(Sports Network) - A pair of AL West rivals making a hard charge toward the
postseason get together on Monday, as the surging Los Angeles Angels of
Anaheim kick off a key four-game series versus the Oakland Athletics.
The Angels just swept the Athletics in three games last week at the Coliseum
and have won six of the past eight matchups between the clubs. The Angels are
8-7 in the season series, but only 2-4 as the hosts.
Los Angeles is coming off back-to-back sweeps of the Athletics and Detroit
Tigers, and recorded its sixth win in a row Sunday with a 3-2 victory behind
seven strikeouts and seven innings of two-run ball by Zack Greinke. He only
walked one batter, before Kevin Jepsen and Ernesto Frieri held the Tigers
scoreless the rest of the way. Frieri has 18 saves on the season.
"I felt really good," said Greinke. "I mixed my pitches and was able to throw
strikes with all of them."
Mike Trout and Alberto Callaspo homered for the Angels, who are 15-3 in their
last 18 games and tied with Tampa Bay at one game off the wild card. Trout led
off the bottom half of the first inning with a home run for a second straight
game. The AL Rookie of the Year candidate has four leadoff blasts this season
and a rookie franchise-best 27 overall.
The Angels also sit six games behind Texas for AL West supremacy and are
unbeaten in their last six home games.
Dan Haren has the honor of trying to keep the Angels in the win column and
will take the mound Monday. Haren has won back-to-back starts and tossed six
innings of one-run ball last Wednesday in a 7-1 win at Oakland. He struck out
seven and improved to 3-3 in nine career starts against the A's.
Haren is 4-2 in his last six decisions and 10-10 with a 4.46 earned run
average through 25 starts this season. The right-hander is just 4-7 in 13
starts at Angel Stadium.
Oakland comes into this series just as hot as the Angels, having won three in
a row thanks to a sweep of the Seattle Mariners and 18 of the last 23 games.
In Sunday's 4-2 win at Safeco Field, Jonny Gomes hit a three-run homer and
Josh Donaldson also went deep to give Tom Milone the win. Milone fanned 10
batters and gave up two runs in six innings of work.
Pat Neshek, Jerry Blevins, Ryan Cook and Grant Balfour combined to throw three
scoreless innings of relief. Balfour collected his 16th save in the process.
The A's have won nine in a row on the road, the longest since a 10-game road
run from Aug. 19-28, 2002. They also have hit 79 homers since the All-Star
Jarrod Parker draws the start for Oakland tonight and he is 9-8 with a 3.67
earned run average in 24 starts. He is 2-4 in his previous six decisions and
suffered a hard-luck loss last Tuesday in a 6-1 defeat versus the Halos. The
right-handed Parker allowed two runs over seven innings, striking out five and
Parker is 0-2 with a 3.05 ERA in three career starts against Oakland. In 11
starts away from the Coliseum this season, Parker is 5-3 with a 5.37 ERA.
The Sports Network