If the Los Angeles Angels are still entertaining hopes of retuning to the postseason after a one-year absence, then they’ll need to notch some wins against an AL West rival that’s been reduced to a spoiler’s role.
The Angels open their final homestand Friday night against the Oakland Athletics.
Los Angeles’ bid for a playoff spot was dealt a severe blow with a 4-3, 12-inning loss in Toronto on Thursday. The Angels (85-71) are three games behind Boston, which opens a three-game road series against AL East champion New York on Friday, for the wild card with six to play.
Los Angeles is 7-9 against Oakland but 4-3 at Angel Stadium, where the teams will meet for the first time since late May.
The Angels have won 12 of 15 overall in Anaheim and will go with ace Jered Weaver(notes) (18-7, 2.41 ERA) in the opener. The All-Star is 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA in four matchups with the A’s this year and has a 0.56 ERA while winning twice in Anaheim.
That included a seven-hitter with a walk and 10 strikeouts in a 5-0 victory April 25.
Weaver improved to 3-0 in four starts this month after beating Baltimore 11-2 on Sunday. Pitching on three days’ rest, Weaver gave up two runs and six hits in six innings.
Weaver is 9-3 with a 1.62 ERA and three complete games this year when going on four days’ rest.
David DeJesus(notes) has been the A’s top hitter against the Angels, batting .358 (19 for 53) in 15 games. Josh Willingham(notes) has team highs of three homers, 14 RBIs and 10 strikeouts over 14 matchups.
The left-hander has a 0.87 ERA during a three-start winning streak over the Angels. While all those victories came in Oakland, he’s 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA in four career starts at Angel Stadium.
After defeating Los Angeles on Sept. 12, Gonzalez followed with a 5-3 win over playoff-bound Detroit on Saturday. He was charged with a run and eight hits in seven innings, and is in position to match a career high for wins set last year.
Oakland (70-86) snapped a three-game skid and denied Texas a three-game sweep with Thursday’s 4-3 win in its home finale. The A’s won for the sixth time in 19 games against the AL West leaders.
“A team that beats up on you, you better have a little extra hate for them,” manager Bob Melvin said.