Dan Haren tries to pitch the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday at the Coliseum.
The A's entered this set as the hottest team in baseball with nine straight wins, but have lost the first two games of this set. On Tuesday, Zack Greinke fired seven innings of one-run ball to lead the Angels to a 6-1 triumph.
Greinke (4-2) scattered four hits and walked two while striking out four to pick up his third straight win.
"You could see it coming his last couple of starts, just finding the release point," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Greinke's start. "I thought he threw the ball exceptionally well."
"He was a lot better than we saw him last time," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Just had us off-balanced all night."
Alberto Callaspo went 2-for-3 with two RBI and scored once and Mike Trout had two hits and drove in a run for the Angels, winners in 11 of their last 14.
Brandon Moss stroked a solo homer in the seventh inning for the A's, who still hold one of the two wild card spots in the AL, and are 3 1/2 games up on the Angels.
Jarrod Parker (9-8) was pegged with the loss after giving up two runs on eight hits over seven frames. Parker struck out five without issuing a walk in his first loss since Aug. 14.
"Each and every game is important here in September, but they come in and take the first two games from us I think it's just as important to win the game tomorrow," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
On Wednesday, Haren will be trying to build off one of his more impressive starts this season. The righty beat the Seattle Mariners on Friday, holding them to just an unearned run and five hits in seven innings to run his record to 9-10, while lowering his ERA to 4.58.
Haren lost to the A's the last time he faced them and is 2-3 in eight starts against them with a 3.74 ERA.
Oakland, meanwhile, will counter with righty Brandon McCarthy, who has won his last two starts and is 8-5 on the year with a 3.10 ERA. McCarthy beat the Boston Red Sox on Friday, limiting them to two runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 frames.
He is 1-3 in 10 games (6 starts) against the Angels with a 5.03 ERA.
Oakland has split its 14 matchups with the Angels this season. Los Angeles, though, is 5-3 in Oakland and will be looking for its first three-game sweep there since turning the trick from Oct. 2-4, 2009.