Los Angeles (9-9) at Oakland (8-10)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 67° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sun Apr 23, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Los Angeles Angels left fielder Garret Anderson may not have an explanation why he hits so well at McAfee Coliseum, but there’s no denying his success there.

Anderson looks to continue his hot hitting as the Angels face the Oakland Athletics Sunday in the finale their weekend series.

Anderson went 4-for-4 with a solo home run in Saturday’s 5-4 Angels victory, one day after going 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs in a 5-3 defeat. Anderson has played his entire 13-year career with Los Angeles (9-9), and his 207 career hits against the A’s are the most among active players.

He also leads all active players with 111 career hits at McAfee Coliseum, but Anderson said his success at Oakland is “just one of those things you can’t explain.”

“I’ve been comfortable most of the year,” Anderson said. “Just because I got four hits today doesn’t mean anything.”

Anderson has also fared well against Oakland starter Esteban Loaiza (0-2, 8.59 ERA), hitting .345 (10-for-29) with a homer against him.

However, two Angels infielders have been even more successful when facing Loaiza. Second baseman Adam Kennedy is hitting .550 (11-for-20) lifetime versus him, while third baseman Chone Figgins is batting .727 (8-for-11) with two triples.

Loaiza, who is still seeking his first Oakland victory after signing as a free agent in the offseason, has an ominous recent track record against Los Angeles. Since the start of the 2004 season he is 0-2 in three starts versus the Angels, with a 12.78 ERA and a .468 opponent batting average.

Angels starter Kelvim Escobar (2-1, 3.71) will try to help Los Angeles win consecutive games for the first time since April 10-11 against Texas. The Angels have alternated wins and losses in their last eight contests.

Escobar has earned a win and turned in a quality start in two of his three outings this season. He struck out 10 and scattered seven hits over 6 2-3 innings on Tuesday against Minnesota in the Angels’ 8-2 win.

“We need to pitch at the level he pitched at tonight on a consistent basis to help our offense have a chance to do something,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Turning in consistent efforts has been easier said than done for Angels starters this season. The Los Angeles rotation has a 4.87 ERA and only six quality starts—two of them by Escobar—in 18 games.

The A’s hope first baseman Dan Johnson is coming around at the plate. Johnson went 3-for-4 Saturday after entering play just 1-for-37 on the season.

“I just remember smoking three balls for hits,” said Johnson, who raised his batting average from .027 to .098. “Same old approach. I might have been 0-for-forever but I’ve been hitting some balls hard. They were just falling today. It’s one of those things that will work itself out.”

Oakland (8-10) starts an eight-game road trip to Texas, Kansas City and Los Angeles after Sunday’s game. The Angels return from a 10-game road trip to open an eight-game homestand on Monday versus Detroit.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Escobar Mil vs. E. Loaiza CWS
11-14 Record 11-9
3.61 ERA 4.89
147 K 97
50 BB 40
1.28 WHIP 1.42