American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, September 23rd
(All times Eastern)
Oakland Athletics (93-63) at LA Angels of Anaheim (76-79), 10:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Tommy Milone (11-9, 4.17)
LA Angels - Garrett Richards (7-6, 3.77)
(Sports Network) - Now that the Oakland Athletics have secured their second
straight American League West title they turn their attention to the best
overall record in the league when they start a three-game series with the Los
Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium.
Oakland wrapped up the division crown on Sunday, as Coco Crisp finished with a
three-run home run and four RBI to help the A's get past Minnesota, 11-7. Eric
Sogard added two hits, two runs scored and drove in two for the Athletics, who
received solo homers from Daric Barton and Jed Lowrie en route to a series
The division title had actually been wrapped up earlier Sunday when Kansas
City beat Texas with a 10th-inning grand slam.
"It's just a whole different feel this year," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said
of the A's securing their second straight AL West crown. "Because we did
expect to be here this year."
Sonny Gray (4-3) allowed four runs on seven hits over his five-inning start
for the win.
Oakland, which has won 13 of 16, now finds itself 1 1/2 games back of AL East-
champion Boston for the league's best record. It also has a two-game edge over
AL Central-leading Detroit for home field in a possible division series.
"It doesn't surprise us. Hopefully, we surprise some people," Crisp said. "We
still have some time left in this season that we have to finish. We just have
to keep going out there playing. Hopefully, we can make our situation (better)
going into the postseason, but I'm happy that we're at least going there.
Anything can happen in the postseason. Obviously, where we finished is not the
ultimate goal, I don't believe, for any team. Hopefully, we can finish up on
Oakland had planned to start A.J. Griffin, but it appears as if Tommy Milone
will get the call instead. Milone is 11-9 with a 4.17 ERA and beat Texas last
Sunday in his most recent start.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, will counter with righty Garrett Richards, who is 7-6
with a 3.77 ERA. Richards had won three starts in a row before receiving a no-
decision on Tuesday against Oakland. Richards pitched well in that one though,
allowing just a run in seven innings of a 2-1 loss.
"I feel like I've some major strides this year in a positive way," said
Richards, who has pitched to a 2.10 ERA in his last four starts. "I feel good
about where I'm at right now."
Los Angeles was denied a sweep on Sunday, as it fell to Seattle, 3-2. Still,
it was only the second loss in the last eight tries for the Angels, who are
only three games under .500.
"These guys have gone through a long season, and they've played hard. We're
just not going to have anything to show for it," Angels manager Mike Scioscia
said. "I know for them, a goal of .500 is something they can at least look in
the mirror and say, 'We had a bad year, but we kept playing hard and played
better at the end.' For me personally, you always want these guys to feel
positive and moving forward. But finishing .500, we can't let it mask any of
the things that we need to improve on."
Oakland is 10-6 against the Angels this season.
09/23 10:44:55 ET