Angels-Athletics Preview

AP - Sports

The Oakland Athletics are on the verge of their longest winning streak over the Los Angeles Angels in almost nine years.

Seth Smith has been an unexpected contributor.

Smith looks to continue his production against the Angels on Wednesday and help the A's to another three-game sweep of the AL West rival.

Oakland (16-12) has won eight of the past nine meetings with Los Angeles, including all five this year while batting .310 with eight homers, eight stolen bases and 48 runs.

The A's last won six straight against the Angels from June 23-Sept. 24, 2004.

Smith, a career .270 hitter, has been particularly impressive in the season series, going 11 for 21 with five doubles and six RBIs in four games. He had a .188 average in 20 games against Los Angeles prior to this season.

A left fielder who also acts as a designated hitter, Smith had two hits Tuesday, including a three-run double in Oakland's 10-6 victory. That came a night after he had a pair of singles in a 10-8, 19-inning win.

Yoenis Cespedes is also swinging a hot bat. He has five hits - three for extra bases - and seven RBIs in three games since returning from a strained muscle in his left hand.

He connected for a double and a triple and drove in four runs Tuesday.

Tommy Milone (3-2, 3.38) may not need much help from his offense since he's 2-1 with a 1.77 ERA in three home starts compared to a 6.17 ERA while splitting two road games. However, that road victory came at Los Angeles on April 10, when the left-hander allowed four runs in five innings of an 11-5 victory.

He's 3-1 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts versus the Angels.

"We always feel good when Tommy takes the mound," manager Bob Melvin said.

Milone was terrific at home again Friday, but a lack of support made him the hard-luck loser in a 3-0 defeat to Baltimore. He allowed only an unearned run in 6 2-3 innings, but Oakland had three hits and committed a season-high three errors.

"I have high expectations for myself, and outings like this are what I'm looking for every time, so it's good to get it," Milone told the team's official website.

The Angels will counter with C.J. Wilson (2-0, 4.30), who is 3-1 with a 2.40 ERA in his last five starts at Oakland. He's kept Smith hitless in five at-bats, while Cespedes is 3 for 9 in their matchups.

The left-hander didn't fare well against the A's at home April 9, allowing four runs with three walks in six innings while not getting a decision in a 9-5 loss.

Wilson has won both of his decisions over three starts since, including a 6-3 victory at Seattle on Friday. He surrendered three runs and seven hits while throwing 110 pitches in 5 1-3 innings.

Mike Trout had a double, triple and four RBIs on Tuesday after hitting .158 with one RBI in the previous nine games.

Last year's AL Rookie of the Year, Trout has a .188 average over 17 games in Oakland, and went 0 for 3 versus Milone last month.

Josh Hamilton, however, is 5 for 11 with a homer off Milone, but he's 4 for 22 against the A's this year.

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