Los Angeles (56-38) at Oakland (51-43)

Clear Currently: Oakland, CA, US
Temp: 58° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sun Jul 13, 2008
  • TV: KCOP, CSN+
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The first-place Los Angeles Angels are doing their best to distance themselves from the Oakland Athletics in the AL West standings heading into the All-Star break.

The Angels, however, won’t figure to have an easy time doing that when they face All-Star Justin Duchscherer and the Athletics in their series finale Sunday afternoon in Oakland.

Behind seven scoreless innings from All-Star Ervin Santana, Los Angeles (56-38) won 4-1 Saturday night to move five games ahead of the second-place A’s in the West.

Howie Kendrick had two hits with an RBI, while Vladimir Guerrero also drove in a run for the Angels, who bounced back from Friday’s 9-2 loss to win for the second time in five games.

Though Guerrero is hitting .154 (6-for-39) against Oakland this season, he drove in his sixth run in 12 games against the A’s (51-43), who lost for the second time in six contests.

Kendrick, meanwhile, is batting .395 (17-for-43) with eight RBIs in 11 games this month.

“I’m on a good wave now, you just have to ride that,” Kendrick told the Angels’ official Web site.

In order to take the series and increase its lead in the division, Los Angeles will have to get by Duchscherer (10-5, 1.78 ERA), the major league leader in earned run average.

The A’s lone All-Star representative is coming off the best outing during his first full season as a starter after allowing two hits in a 2-0 win over Seattle on Tuesday for his first career complete game.

“He was in complete control of the strike zone,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “Everything about it was efficient. He’s always had innings and stretches of linking innings together where he was like that but he never really got in any trouble.”

After Rich Harden was traded to the Chicago Cubs earlier this week, Duchscherer - 7-2 with a 1.34 ERA since starting 3-3 - assumes the role of ace for a starting staff that leads the majors with a 3.42 ERA.

The right-hander is 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA against Los Angeles as a starter and allowed six runs - one earned - with six strikeouts in five innings of a 15-8 road win over the Angels on May 1.

Los Angeles’ Joe Saunders was expected to start Sunday in a matchup of All-Star teammates, but the left-hander left the team to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.

Dustin Moseley (1-3, 7.85) will be recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake City to make his sixth start of the season and first since April 26.

The right-hander is 1-2 with a 7.30 ERA as a starter overall this season and 1-0 with a 6.46 ERA in three career starts versus Oakland. He gave up five runs in two innings of relief in the May 1 loss to Duchscherer and the A’s.

Rookie Carlos Gonzalez had a pair of doubles and drove in a run Saturday. Gonzalez is 4-for-9 with three doubles and two RBIs in this series to raise his average to .382 (13-for-34) against the Angels this season.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Moseley MIA vs. J. Duchscherer BAL
2-4 Record 10-8
6.79 ERA 2.54
37 K 95
20 BB 34
1.79 WHIP 1.00


Sunday, Jul 13