Byrd, who was 9-5 with a 3.67 ERA on July 15, is 0-4 in his last seven outings. He was pounded for six runs and a season high-tying 11 hits over six innings in Saturday’s 6-3 loss at Tampa Bay. The veteran right-hander has surrendered 10 runs and 19 hits over 13 2-3 innings in consecutive losses since missing a start with a bad back.
Byrd hopes to bounce back in time to help the Angels overcome Oakland as the teams battle for the AL West title for a second straight year.
“I think it’s a character test,” Byrd said. “The A’s aren’t going anywhere, that’s been apparent for two months. It’s an exciting race that will come down to the end.”
The Angels took the final two games of their critical three-game set with visiting Oakland, forging a first-place tie with the Athletics atop the AL West. Both teams are also tied with the AL wild card-leading New York Yankees.
On Thursday, rookie Ervin Santana pitched 8 1-3 brilliant innings as the Angels blanked the A’s 3-0.
Oakland and Los Angeles have four games remaining from Sept. 26-29, but before that showdown, the Angels have to make sure to keep pace in the hotly contested race. Last year, Los Angeles nailed down the division title on the final day of the season.
The Mariners are doing their best to play spoiler down the stretch. They split a four-game series with the Yankees, including Thursday’s 5-1 win.
Seattle swept a four-game series in Anaheim from July 7-10, but the Angels took three straight at Safeco from Aug. 12-14.