Saturday, March 30, 2019

MLB Game Preview: Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics - 3/30/2019 - 9:07 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics - Date: 3/30/2019 Angels look to continue trend against Athletics The visiting Los Angeles Angels hope to continue a recent opening-series trend when they seek a second straight win against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night.One day after opening the season with a 4-0 loss to the A's, the Angels got key late hits from Andrelton Simmons and Mike Trout while rallying from a 2-0 deficit to square the series with a 6-2 win on Friday night.The Angels also lost on Opening Day at Oakland the last two seasons, only to immediately get even in the second game.On both of those occasions, the Angels also won the third game of the series, each time by five runs.Seeking to make it three years in a row, L. A. will send right-hander Felix Pena to the mound to oppose Oakland lefty Brett Anderson.They went head-to-head twice last season, including in a 10-0 A's win in September in which they bombed the L. A. starter for six runs in the fourth inning.Anderson threw six shutout innings that day, allowing three hits.Neither got a decision in their August head-to-head, which began with Matt Chapman and Khris Davis homering off Pena in a three-run top of the first.But that's all the A's got off the 29-year-old in 5 2/3 innings.In the meantime, the Angels rallied to win 4-3, with Kole Calhoun contributing a two-run homer off Anderson to get the comeback rolling.Anderson has faced the Angels 13 times in his career, 10 times as a starter, going 2-3 with a 3.48 ERA.He's had surprising success against Trout (1-for-9) and Albert Pujols (0-for-7).Like his A's mates in the first two games of the series, one powerful bat Anderson won't have to deal with Saturday is Angels slugger Justin Upton, who suffered a toe injury when he ran into the outfield wall in last Sunday's exhibition game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.Angels manager Brad Ausmus announced before Friday's game that Upton will miss at least the next eight weeks."It's certainly not ideal," Ausmus gruffly responded to reporters when asked about the significance of the injury. "Can we withstand it? We have to. We don't have a choice." Anderson will be following in the footsteps of starters Mike Fiers and Marco Estrada, both of whom turned shutouts over to the Oakland bullpen.A's relievers protected Fiers' lead, but couldn't do the same with Estrada's."Same situation as (the opener)," A's manager Bob Melvin observed to reporters about the use of his bullpen in Friday's 6-2 loss. "Once we took the lead, we had our guys lined up."We feel good when our bullpen's in the game and we're in the lead. Just didn't happen tonight." Pena has three career appearances (two starts) against the A's, all last season. He's gone 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA.Jurickson Profar was a third current member of the A's to have homered against Pena last season, doing so for Texas.--Field Level Media