The Los Angeles Angels’ slim hopes of winning the AL West are
Their chances of winning the wild card don’t look very promising
Hoping to avoid a sixth loss in nine games, the Angels try to
bounce back against the visiting Oakland Athletics on Saturday
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
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
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.