The Oakland Athletics continue their quest to finish with the best record in the American League and have homefield advantage throughout the postseason on Wednesday when they play the rubber match of a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium.
Securing a series win on Wednesday, though, may be easier said than done for the A's, as they go up against Jered Weaver, who is 7-1 with an 0.84 ERA over his last 10 starts against them. He's also thrown 22 2/3 scoreless innings while winning his past three meetings.
Weaver hasn't pitched since beating Houston on Sept. 14 to improve to 10-8 with a 3.36 ERA. He missed his most recent start with tightness in his forearm
"I didn't want people to think that I was just packing it in because it's the end of the season," Weaver said. "We still have a job to do. If I was feeling healthy, I'd be out there. But like I said, it's something that's been kind of lingering, and I just wanted to make sure (Angels manager Mike Scioscia) knew about it and see how he wanted to go about it. I'm excited to go out there and make that last start on Wednesday."
Oakland will counter with hard-throwing righty Dan Straily, who is 4-0 over his last five starts with a 2.15 ERA. Straily did not get a decision on Thursday against Minnesota, as he allowed three runs (2 earned) and three hits in 5 2/3 innings of his team's 8-6 win. Overall, he is 10-7 on the year with a 4.08 ERA.
Straily owns an 0-2 record with a 7.31 ERA in three starts against the Angels this season.
After losing Monday's opener, Los Angeles evened this series at a game apiece on Tuesday, as Jason Vargas tossed a shutout and Howie Kendrick homered in the Angels' 3-0 win.
Vargas (9-7) allowed just four hits while striking out five for his second shutout of the season.
The Angels have won 10 of their last 14 games overall and with a win on Wednesday would improve to 9-0-1 in their last 10 series.
"We made some defensive plays behind me," said Vargas. "I was able to control counts, which made my changeup more effective. Tonight was a good one."
Kendrick smoked his 13th home run of the season for LA while J.B. Shuck offered two hits and Josh Hamilton drove in a pair of runs.
A.J. Griffin (14-10) struck out seven over five frames, but surrendered all three runs on five hits as Oakland's winning streak comes to a halt at five games.
Oakland is 11-7 against the Angels this season.