The Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels have been jockeying for second place in both the American League West and wild card race. As they prepare for Wednesday’s rubber match of the three-game series in Oakland, both teams will be looking to go on a run since the top five teams in the wild card chase are separated by only 1 1/2 games. The Athletics put on a rare power display to even the series Tuesday, with their first four-homer game at Oakland Coliseum since August 2009.
Angels rookie sensation Mike Trout was having a miserable 21st birthday until he etched his name in the history books by launching an eighth-inning home run. That made the AL batting leader the youngest player in history to hit 20 homers and steal 30 bases in a season. Angels shortstop Erick Aybar came off the disabled list Monday and hasn’t skipped a beat, going 5-for-8 with a homer and three RBIs in the first two games of the series.
Angels Athletics Betting
When: 3:35 PM ET, Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Where: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California
TV: 3:35 p.m. ET, FSW, CSCA
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Zack Greinke (0-1, 5.14 ERA) vs. Athletics RH Dan Straily (8-8, 3.55)
Greinke is making his third start and seeking his first win for the Angels since he was acquired in a trade with Milwaukee. He was solid in a losing effort in his debut with Los Angeles, giving up two runs on seven hits in seven innings against Tampa Bay. Greinke followed that up with a clunker at the Chicago White Sox, allowing six runs on 10 hits in seven innings.
Straily turned in a stellar effort in his major league debut against the Toronto Blue Jays, only to see Oakland’s bullpen cough up a three-run ninth inning lead to deprive him of his first victory. He allowed one run on five hits and struck out five. Straily was promoted after chalking up 175 strikeouts at Double-A and Triple-A, the highest total in the minors.
1. Greinke has enjoyed great success against Oakland with a 5-1 record and 3.00 ERA in 13 appearances (nine starts).
2. Every player in Oakland’s lineup had at least one hit Tuesday and all but Jemile Weeks scored at least once.
3. Trout joined a who’s-who list of players to homer on the 21st birthday since 1918: Ted Williams (1939), Frank Robinson (1956), Alex Rodriguez (1996) and Jason Heyward (2010).