Matinee baseball in Anaheim, where it’s warm but not as hot as it could be for an afternoon game …
The A’s will attempt to complete an undefeated road trip of six or more games for just the third time in Oakland history. The 2002 squad went 10-0 on one trip and the 1981 team had an 8-0 trek.
More important is the distance the A’s have put between themselves and the Angels. Los Angeles entered this series having won 15 of their previous 18, and they trailed Oakland by just 2 1/2 games. The A’s have increased that to 5 1/2 games, and even if they lose today, they’ll return home with a 4 1/2 game edge over the Angels, which can be considered quite the productive series. They also enter today with a five-game lead on Tampa Bay. That’s the team to keep an eye on right now in terms of the wild card race. The Orioles and Yankees are both closer to the A’s, but if you slot in one of those teams as the AL East champ and the other one as a second wild card, it means the Rays are the team that Oakland currently needs to watch.
Jemile Weeks gets his first start at second base since returning from the minors. A’s manager Bob Melvin wanted to give Stephen Drew the day off, so Cliff Pennington slides over to short and Weeks plays second. That’s your opening night double-play combo from way back in March. “Weeks has been a big part of this team. I feel good that I could get him a start,” Melvin said.
A’s — Crisp CF, Smith DH, Reddick RF, Cespedes LF, Moss 1B, Donaldson 3B, Kottaras C, Pennington SS, Weeks 2B; Anderson LHP.
Angels — Trout CF, Callaspo 3B, Pujols DH, Hunter RF, Kendrick 2B, Aybar SS, Trumbo 1B, Wells LF, Iannetta C; Weaver RHP.