The Oakland Athletics played the role of spoiler to perfection against one American League wild-card hopeful and attempt to do the same versus another as they visit the Los Angeles Angels on Monday for the opener of a three-game series. Oakland did some damage over the weekend to the playoff chances of Texas, which was outscored 19-7 while being swept in a three-game set and pushed three games behind Minnesota for the second wild card.
Two players that hope to continue swinging hot bats are rookie Matt Chapman, who went 6-for-11 with a homer and two RBIs in the series against the Rangers, and Marcus Semien, who has gone 3-for-7 with three RBIs and three runs scored over his last two games. Los Angeles trails the Twins by only 1 1/2 games despite having lost four of its last five contests. The Angels fell to 2-5 on their 10-game homestand after dropping a 7-5 decision to Houston on Sunday in which they rallied from a four-run deficit, only to squander a one-run lead in the eighth inning. Luis Valbuena, who belted his 100th career homer in the series finale against the Astros, has hit safely in seven of his last eight games to raise his season average from .191 to .208.
TV: 10:07 p.m. ET, NBCSN California (Oakland), FSN West (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Daniel Gossett (3-6, 5.49 ERA) vs. Angels LH Andrew Heaney (0-0, 8.10)
Gossett returned from the minors and escaped with a no-decision at Baltimore on Wednesday after surrendering five runs and eight hits over five innings. The 24-year-old rookie from South Carolina is 2-0 in three road starts since losing at Seattle on July 9 and has recorded all three of his career victories away from home. Gossett, who will be facing Los Angeles for the first time, has issued at least one walk in all but two of his 11 major-league outings.
Heaney has struggled in his first two starts of the year but managed to avoid being tagged with losses. The 26-year-old Oklahoman has yielded nine runs and 15 hits over a pair of five-inning outings, registering nine strikeouts without issuing a walk. Heaney, who made just one start in 2016 before undergoing Tommy John surgery, also has had difficulty keeping the ball in the park as he served up four homers in his season debut on Aug. 18 at Baltimore before allowing three against Texas on Wednesday.
1. Angels DH Albert Pujols went 2-for-5 on Sunday to raise his career hits total to 2,937, breaking a tie with Barry Bonds for sole possession of 35th place on the all-time list.
2. Oakland 2B Jed Lowrie will be evaluated on Monday after leaving the series finale against Texas with a left shin contusion.
3. Los Angeles OF Mike Trout, who is in an 0-for-17 slump, has hit 24 home runs against Oakland - his highest career total versus any team in the majors.
PREDICTION: Athletics 6, Angels 4