(SportsNetwork.com) - A great pitching matchup is on tap for Sunday as Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim oppose Sonny Gray and the Oakland Athletics in the finale of a three-game series.
The Angels would certainly like a better pitching performance than they had Saturday night when the Athletics ran away with an 11-3 victory. The bulk of the damage came in the later innings as Oakland scored 10 combined runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
Kyle Blanks got things started with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning and Yoenis Cespedes finished things off with a three-run home run in the eighth that put the game out of reach.
Fernando Rodriguez got the win after pitching a scoreless seventh inning. Tommy Milone was the starter, but did not factor in the decision. The left- hander limited his mistakes, with a three-run home run he surrendered to Collin Cowgill in the fourth inning his only blemish on the night.
"Today was one of those mediocre ones," Milone said. "It's nice to come away with a quality start and keep the team in the game."
Tyler Skaggs took the loss for the Angels, their third in the last four games. He allowed four runs on five hits and as many walks in six innings. However, it was Joe Smith that was on the mound when the Athletics pulled ahead for the win in the seventh inning, allowing two inherited runners to score.
The Angels lost despite out-hitting the Athletics 11-9.
"They played us tough this year," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "They're a good team over there, but we're going to have a chance to match up with them and get it done."
The Athletics have won four of their first five versus the Angels this season as they get set to face Weaver in the series finale.
Weaver has been the ace for the Angels for quite some time now and that doesn't look like it will change this season. The 6-foot-7 right-hander has ERA of just 2.99 through his first 11 starts, during which he has pitched 72 1/3 innings and stuck out 55 batters. His record is a bit less spectacular, but at 6-3 it is certainly solid enough.
Weaver pitched his first complete game of the season on May 21, but had a bit more trouble last time out, lasting six innings during which he allowed three runs on seven hits against Seattle. However, it was enough to earn the win, his fifth in the last six games.
Although Weaver has not faced Oakland yet this season, he has had plenty of previous opportunities. In all he has faced the Athletics 26 times, accumulating an 11-7 record and an ERA of 2.23 in 173 2/3 total innings pitched.
Gray has been building on an impressive, yet short, run last season. On the campaign he is 5-1 with a 2.31. The five wins already match the total he had during 12 games a year ago and his ERA is currently lower than the 2.67 mark he put forth in 2013.
Unfortunately, the 24-year-old right-hander had some difficult last time out, as he let up four runs on eight hits in six innings of work against Detroit. He did not factor in the decision, marking the fourth time in the last five games he has failed to do so.
Gray has pitched against the Angels twice in his brief career, once in relief and once as a starter. He has allowed just one run in eight total innings against them.