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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, May 31st (All times Eastern)

LA Angels of Anaheim (30-24) at Oakland Athletics (33-22), 10:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - Tyler Skaggs (4-2, 3.97) Oakland - Tommy Milone (3-3, 3.50)

(SportsNetwork.com) - AL West Division rivals will be in action on Saturday as the Oakland Athletics host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the second of three straight meetings.

Oakland got off to a fast start in the first game of the series Friday night, scoring five runs in the first inning en route to a 9-5 victory. Josh Donaldson slammed a pair of home runs and drove in four runs and Brandon Moss hit a grand slam in the five-run first inning.

The offensive eruption allowed Drew Pomeranz to earn the victory, despite giving up five runs in just 5 1/3 innings pitched.

"We had good energy coming out of the gate today," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

The Athletics have won three of their first four versus the Angels this season.

Home runs from Mike Trout and Howie Kendrick in the fourth inning and a two- run double from C.J. Cron in the sixth got the Angels to within four runs, but they were never able to get any closer.

Garrett Richards was responsible for the loss. He failed to get out of the first inning, during which he allowed five runs on as many hits and three walks.

"I didn't give us a chance to win. I put us in a hole early," Richards said.

The Angels are 4-4 in their last eight games with 22-year-old Tyler Skaggs taking the mound on Saturday.

Skaggs has performed admirably in his first season as a full-time member of the rotation. In 10 starts he has gone 4-2 with an ERA of 3.97. Prior to this season he had pitched with Arizona, making 13 starts and putting together a combined record of 3-6. He came to Los Angeles as part of a three-team deal that sent Mark Trumbo to Arizona and Adam Eaton to the White Sox.

Last time out Skaggs was on the hook for the loss in a 5-1 setback against Seattle. Despite pitching well, (7 IP, 2 ER, 8 Ks), his defense and offense did not pick him up, as the Mariners scored three unearned runs and the Angels had only three hits.

Skaggs was not overly effective in his first ever start against Oakland on April 16. He allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out only two in six innings of work. However, he kept the Angels in the game as they eventually won 5-4.

Tommy Milone gets the task of opposing Skaggs as he makes the start for Oakland.

Milone's efforts this season (3-3, 3.50 ERA) have been buried a bit by the stellar play of Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir and Jesse Chavez, who all have ERAs below 3.00. With that being said, Milone has been an important piece to the puzzle, pitching 54 innings over nine total starts.

His last appearance was one of his best of the year, as he allowed no runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings of work in a 10-0 win over Detroit. The win was the third in his last four outings and it was the fourth straight game he has limited the opponent to two or fewer runs.

Against Los Angeles, Milone is 5-2 with a 4.17 ERA in eight career starts. That includes a six-inning start he had on April 16 during which he allowed three runs, two of which were earned.

05/31 10:40:05 ET

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