Hoping to continue their own run of success, the Angels look to complete a three-game road sweep of the A’s for the first time in almost three years Wednesday.
Tied for the wild-card lead in the AL, Oakland (76-59) was riding a season-high nine-game winning streak until Los Angeles came to town and outscored the A’s 14-4 while winning the first two games of the set. Kendrys Morales had three hits and Zack Greinke threw seven strong innings as the Angels won for the 11th time in 14 games, 6-1 on Tuesday.
Los Angeles (73-63), 3 1/2 games out of the final wild-card spot, has won eight of its last 11 on road. The Angels are 5-3 this season at Oakland, where they have not swept a series since Oct. 2-4, 2009.
The A’s last dropped three in a row Aug. 12-15.
“Each and every game is important here in September, but they come in and take the first two games from us I think it’s just as important to win the game tomorrow,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
Los Angeles slugger Albert Pujols, who had two hits Tuesday, is batting .377 (20 for 53) during a 13-game hitting streak.
Morales has hit .385 (10 for 26) in his last six road games against the A’s. He is 3 for 4 with a double and a home run versus scheduled Oakland starter Brandon McCarthy (8-5, 3.10 ERA). Teammates Torii Hunter and Howie Kendrick are a combined 13 for 38 (.464) with six doubles against the right-hander, who allowed five runs and 11 hits in seven innings of a 6-0 loss at Los Angeles on April 16.
Though McCarthy is 1-3 with a 5.30 ERA in six starts against the Angels, he’ll be looking for his third consecutive winning start overall in this contest. McCarthy has given up two runs in each of his last two outings, most recently over 6 1-3 innings in a 20-2 rout of Boston on Friday.
He is 2-2 with a 4.60 ERA in five starts since missing almost two months with a strained shoulder.
“It’s not easy to do what he has to do, especially this time knowing he has to be good right away,” Melvin told the Athletics’ official website. “I think if anyone can handle it, he can.”
Brandon Moss’ 16th home run was one of four hits Tuesday for the A’s, who averaged 10 runs during their previous six games prior to this series.
Oakland’s attempt to end its current skid will come against ex-Athletic Dan Haren (9-10, 4.98), who is 0-3 with a 4.85 ERA in his last four starts against former team, including 0-1 with a 3.55 ERA in two home outings in 2012. Though the right-hander called the Coliseum home from 2005-07, he is 0-1 with a 6.08 ERA in two starts there since leaving the East Bay.
Haren, however, won for the first time in five starts overall Friday when he allowed a run and five hits in seven innings of a 9-1 victory at Seattle.