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Sat, Sep 24, 2011 - 9:05 PM ET
 

Athletics-Angels Preview

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The Los Angeles Angels' slim hopes of winning the AL West are now gone.

Their chances of winning the wild card don't look very promising anymore, either.

Hoping to avoid a sixth loss in nine games, the Angels try to bounce back against the visiting Oakland Athletics on Saturday night.

Los Angeles (85-72) fell 3-1 to Oakland in Friday's series opener as Gio Gonzalez outdueled Angels ace Jered Weaver. That defeat along with a Texas win Friday night gave the Rangers their second straight division crown.

"It hurts that we can't win the division title. That's understandable. But Texas played so well, we just couldn't catch up to those guys," said outfielder Torii Hunter, who homered for the Angels' lone run. "Now we still have a shot at the wild card, and we still have some life left. All you want is just to have a chance to get in. We still have a shot, but it's very frustrating that we can't gain any ground."

The Angels, who could have moved into a second-place tie with Tampa Bay for the wild card, instead sit one game behind the Rays and 3 1/2 in back of wild card-leading Boston with five to play.

A lack of clutch hitting has proven costly for Los Angeles, which went 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position for the second consecutive night. The Angels are 1 for 19 in RBI situations in their last five losses.

The Athletics (71-86) used home runs from Jemile Weeks and David DeJesus on Friday to record back-to-back wins for the first time in almost three weeks.

"It's fun to play the spoiler role, If we can do something against them, it makes the games more meaningful," DeJesus said.

Looking to add to the Angels' misery Saturday will be Oakland starter Guillermo Moscoso (8-9, 3.35 ERA), who is 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA in four outings this month. He has allowed either one earned run or none in three of those outings, with the exception being a 6-3 loss to Los Angeles on Sept. 13, when he yielded three runs in 4 2-3 innings.

In his only other appearance versus the Angels, Moscoso yielded three hits and three walks over six scoreless innings of a 6-1 road win May 24. Since that impressive performance, the right-hander is 1-5 with a 5.73 ERA in seven starts away from home.

Hunter is 0 for 5 against Moscoso while fellow Angels Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos are a combined 0 for 7. Bourjos is 4 for 34 over his last 10 games against the A's.

The Angels will give the ball to Jerome Williams (3-0, 3.22), who has thrived since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Salt Lake last month. He is 3-0 with a 2.48 ERA in five starts, including 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA and a .137 opponent batting average in two at home.

The right-hander surrendered three runs and issued five walks in a season-low 4 1-3 innings opposite Moscoso earlier this month, failing to get a decision.

Williams will try to slow down an Oakland team which has won four of six at Angel Stadium, where it had previously dropped eight in a row.

Tagged: Angels, Athletics, Guillermo Moscoso

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