The Oakland Athletics haven’t won 10 straight games since 2006, which is also the last time they made the playoffs. The surprising Athletics have taken nine straight heading into a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels, who are 3 1/2 games in back of Baltimore for the second wild-card spot. Oakland holds the top wild-card position after moving a season-high 19 games above .500 on Sunday. The Athletics are a major league-best 39-15 since the start of July, and they’re coming off a three-game sweep of Boston where they outscored the Red Sox 33-5. Oakland third baseman Brandon Inge will undergo season-ending surgery on his right shoulder later this week, but he’s available to serve as a pinch hitter until he has the surgery.
With Inge out, Josh Donaldson is taking control of his starting role at third base. After being demoted twice earlier this season, Donaldson is batting .328 (22-for-67) with four home runs and 14 RBIs since being promoted from Triple-A Sacramento on Aug. 14. For the Angels, these next 10 days are critical. Los Angeles will play two teams ahead of it in the wild card standings – Oakland and Detroit – 10 times. Albert Pujols is dealing with a sore right calf that prevents him from playing first base, but he’s proving to be quite effective as a designated hitter. Pujols extended his season-high hitting streak to 11 games Sunday, and he’s batting .382 (21-for-55) with five home runs, and 17 RBIs over his past 14 games.
Angels Athletics Betting
When: 4:05 PM ET, Monday, September 3, 2012
Where: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FSW (Los Angeles), CSNCA (Oakland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels LH C.J. Wilson (10-9, 3.86 ERA) vs. Athletics LH Tommy Milone (11-9, 3.73)
Wilson earned his first win since June 26 on Wednesday against the Red Sox, giving up three runs over six innings. Before the win, Wilson was 0-5 with a 6.09 ERA in his previous 11 starts, and he carries a 6.56 ERA in 59 innings since the All-Star break. In three starts against Oakland this season, Wilson is 1-2 with a 2.84 ERA.
Milone has tossed at least six innings in 18 of his 25 starts, and he’s 2-0 with a 0.64 over his last two outings. The rookie has exhibited outstanding control, walking one batter or fewer in each of his last 12 starts. He’s 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts against the Angels this season. MIlone has been sharp at home, going 6-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 12 starts.
1. The Angels have won five of their last eight games in Oakland after going 2-10 in their previous 12.
2. Oakland is 20-11 in games decided in the last at bat and lead the majors in last-at-bat victories.
3. Angels LF Mark Trumbo struck out three times Sunday and is hitting .198 with three home runs since Aug. 1.