After their most recent road series, the Los Angeles Angels are probably looking forward to the chance to get back home, even for just a few days.
Given the way their next opponent has played in Anaheim lately, the Angels might have some trouble making their return a successful one.
The Oakland Athletics might also be a little healthier when they seek their seventh win in nine road games against their AL West rivals Monday night.
Los Angeles gave up 25 runs while dropping two of three in Texas, finishing off a six-game road trip Sunday by getting drubbed 13-6. The Angels (15-20) return to play a pair of two-game series before heading back out for 10 straight on the road.
In the opener of that brief homestand, Los Angeles is hoping Dan Haren (1-3, 4.19 ERA) has healed enough from back stiffness to pitch effectively against his former team. The right-hander gave up five runs over 3 2-3 innings - his shortest start in nearly seven years - in a 5-0 loss in Minnesota on Tuesday.
Haren is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts this month after going 1-1 with a 3.34 ERA in his first five outings.
“I’m trying to give it as much rest as I can,” he told the team’s official website. “I’m sure it’ll be fine.”
Haren would love to duplicate the latest outing against the A’s (18-17). He gave up a solo homer and five hits over 6 2-3 innings to Oakland on April 17 in Anaheim but the A’s rallied late for a 5-3 win, the first of three straight to conclude a four-game series.
He’ll once again start opposite Tyson Ross (1-3, 7.71), who had a better effort Wednesday after two awful outings. The right-hander gave up three runs and five hits over 5 2-3 innings against Toronto but didn’t get much help while losing a third consecutive start.
Before that 5-2 defeat, Ross surrendered a combined 16 runs over 7 1-3 innings in losses to Baltimore and Tampa Bay.
He’s fared a little better against the Angels, the team he’s faced the most. Ross gave up two runs over six innings during last month’s game in Anaheim after being called up from Triple-A Sacramento, giving him a 2.70 ERA in three starts in the series.
Ross is 0-1 in those matchups, though, and might not have much luck beating the Angels if the A’s are short-handed again.
Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes was placed on the disabled list this weekend and Oakland had four other players sit out Sunday’s 3-1 home loss to Detroit with day-to-day ailments. Kila Ka’aihue (hamstring) will likely miss Monday’s game, but Kurt Suzuki (hand), Jemile Weeks (ankle) and Brandon Inge (groin) might return.
“It just depends on how they feel tomorrow during batting practice and so far,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We’re really not sure until we see how everyone feels.”
Inge has four home runs and 16 RBIs over his last six games, but is 1 for 23 in his last seven against the Angels and 3 for 14 all-time against Haren. Suzuki is 7 for 16 versus the right-hander.
Los Angeles outfielder Torii Hunter was placed on the restricted list Monday amid reports his teenage son has been arrested in Texas.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia confirmed Hunter had left the team, only saying it was for “a personal matter.”