The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim continue their postseason quest on Wednesday when they play the middle test of a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium.
Los Angeles has won four in a row, but still trails the Oakland Athletics by two games for the American League's second wild card spot. The Angels continued their late season push in Tuesday's opener, as Zack Greinke allowed one run over five innings, Torii Hunter and Erick Aybar both homered, and Los Angeles eked out a 5-4 win.
Greinke (6-2) notched a season-high 13 strikeouts, scattered seven hits with two walks and improved to 5-0 in his last seven starts.
"Greinke is really carrying us right now," said Hunter.
Albert Pujols and Alberto Callaspo both added an RBI for the Angels, who have won 23 of 32 to get themselves back into the race.
"It's definitely a lot of fun," said Hunter, who has batted .378 with four homers and 24 RBI in his last 25 games. "The intensity level is definitely up. My adrenaline level goes to another level in games like these."
Erasmo Ramirez (1-3) gave up five runs -- three earned -- on seven hits over six innings in the loss. The rookie right-hander struck out three and did not issue a walk.
"Erasmo made pitches tonight," said Seattle manager Eric Wedge. "He hung a pitch to Hunter, but he deserved a better fate."
The Angels will have their work cut out for them on Wednesday against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez. The 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, though, is winless in his last four starts (0-3) and is 13-8 on the year with a 2.85 ERA.
After giving up 16 runs in his previous three outings Hernandez bounced back to form last Wednesday against Baltimore, as he allowed just a run and six hits in eight innings. However, he did not factor in the decision of his team's 3-1 loss.
"It was just something mechanical," Hernandez said. "My last couple games, nothing was working, and I was leaving pitches over the middle. But this time I was following through at home plate and executing pitches."
Hernandez has faced the Angels 28 times and is 6-11 against them with a 3.89 ERA.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, will counter with lefty C.J. Wilson, who is 12-10 with a 3.82 ERA. Wilson failed to get out of the third inning last Wednesday and absorbed the loss against Texas, as he surrendered three runs and four hits with three walks in just 2 2/3 innings.
"I wasn't happy to get pulled out of the game, but I wasn't doing well, either," Wilson said. "So it's my own fault. We're trying to win the game, so I understand."
Wilson beat the Mariners the last time he faced them and is 10-5 with a 3.88 ERA in 48 games (11 starts) against them.
The Angels are 9-5 against the Mariners this season.