Anaheim (10-8) at Oakland (10-8)

Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA, US
Temp: 57° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sun Apr 25, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Anaheim Angels bullpen has frustrated the Oakland Athletics in the first two games of their weekend series.

Oakland will try to avoid being swept for the first time this season when they play the Angels in the finale.

The Anaheim bullpen has not allowed a run on seven hits through eight innings while striking out eight in the first two games.

Scott Hatteberg and Erubiel Durazo hit back-to-back homers in the second inning to put the Athletics up 3-0 on Saturday, but Oakland was then shut out the remainder of the way en route to a 6-3 loss.

“We jumped out to an early lead and then we had a long drought,” Oakland manager Ken Macha said. “Their bullpen is tough. It might be one of the best in the league.”

Scot Shields, Francisco Rodriguez and Troy Percival combined for four scoreless innings of relief as Percival earned his fourth save Saturday.

Anaheim’s bullpen is 3-0 with a 4.17 ERA for ninth in the American League this season. In the last eight games, though, Angels relievers have allowed just eight runs in 29 1-3 innings for a 2.45 ERA.

“You’re not going to find a better bullpen than what they have,” Athletics catcher Damian Miller said. “You have to get your runs off their starters because their relievers come in and shut you down.”

Angels starter Ramon Ortiz, who takes the mound in the finale, has struggled in the early going. The right-hander was roughed up for four runs and six hits in just 2 1-3 innings in a 6-3 loss to the Rangers on Tuesday—his second loss this season. He has allowed 15 runs and 23 hits over 10 2-3 innings in three outings.

Vladimir Guerrero is showing signs of shaking off his slump. The Angels outfielder, who entered the series 3-for-39, has four hits in the first two games and homered in the fifth on Saturday.

Adam Kennedy went 3-for-4 with two RBIs on Saturday for the Angels, who have scored 18 runs this series after getting only seven in last weekend’s series with the Athletics at home—when Anaheim lost two of three.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Ortiz TOR vs. R. Harden MIN
5-7 Record 11-7
4.43 ERA 3.99
82 K 167
38 BB 81
1.38 WHIP 1.33