Morales looks to extend his career-best hit streak to 17 games Friday night when the Angels continue their four-game road series against the Oakland Athletics.
Los Angeles (50-37) is without Hunter (strained adductor) and Guerrero (strained knee), but has won four straight since the sluggers were placed on the disabled list last Friday.
A big reason for that is Morales, who has six RBIs in the last four games. He had a two-run homer in Thursday’s 6-2 victory and is batting .344 (21 for 61) with four homers and 15 RBIs during his 16-game hitting streak.
The All-Star leadoff hitter is 10 for 24 (.417) against the Athletics this year. He went 2 for 5 and had a two-run double during a four-run rally in the fourth inning Thursday.
The A’s are the only AL West team that the Angels have a winning record against. Los Angeles is 12-16 in division games.
“We haven’t played well against our division because we haven’t played well at times when they’ve shown up on our schedule,” manager Mike Scioscia told the Angels’ official Web site.
Oakland (37-50) lost for the 12th time in 18 games and continued to sputter offensively. The A’s are last in the AL with a .245 batting average and their 363 runs are the third fewest in the league.
Angels starter Joe Saunders(notes) (8-5, 4.65 ERA) will try to put aside his poor finish to the first half of the season. Saunders went 0-1 with an 11.57 ERA in his last three outings, giving up five runs over five innings last Friday in a 10-6 victory over the New York Yankees.
The left-hander is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two starts against the Athletics this year, improving his career record versus Oakland to 7-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 11 outings. He posted a 1.77 ERA in winning all three starts at the Oakland Coliseum.
His opponent will be rookie Trevor Cahill(notes) (5-8, 4.67), who is 0-3 with an 11.37 ERA in his last three outings. Cahill did not last past the fourth inning in the first two losses of that stretch, and gave up four runs over 5 1-3 innings July 8 in a 5-4 loss at Boston.
The right-hander’s only appearance against the Angels came April 7 when he yielded three runs over five innings and did not get a decision in a 6-4 defeat.