Angels Look to Carry Momentum into Three-Game Set with A’s

By Jose Serrano

May 30, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards (43) is removed from the game by manager Mike Scioscia (14) against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, Oakland took five of the first six meeting against the Angels on their way to a second straight AL West division crown. Two months into the 2014 campaign and history is on course to repeat itself.

The Angels traveled to the bay area on May 30 trailing Oakland by 1 ½ games. They lost more than the entire weekend series; Mike Trout missed three of the next four games and was limited a single inning in Houston on June 3. A 10-game road trip against divison opponents concluded with a 3-7 record.

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Trout has made a full recover-as evident in Saturday’s immaculate grand slam- and helped the Halos sweep the White Sox over the weekend. It even moved Ernest Frieri to declare that Oakland won’t be as lucky this time around. A bold prediction, given the A’s 16-9 mark versus the Angels over the last two seasons.

Pitching MatchupGarrett Richards (5-2, 3.25 ERA) vs. Jesse Chavez (5-3, 3.04 ERA)

Following a string of outings that saw Richards’ ERA jump 0.75 points, the All-Star candidate shut out Houston through eight innings last Wednesday, scattering four hits while striking out a career-high nine. It was against the same Astros team he limited to one run on three hits two months earlier.

Richards’ hasn’t been as luck against Oakland. He is 0-3 with a 6.49 ERA in 10 games-six starts- against them lifetime, including two starts this season. The A’s tagged Richards for five runs in each respective game and forced him from the game after two-thirds of an inning on May 30.

Despite allowing one earned run over seven innings to the Angels earlier this year, Jesse Chavez is still searching for his first career win at Angel Stadium. He’s 1-2 with a 4.70 against the Halos with all but one appearance coming in relief. He is coming off a four-run, six-inning performance against New York last Wednesday, snapping a personal two-game skid.

Walk offs:

  1. Oakland is batting .349 with a 1.049 OPS against Richards this season.
  2. Albert Pujols carries a .714/.750/1.143 slash line in seven at-bats against Chavez.
  3. The A’s have homered in 16 straight games.

TV: 7:05 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West, CSN Bay Area

Radio: KLAA 830, 95.7 FM The Game (Oakland)