American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, September 18th
(All times Eastern)
LA Angels of Anaheim (73-78) at Oakland Athletics (89-62), 3:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - Jason Vargas (8-7, 4.20)
Oakland - A.J. Griffin (14-9, 3.81)
(Sports Network) - Looking to lower Oakland's magic number for clinching the
AL West, A.J. Griffin takes aim at a fifth straight winning start on Wednesday
afternoon in the Athletics' finale of a three-game series with the Los Angeles
Angels of Anaheim.
Griffin has posted a 3.60 earned run average over his first ever four-start
winning streak. He did win six decisions in a row to begin his Major League
career last season.
The 25-year-old righty is coming off a seven-inning victory over Minnesota on
Thursday, yielding a run on two hits and a walk with eight strikeouts. The
lone run allowed did come on the 34th homer he has yielded this season.
Griffin will face the Angels for the fourth time in his career, having gone
2-1 with a 2.14 ERA in the previous three.
After losing the opener of this set 12-1, the A's lowered their magic number
to clinching their second straight division title to six with a 2-1 victory on
Tuesday night. They have a 6 1/2-game edge over the Texas Rangers, who beat
Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Josh Donaldson continued his clutch hitting with the bases-loaded this season,
smacking a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth to chase home Jemile
Weeks with the winning run. Donaldson improved to 8-for-11 with 16 RBI this
season with the bases loaded.
"We feel good about (Donaldson) up there anytime in situations like that,"
said A's manager Bob Melvin.
Donaldson's walk-off hit gave Oakland its ninth victory in 11 games and 18th
in the past 24. It also has won 10 of 15 versus Los Angeles this season.
Mike Trout hit a homer for the Angels, who fell to 6-3 on a 10-game road trip.
Trout's longball made him the first player in American League history to have
25 homers, 30 steals and 100 walks in a season.
At 22 years and 40 days old, Trout also became the second-youngest player in
Major League history with 25 homers and 30 steals in a season. He is also the
youngest, doing so last season.
Jason Vargas gets the call today for the Angels hoping to win for the first
time in September. He is 0-2 with a 9.42 ERA in three starts this month and
allowed a season-high eight runs in a loss to Houston on Friday. Vargas lasted
4 1/3 innings before falling to 8-7 with a 4.20 ERA in 21 starts this season.
A 30-year-old southpaw, Vargas lost to Oakland on April 11 when he gave up
five runs on 10 hits and three walks in 5 2/3 frames of work. He is 5-6
lifetime versus the A's with a 3.42 ERA in 16 games (14 starts).
09/18 10:22:45 ET