MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
LA Angels2 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 6100
Oakland1 0 0 0 0 0 7 2 x 10101
  W: A. Puk (1-0)   L: T. Buttrey (6-7)
12:37 PM PT1:37 PM MT2:37 PM CT3:37 PM ET15:37 ET19:37 GMT3:37 12:37 PM MST2:37 PM EST3:07 PM VEN23:37 UAE2:37 PM CT, September 5, 2019
Ring Central Coliseum, Oakland, California  Attendance: 14,013

A's Anderson looks to continue dominance of Angels

Left-hander Brett Anderson looks to continue his 2019 mastery of the Los Angeles Angels when the Oakland Athletics go for a three-game sweep at home in the series finale between the American League West rivals on Thursday afternoon.

The A's have employed power and pitching to take the first two games of the series, using four home runs and 6 2/3 shutout innings from Tanner Roark as the driving forces in 7-5 and 4-0 victories.

For the second straight game, the A's will be up against a rookie pitcher they've never seen before in Angels left-hander Jose Suarez (2-5, 6.71 ERA).

But as opposed to Patrick Sandoval, who was riding the momentum of his best outing of the year when he took the mound Wednesday, the Angels on Thursday will be banking on an improved effort from a guy who has no wins in his last 10 starts dating back to June 15.

Meanwhile, Anderson (11-9, 4.04) has pitched brilliantly against the Angels this season, shutting them out for six innings on three hits in a 4-2 home win in March, and again over 7 2/3 innings on two hits in a 4-0 road win in June.

The two victories improved the veteran's career record against Los Angeles to 4-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 15 games (12 starts).

Anderson also will be seeking a career-best 12th win in the series finale. His 11 wins equal his career high set 10 seasons ago as a rookie with Oakland in 2009.

While A's fans await a reappearance of pitching prospect A.J. Puk, rookie hitters have helped keep Oakland rolling in the AL wild-card race.

Seth Brown contributed a pair of run-scoring triples to Tuesday's win, before Sean Murphy smacked a home run in his second major league at-bat Wednesday. Sheldon Neuse also contributed to Wednesday's win with a single in front of Marcus Semien's two-run homer.

Puk, meanwhile, hasn't pitched since Aug. 26, which A's manager Bob Melvin attributed Wednesday night to an embarrassment of riches in his pitching staff.

"I talked to him about that today," Melvin explained to reporters before the win. "We'll get him in the right spot and get him rolling. We'll try to find a good spot."

In the wake of a sixth straight road loss in the series opener, Angels manager Brad Ausmus shook up his lineup a bit in the rematch, moving slumping Shohei Ohtani down to the fifth spot for the first time this season.

It didn't help. He struck out three times and only reached base once, that coming on a catcher's interference.

"It takes a bit of pressure off," Ausmus noted to reporters about the move. "Shohei is a pretty strong mental player. It's probably a little easier for Shohei to hit there (fifth) and not be so concerned with the results."

Ohtani was involved in one of the key sequences of Wednesday's game, when his bat clipped the glove of A's rookie catcher Murphy in the third inning. The Angels, down 1-0 at the time, had runners at first and second, with Murphy's miscue loading the bases with two outs.

But Roark retired Justin Upton on a ground ball, rendering the mistake meaningless.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 5, 2019

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