The Athletics go for a second consecutive three-game home sweep of the Angels on Sunday night with the best record in baseball on the line.While Oakland (76-52) lost control of the division following a 2-8 slide, it's since climbed back into a tie after taking the first two in this series. The A's, who held on for a 5-3 win Friday, pulled out a 2-1 victory the following night after Coco Crisp scored the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch with two outs in the eighth inning."We can't get caught up in the standings or the playoff picture," closer Sean Doolittle said.The A's have taken eight of 11 from Los Angeles this year, including all five home meetings by a combined 33-15 score. Oakland hasn't posted six consecutive home wins against the Angels in the same season since 1991.Los Angeles (76-52), which went a combined 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position in the two defeats, has only three extra-base hits in the series."The A's do a lot of things well. They pitch well and they have a good bullpen. It was another close game and we didn't get a couple of things done," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We have to keep moving forward."Oakland now turns to Scott Kazmir (14-5, 2.73 ERA), who beat the New York Mets 6-2 on Tuesday to set a new career high for wins. The left-hander struck out six over six innings of one-run ball, improving to 7-1 with a 2.19 ERA over his last nine home starts."Where we are right now, that's the last thing I'm thinking about," he said. "We have to take care of business. All you can think about is tomorrow, what we have to do tomorrow."Sunday's start could have extra meaning for Kazmir, who spent two-plus seasons with Los Angeles from 2009-11. He's only faced them once since, yielding all five runs over three-plus innings in a 5-2 defeat last Aug. 9 while with Cleveland.The Angels counter with Jered Weaver (13-7, 3.70), who owns a 5.40 ERA over his last five starts. The right-hander yielded three runs, seven hits and a season high-tying four walks over 5 1/3 innings but didn't receive a decision in Tuesday's 4-3 win at Boston.Weaver went 8-1 with a 0.87 ERA in 11 starts against the A's from 2011-13 before struggling in two matchups this year. After surrendering six runs and a season-worst 11 hits over six innings in a 6-3 road loss June 1, Weaver gave up four runs over 5 1/3 innings in a 7-1 home defeat 10 days later.John Jaso and Josh Donaldson are a combined 2 for 28 versus Weaver. Coco Crisp is a career .175 hitter against him despite going 4 for his last 12 in their matchups.Donaldson, 3 for 27 with 10 strikeouts in his last eight games, is hitless in his last 19 at-bats against Los Angeles.Albert Pujols is 2 for 19 with just one RBI in Oakland this year.These division co-leaders open another crucial four-game set at Angel Stadium on Thursday.
Jered Weaver gets the start for LA tonight against Oakland.
The Angels need an ace to show up...he was 8-1 with a 0.87 earned run average against the Athletics from 2011 through 2013.
But he's 0-2 in two starts versus Oakland this season, with a 7.15 ERA (9 ER in 11.1 IP).
Mike Trout hit his 29th HR of the season, but his 1st on a pitch in the upper third of the strike zone...
All 28 of his HR this season had come on pitches in the middle third of the strike zone or lower (we know he crushes pitches down in the zone)...
His last HR on a pitch in the upper third came on June 10 last season, meaning that his past 44 HR had come against pitches in the middle third of the strike zone or lower.
Josh Hamilton (LAA): 10th HR of the season and all 10 have come on the road...
Since joining the Angels last season he has 22 HR on the road and only 9 at home (his last HR at home was on Aug. 18 last season)
Alberto Callaspo (OAK): 1st HR since April 24 (he had gone 86 straight games without a HR)