Zack Greinke tries to pitch the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to a fourth consecutive win on Tuesday when they open a three-game set with the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium.
Los Angeles helped its postseason chances this past weekend by sweeping the American League Central-leading Chicago White Sox. The Angels now trail the Oakland Athletics by two games for the AL's final wild card.
"Obviously there's a little bit of scoreboard watching going on now as we dwindle now here," said Angels ace Jered Weaver, who picked up his 19th win on Sunday. "But we've got to do what we've got to do and not worry about what other teams are doing. It's obviously a great sweep, and hopefully we can keep it rolling against Seattle."
The Angels turn to the red-hot Greinke on Tuesday. Greinke has gone 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA over his last six games while holding opponents to a .184 average. The Angels, though, have scored three runs over his last two starts and lost both.
Greinke surrendered just a run and five hits in eight innings on Thursday to Texas, but the Angels fell, 3-1. He also struck out eight and did not walk a batter.
"It's tough," said Greinke, who is 5-2 with a 3.51 ERA since being acquired from Milwaukee. "We need to win these games. It's getting close to the end of the season."
Greinke has faced the Mariners 11 times (9 starts) and is 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA against them.
Seattle, meanwhile, will counter with right-handed rookie Erasmo Ramirez, who is 1-2 with a 3.28 ERA. Ramirez did not get a decision last Tuesday against Baltimore, but allowed two runs and four hits in eight innings.
"(Ramirez) was fantastic. He threw a great ballgame," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "... That is what you want to see, that is what you love to see."
This will be his first start against the Angels.
Seattle enters this set on the heels of taking two of three from the Rangers. The Mariners were denied a sweep on Sunday, though, with a 3-2 loss.
"Had a chance to sweep here today, we're just a little bit short right now," Wedge said.
The Angels are 8-5 against the Mariners this season.