Angels-Athletics Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 15, 2013
The surging Oakland Athletics have started to run away with the AL West. Continuing their playoff push, though, could prove difficult against C.J. Wilson, who hasn't lost in over two months. Emerging rookie Sonny Gray takes the mound opposite Wilson as the Athletics open a three-game set against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night. Oakland (88-61) returns home seeking a sixth consecutive victory after sweeping Texas over the weekend. Josh Donaldson, Chris Young and Josh Reddick all homered in Sunday's 5-1 victory as the A's moved 6 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Rangers with 13 to play. "It's a good lead, but we can't pay too much attention to the standings right now," Donaldson, batting .450 with four homers, six doubles, 11 RBIs and 12 runs during an 11-game hitting streak, told MLB's official website. "We don't want to get too comfortable. We want to continue steadily getting better, as we have. Hopefully that takes us to where we want to go." Oakland, which has hit .305 with 32 homers while outscoring opponents 123-65 during a 16-4 stretch, will try to stay hot against Wilson (16-6, 3.44 ERA). The two-time All-Star, enjoying a career-high eight-game winning streak, is 12-1 with a 3.02 ERA in his last 17 starts. "Of all the things we've talked about this year that haven't worked out, C.J. is on the other side of that ledger," manager Mike Scioscia said of Wilson, who is on the verge of a career-best 17th victory. "He's having just a terrific season, pitching deep into games. He's going to be 200-plus innings again. Every stat you look at is terrific for him." The left-hander is looking to win a fourth consecutive start after allowing four runs and four hits in seven innings Wednesday in a 5-4 victory at Toronto. "He can carve you up," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He has that nice cutter that he runs inside to the right-handers and really kind of neutralizes you in a lot of ways, and then can go to the outside part of the plate. He keeps you off-balance, and he's sneaky." Wilson has also baffled the A's during a three-start winning streak, holding them to a combined five runs and 14 hits in 21 2-3 innings. He has had his way with Coco Crisp (4 for 32), Kurt Suzuki (2 for 22), Donaldson (4 for 20) and Reddick (3 for 18). While Home Run Derby champion Yoenis Cespedes is 4 for 12 in their matchups, he is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday and likely to miss his second straight game with right shoulder soreness. The Angels (72-77) could also be in for a long night against Gray (3-3, 2.63). The 23-year-old right-hander has struck out 45 and held opponents to a .211 batting average in seven outings spanning 44 innings since getting called up for the second time Aug. 10. Gray surrendered two runs in five innings during an 18-3 rout at Minnesota on Wednesday. "It was nice to have the offensive display we had," he said. Gray has been especially good in four home starts, going 2-1 with a 1.21 ERA. He struck out three over two scoreless innings of relief in his only appearance versus Los Angeles. The Angels are coming off Sunday's 2-1 win at Houston and have won 17 of 23. MVP candidate Mike Trout walked and scored, becoming the first AL player in major league history with 70 extra-base hits, 30 stolen bases and 100 walks in a season. Trout, though, is 1 for his last 15.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

D’Qwell Jackson suspended four games for PED use

Coaches irked by late-season Thursday night division games?

Donatas Motiejunas refuses to report to Rockets after they match RFA offer sheet

Green-Beckham touted fake charity for #MyCauseMyCleats

Rashaan Salaam dead at 42

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Claire Smith becomes first woman to win BBWAA’s J.G. Taylor Spink Award

Report: Gregory eligible to practice, could play in Week 16

49ers say Colin Kaepernick will start against Jets

Red Sox reportedly acquire Chris Sale from White Sox

Pablo Sandoval appears to have lost a lot of weight

Syracuse fan drains $5K shot, high-fives Dino Babers

The best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

The five must-have sports games of 2016

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 1: News, notes and rumors

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

Box Score 12/6: Klay Thompson and the ball of fire

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

This Jaguars regime needs to be put out of its misery

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

MLB Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

The five must-have sports games of 2016

Winter Meetings report, Day 1: News, notes and rumors

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker