Major League Baseball
Preview
LA Angels at Oakland
When: 10:05 PM ET, Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Where: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California

The Oakland Athletics are slumping at the wrong time, as their chances for first place in the American League West - as well as the top wild-card spot - continue to worsen. Oakland looks to avoid its fourth straight loss and fifth in six outings when it hosts the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday for the middle contest of their three-game series.

The Athletics squandered a three-run lead on Tuesday in the opener of the set - and their final homestand of the season - and suffered a 9-7 loss to fall five games behind division-leading Houston and 2 1/2 in back of the New York Yankees for the first wild-card spot. Mark Canha delivered a three-run double and Matt Olson recorded an RBI single to extend his hitting streak to six games - a stretch during which he has gone 9-for-21 for Oakland, which is 5 1/2 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays for the second wild card. Kaleb Cowart highlighted a six-run sixth inning for Los Angeles with his first career grand slam and added an RBI triple in the eighth as the team extended its road winning streak to five games. Cowart's blast was the first grand slam of the season for the Angels, leaving San Francisco as the lone team without one in 2018.

TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, FS West (Los Angeles), NBCS California (Oakland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Felix Pena (3-4, 3.75 ERA) vs. Athletics LH Brett Anderson (3-5, 4.35)

Pena has been superb this month, going 2-0 while allowing four runs - three earned - with one walk and 12 strikeouts over 20 innings in three starts. The 28-year-old Dominican, who scattered six hits over six scoreless frames in a win over Texas last Wednesday, has worked at least six innings in each of his last six turns. Pena gave up one run in one inning of relief against Oakland in his season debut on April 8 and escaped with a no-decision after yielding three runs and five hits - two homers - over 5 2/3 frames of a start on Aug. 10.

Anderson has struggled mightily of late, losing back-to-back starts in which he surrendered nine runs and 14 hits over six innings. The 30-year-old Texan pitched extremely well in his previous four outings as he allowed two runs and 12 hits with two walks and 14 strikeouts over 26 2/3 frames but recorded only one win in that span. Anderson is 1-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 11 career appearances (eight starts) against the Angels, including a no-decision on Aug. 10 in which he gave up two runs and four hits over five innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Athletics OF Dustin Fowler recorded a pinch-hit two-run single in the series opener for his first RBIs since July 26.

2. Los Angeles activated LHP Tyler Skaggs (adductor), who walked two and struck out three in three scoreless innings on Tuesday, from the 10-day disabled list, transferred RHP Nick Tropeano (shoulder) to the 60-day DL and purchased the contract of 2B Sherman Johnson from Triple-A Salt Lake.

3. Oakland RHP Andrew Triggs (arm), who hasn't pitched since May 17, is expected to undergo thoracic outlet surgery on Sept. 26.

PREDICTION: Angels 6, Athletics 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
LA Angels 75-76 W2 37-38 38-38 11-21 22-12 32-33 10-10
Oakland 90-61 L3 46-30 44-31 21-11 24-7 33-35 12-8
Last Meeting
LA Angels Oakland
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/18/18 LAA 9 OAK 7 .257 2 .864 .212 0 .592
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
LA Angels M. Trout .364 16 1.079
Oakland J. Lowrie .339 19 .975
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
LA Angels M. Trout 3 13 8
Oakland M. Semien 5 10 12
Pitching ERA Avg K
LA Angels 4.86 .256 132
Oakland 4.96 .245 100
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
LA Angels M. Trout .319 141 1.095
Oakland M. Chapman .280 142 .877
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
LA Angels M. Trout 35 95 71
Oakland K. Davis 43 88 115
Pitching ERA Avg K
LA Angels 3.99 .246 1287
Oakland 3.81 .250 1149