Division rivals close out a three-game set on Sunday afternoon as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play host to the Oakland Athletics.
The A's, who are scheduled to entertain Los Angeles for four games next week, continue to hold a two-game edge in the standings over Texas for first place, but that's only because the Rangers have bowed in three straight. Oakland, an impressive 30-15 at home, is now just 26-26 on the road after suffering a 2-0 setback on Saturday, the second defeat in as many games.
The star for the Angels at home was starting pitcher C.J. Wilson, who made it into the ninth inning before giving way to reliever Ernesto Frieri, who struck out two for his 24th save of 2013. Wilson allowed just three hits and two walks, while striking out eight, en route to his 10th victory of the season.
"Tonight, I just had more pitches in the mix," Wilson said. "I had the change-up, the split, cutter, all in the strike zone. This whole year I've been relying mostly on fastball, slider and the occasional curveball, but I had the most strikes tonight."
Alberto Callaspo registered his fifth home run, while Josh Hamilton plated Mike Trout with a sacrifice fly out to left in the bottom of the first inning. Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick both accounted for two hits for an Angels squad which is now three games under .500 overall and nine games off the pace in the division.
Of the three hits logged by Oakland, two came from Jed Lowrie, the other being a Nate Freiman single.
Dan Straily was charged with the loss after permitting two runs on eight hits, striking out four, over seven innings of action.
A resurgent Bartolo Colon is set to return to the hill for the A's this afternoon. A former member of the Angels between 2004-07, the right-hander already has more wins this season than all of 2012 and more than any campaign since he was 21-8 for the Angels in 2005.
Colon has lost only once in his last 11 appearances, although his most recent showing a week ago resulted in his first no-decision since the middle of May. Against the Boston Red Sox last Sunday, Colon permitted just two runs on eight hits and struck out four in 6 1/3 innings, and even though Oakland came away with the 3-2 win, the hurler did not factor into the decision.
Facing off against his former mates for the first time this season, Colon has a career mark of 10-6 with a 3.38 ERA in 21 matchups versus the Angels.
As for the hosts, they've scheduled right-hander Jerome Williams to counter Colon today. Now with his fourth different team since making it to the majors with San Francisco back in 2003, Williams has now gone more than a month since posting his last win, a span of six games.
Nine days ago Williams, a native of Hawaii, settled in against Seattle at Safeco Field and was throttled by Mariners hitters for six runs on seven hits in just 3 1/3 innings. Williams walked one and struck out another in the contest.
Both a reliever and a starter this season for the Angels, Williams has already clashed with Oakland three times in 2013, all of those encounters taking place in the month of April and all resulting in defeat for LA, although none were directly attributed to the pitcher.
For his career, Williams has a record of 3-3 with a 3.44 ERA in seven starts, 11 total appearances, versus the A's.
Despite the setback last night, Oakland still owns a 5-3 edge in the season series.