The A's need two wins in a row to avoid a series loss at the hands of the team that has given every indication of being Oakland's main AL West threat: the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, or, if you translate the Spanish into English, the The Angels Angels of Anaheim.
Getting the ball tonight is Drew Pomeranz, who continues to surprise, especially after a seven-inning, six-hit, two-run outing on Thursday afternoon in the Bronx. He owns a 2.20 ERA on the season — hey, that's Scott Kazmir's ERA too! Yes, Sonny Gray (2.83) is third in ERA within his own club's starting rotation.
Pomeranz has gotten a bit of a break in his quest to beat the team with the most ridiculous name in all of professional sports, in that the Angels' Hector Santiago will start in place of the injured Tyler Skaags. In 37⅓ innings pitched this season, Santiago has amassed an unfortunate 0-6 record, to go along with a 4.82 ERA and a 2.14 WHIP. Oakland's offense has gone in fits and starts this season, and tonight seems like a good chance for them to add a fit and avoid a start. That phrase hasn't ever made much sense to me.
Santiago happens to use his left hand to throw, so cue the righties — today's lineup features Craig Gentry, Derek Norris, and Kyle Blanks. Coco Crisp is sitting again, part of Bob Melvin's effort to allow his iffy neck to get back to 100%, and two left-handed hitting catchers are on the bench, ready for action.
The Angels have won eight of their last nine in Orange County, but again, the A's have a very good on-paper opportunity to push their lead in the division standings back to 4.5 games. First pitch is at 7:05.
|OAKLAND A'S||LOS ANGELES ANGELS|
|Craig Gentry - CF||Howie Kendrick - 2B|
|Jed Lowrie - SS||Mike Trout - CF|
|Josh Donaldson - 3B||Albert Pujols - 1B|
|Yoenis Cespedes - LF||Josh Hamilton - LF|
|Derek Norris - C||David Freese - 3B|
|Brandon Moss - RF||C.J. Cron - DH|
|Kyle Blanks - 1B||Erick Aybar - SS|
|A. Callaspo - DH||Collin Cowgill - RF|
|Nick Punto - 2B||Hank Conger - C|
|Drew Pomeranz - LHP||Hector Santiago - LHP|