MILWAUKEE -- Teams not in contention at this point of the year look forward, perhaps begrudgingly, to playing the spoiler role and trying to dash the hopes of postseason hopefuls.
But pit two teams whose seasons have gone awry against each other in a late-season matchup and it's a chance to look into the future.
The Angels have reason for optimism after their 5-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night in an interleague game at Miller Park, their sixth victory in seven games.
"It's not the position we want to be in," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Obviously, there are some guys we were counting on that aren't in our lineup right now. But the silver lining will be some young guys getting a tryout in the proving ground, the major leagues."
Rookies Kole Calhoun and Grant Green provided the offense.
Calhoun went 2-for-3 with a home run in the fourth that gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead. His leadoff walk in the seventh set the stage for a bases-loaded double by Green, making it 4-0.
"He's really working hard on his defense, but to come and find a hole with bases loaded is a big hit and broke the game open for us," Scioscia said.
The youth movement made a winner out of right-hander Jered Weaver, who struggled for much of the night but still managed to hold Milwaukee scoreless in six innings to win his second consecutive start.
"Weaver wasn't quite as crisp, but that just shows how creative he can get, just changing speeds and moving the ball around to get through six innings," Scioscia said.
Weaver scattered three hits and three walks, had three strikeouts and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth.
Down 1-0 after Calhoun's homer, the Brewers received a leadoff single from Aramis Ramirez and Weaver followed by hitting Carlos Gomez with a pitch. Khris Davis flied out to left and Scooter Gennett singled, loading the bases for Maldonado.
After working the count to 3-0, Maldonado popped up a fastball right in front of the plate.
"It (was) probably going to be the only time we get a chance to drive the ball well," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Peralta's on deck and I think any time you've got an eighth hitter who's got the pitcher behind him and he's got a chance to drive the ball and do some damage, you need to let them. He got a pitch right down the middle; he just missed it."
Weaver then got Wily Peralta to fly out to center, ending the inning, and retired six of eight in order before giving way to a pinch-hitter in the decisive seventh inning.
"I was able to get out of some sticky situations," Weaver said. "Got in some trouble, was able to make some pitches, stuck with Hank and the game plan and luckily some things went our way to get some outs."
The Brewers stranded 13 runners, loading the bases again in the seventh against Michael Kohn, but Gennett lined out to second, leaving all three runners stranded.
"Our offense is going to be a little inconsistent," Roenicke said. "When you don't have the big boys in there that you need to have, you're going to be inconsistent. And we have been. Lately we've done a nice job with it."
A lack of offense negated a solid start by Peralta. The right-hander went six-plus innings and gave up four hits and two walks while striking out six, losing for the fifth time in his last seven starts.
Milwaukee has been outscored 32-11 in those seven games.
"On those kind of days, I just try to put zeroes on the board," Peralta said. "I just gave up a homer early on. I left a couple of men on and they scored those. When you face pitchers like Weaver, that's tough."
Peralta worked quickly through the first six innings, allowing just three hits, including Calhoun's home run.
He walked Calhoun to open the inning and followed with a single by Mark Trumbo before giving way to reliever Rob Wooten.
Wooten got the first out by striking out Hank Conger but allowed a base hit to Luis Jimenez and a bases-loaded double to Green, making it 4-0.
Peter Bourjos pinch-hit for Weaver (9-7), and with two out, J.B. Shuck drove in Green to make it 5-0 Angels before Erick Aybar ended the inning with a groundout to short.
NOTES: Milwaukee traded right-handed reliever John Axford to the Cardinals in exchange for a player to be named. Axford went 6-7 with a 4.45 ERA in 62 appearances this season. In five seasons with Milwaukee, Axford converted 106 saves. ... With all three of their minor league affiliates headed to the playoffs, the Angels don't expect to make any call-ups on Sunday when rosters expand to 40 players. ... Brewers RHP Tyler Thornburg will start Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, a move that sends LHP Tom Gorzelanny back to the bullpen. ... Josh Hamilton was not in the starting lineup for Los Angeles because of a sore left shoulder. Hamilton has not missed a game since July 24.