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Oakland at Los Angeles

Venue: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
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Though the Los Angeles Angels have the high-priced, marquee talent, the low-budget Oakland Athletics are the team to catch in the AL West.

Looking to continue their success in Anaheim, the visiting A's hope to end their recent struggles against Jered Weaver and hand the underachieving Angels a fourth consecutive defeat Friday night.

For the first time since 1990 - the last time it won the AL pennant - Oakland (56-39) is in first place at the All-Star break with a two-game lead over Texas. It also tied a club record for most wins at the break.

"I really believe that the guys in this clubhouse really believe that we have one of the best teams in baseball,'' said third baseman Josh Donaldson, who leads the A's in batting (.310), home runs (16) and RBIs (61).

Oakland also has a 2.76 staff ERA in winning 12 of 17 since last losing a series at Seattle from June 21-23.

"From 1 to 25, we feel like we can put anybody in the game and they're going to be successful," Donaldson said.

Second-year outfielder and 2013 Home Run Derby champion Yoenis Cespedes is hitting .225, but has 15 homers and 43 RBIs.

"His production's still there,'' manager Bob Melvin said. "He's always on the verge of a hot streak.''

Cespedes has batted .321 with a homer and seven RBIs this season versus Los Angeles (44-49), which snapped a five-game skid against the A's with a 5-4 win May 1.

The A's outscored the Angels 28-11 to sweep a three-game set at Los Angeles in April. Oakland has averaged 5.1 runs while winning 10 of 12 there.

However, Weaver (3-5, 3.63 ERA) has thrown 18 straight scoreless innings versus Oakland. He yielded only a Seth Smith solo home run over 30 2-3 innings to go 3-0 in four starts against the A's last season.

The right-hander, who missed almost two months with a broken elbow, allowed two runs in 20 2-3 while going 2-0 in three starts before he gave up four and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-0 loss to the Mariners on Saturday.

Los Angeles starting pitchers rank near the bottom of the majors with a 4.57 ERA.

"We're not going to reach our goal without starting pitching," manager Mike Scioscia told the Angels' official website.

Despite the addition of slugger Josh Hamilton to a lineup that included Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo, the Angels are third in the West and 11 back of Oakland.

They had won 11 of 14 before being limited to six runs during a three-game sweep at the hands of Seattle last weekend.

"We need to become the team we can be and play consistent baseball,'' Scioscia said. "It's in this group. We just need to get it going.''

It likely needs to start with Hamilton and Pujols, who are hitting a combined .237 with 29 homers - eight less than Baltimore's Chris Davis.

Pujols is 0 for 8 in the last two versus Oakland and 1 for 6 against scheduled starter A.J. Griffin (8-6, 3.68).

Hamilton is 4 for 7 against the right-hander, who is 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his last five starts after giving up six hits in eight innings of a 3-0 win over Boston on Saturday.

Griffin is 2-0 against the Angels, with the only run he allowed in 16 innings of those road contests coming over eight frames of an 8-1 victory April 11.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Probable Starters

A.J. Griffin, RHP
2013 stats
122.1 Innings Pitched 67.0
8-6 Wins-Losses 3-5
3.68 Earned Run Average 3.63
28 Walks 16
94 Strikeouts 50
102 Pitches Per Start 99
Career vs. opponent
16.0 Innings Pitched 160.0
2-0 Wins-Losses 9-7
0.56 Earned Run Average 2.36

Jered Weaver, RHP
Weather
weather image  Mostly sunny. Mild.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
83°F63°F9mph/SW43%2%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Oakland2nd AL West7452.58712-8 L 1
Los Angeles1st AL West7450.597-7-3 W 2
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Jered Weaver
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Norris31002.333
Lowrie123002.250
Reddick122014.167
Smith122103.167
Moss71002.143
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs A.J. Griffin
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Hamilton74011.571
Aybar31000.333
Trumbo31000.333
Kendrick62000.333
Pujols61000.167
 

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Injuries
Oakland
PlayerInjury
K. BlanksCalf
C. GentryHand
A. GriffinElbow
J. LowrieFinger
J. ParkerElbow
N. PuntoHamstring
Los Angeles
PlayerInjury
R. BrasierForearm
S. BurnettElbow
G. GreenBack
B. MoranElbow
T. SkaggsElbow
J. ThatcherAnkle
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Aug 8LAABOS 4-2Webster Weaver 
Aug 9LAALAA 5-4Shoemaker Workman 
Aug 10LAABOS 3-1De La Rosa Smith 
Aug 18BOSLAA 4-2Wilson Workman 
Aug 19BOSLAA 4-3Smith Uehara 
Aug 20BOS 7:10 PM EDT  
Aug 21BOS 7:10 PM EDT