Angels, A’s seek series win after splitting two games
OAKLAND, Calif. — One team already assured of a losing trip and another hoping to avoid a losing homestand meet up for the third straight day looking for a series win when the Los Angeles Angels face the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.
The clubs entered the series on losing streaks, and each has ended its slide with a win. The Angels prevailed 8-4 on Friday night before the A’s got even with a 6-4 win on Saturday afternoon.
The loss was the fifth in eight outings on a nine-game trip for the Angels, who will take the field Sunday without 14 players currently on the disabled list.
That number was 15 after Los Angeles lost four more guys on the eve of the series, but shortstop Andrelton Simmons returned from a sprained left ankle Saturday to anchor an Angels defense that played error-free ball in the loss.
Left-hander Andrew Heaney (3-5, 3.68 ERA) will try to send the Angels home for a six-game homestand on a winning note. If his recent pattern continues, he should be due for a strong effort.
Heaney has allowed one or no runs four times in his last eight starts, with each followed by a lesser effort in which he has been roughed up for a total of 16 runs.
He’s coming off one of the bad ones, having been bombed for five runs and seven hits in three innings of a 5-3 loss on Monday at Seattle. Monday’s outing occurred after he tossed a one-hitter June 5 against the Kansas City Royals.
Heaney has pitched well against Oakland in his career, going 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA in three starts.
He won his only previous start in Oakland, allowing three runs in seven innings in a 9-4 win in September 2015. He served up a home run to A’s catcher Josh Phegley that day.
The A’s will counter with right-hander Daniel Mengden (6-6, 3.90), who has neither an encouraging recent trend nor a history of success against the Angels.
Mengden has lasted just 8 2/3 innings in his last two starts, bombed for 12 runs and 13 hits by Texas and Houston in losses.
He has never beaten the Angels, having gone 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in two starts.
The 25-year-old faced the Angels at home in the third game of the season in March, allowing six runs (five earned) in 5 2/3 innings of an 8-3 loss.
If there’s a positive to be taken from that game, it was that Angels third baseman Zack Cozart, currently out of the lineup with a shoulder injury, was Los Angeles’ big hitter with a double and a triple.
The A’s had hoped to take advantage of a second 10-game homestand since May 22, but have failed to do so despite opening with three wins in four games against Kansas City.
They followed that by losing four straight, three to Houston, before rallying from behind for Saturday’s win.
The club is now 4-5 on the homestand and 19-20 at home this season.
Oakland went just 4-6 on its 10-game homestand against Seattle, Arizona and Tampa Bay.
Like the Angels, the A’s featured a new look in their middle infield Saturday with the promotion of top prospect Franklin Barreto. He was recalled when third baseman Matt Chapman landed on the disabled list with a right thumb contusion.
The 22-year-old second baseman went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in the win, making him 0-for-10 with six strikeouts this season.