same record before the Halos won, 12-6. Both teams have had similar seasons, with expectations as high as their payrolls that were followed by disappointment.
"I can only speak from our angle," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I don't want to dissect their team. But I can tell you that no matter what a perceived strength is of a club -- and you can talk about payrolls all you want -- you're only going to be as good as your pitching staff is going to allow you."
The Angels have won 13 of their past 18 games, in large part because of their pitching. C.J. Wilson in particular has played a big part, going 7-0 with a 3.31 ERA over his last 11 starts. Those seven wins tie the longest winning streak of his career.
"When we get those starters giving us a chance to win, we've set up games the way we've needed, and we've held leads," Scioscia said. "And that was an issue for long stretches of the season, and we paid a price for it. I think it still comes down to the depth and the strength of your pitching staff moving forward."
Wilson will lead the Angels against the Blue Jays' R.A. Dickey on Wednesday. Dickey is 3-0 in his last three starts, with a 2.61 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 20 2/3 innings.
"You set some goals for yourself," Dickey said. "Hopefully, you can get above 200 innings, you can win close to 15 games -- those are all good benchmarks. But at this point, you still have to be careful not to get too far ahead of yourself and reduce it to a moment-by-moment scenario so that I can commit to every pitch."
The Blue Jays will have a pregame ceremony in remembrance of the September 11 attacks beginning at 6:56 p.m. ET, when a colour guard consisting of first responders will be presented prior to the U.S and Canadian anthems.
Angels: Kendrick returns from DL
Howie Kendrick was activated from the disabled list Tuesday and was expected to rejoin the starting lineup Friday in Houston.
Kendrick sprained his left knee in a collision with right fielder Collin Cowgill on Aug. 5, and he struggled to sprint pain-free on consecutive days until Tuesday afternoon.
"Part of me kind of knew I'd be back before the end of the year," Kendrick said. "I wasn't going to shut it down and be like, 'Oh, I don't want to play.' I want to play. Being healthy, for me, that's huge."
Blue Jays: Encarnacion misses opener
Edwin Encarnacion missed his second straight game Tuesday with a sore left wrist.
"Eddy's still a little banged up; his wrist is hurting today," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Encarnacion tweaked his wrist during Saturday's game against the Twins, but his injury is still considered minor and will be monitored on a day-to-day basis.
• Mike Trout has a 12-game hit streak, batting .415 (17-for-41) with a .538 OBP (28-for-52) during that span.
• After hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning Tuesday, Josh Hamilton became one of seven players with at least 20 home runs and 25 doubles in each of the last four seasons.
Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.