Published November 20, 2014
The Angels have no room for error as they continue to keep their slim playoff chances alive. They also need one of their better bats in the lineup today.
Los Angeles hopes that slugger Mark Trumbo can play in Sunday's finale of a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics after yesterday's victory pulled the Angels to within 2 1/2 games of the wild card spot.
Trumbo leads the Angels with 29 homers and 87 runs batted in this season, but left yesterday's big win in the sixth inning with a right ankle injury that has bothered him for most of the second half. That leaves his status for this game unknown.
"I don't know if it was any one thing," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told his club's website. "All these guys have a lot of mileage on them this year. It's getting late, and Mark's played a lot."
Trumbo is one homer shy of becoming the seventh rookie in the past 25 years to notch 30 or more home runs in a season and watched Torii Hunter go deep with a two-run shot on Saturday.
Los Angeles snapped a two-game slide and made up a game on wild card-leading Boston, which lost to New York and plays a doubleheader today. Tampa Bay is 1 1/2 games behind the Red Sox.
"We need to win and we need help. It's as simple as that," Scioscia said.
"He's a really tough guy, only bad pitch was the Hunter home run," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin about Moscoso. "All in all, he really pitched well. We hit some balls hard but not much to show for it."
Oakland was without shortstop Cliff Pennington, who was taken out of the lineup right before the start of the game due to tightness in his left oblique.
The Angels have won three of their last four over the A's and that includes a victory over today's starter for the club, Rich Harden.
Harden gave up three runs over 5 1/3 innings versus the Angels on Sept. 14, then lost his second game in a row versus Texas on Tuesday. The right-hander was charged with six runs -- five earned -- on seven hits over only three innings, leaving him winless in his past five outings.
"He didn't have his best stuff tonight," said Melvin. "When he missed they hit it and they were able to put some runs on the board quick."
The 29-year-old Harden has allowed seven homers since his last win on Aug. 19 and is 4-4 with a 5.17 earned run average in 14 starts this year. He is 6-4 with a 3.83 ERA lifetime against the Angels, who counter with Joel Pineiro.
Pineiro has won two of his last three starts, but his loss came versus the Athletics on Sept. 12. He gave up five runs over three innings, falling to 9-11 with a 4.83 ERA in his career in this series.
The 33-year-old righty rebounded to beat Toronto on Tuesday, but needed offensive support to do so. He allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks over six-plus innings, notching a 10-6 win. He is 7-7 with a 5.36 ERA on the season.
Oakland is 10-8 against the Angels this season.