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Preview: Athletics at Angels

Current Conditions – Anaheim
CLOUDY 74 °F
Wind: WNW 3
5-Day Forecast GAME: Oakland Athletics (65-91) at Los Angeles Angels (81-74)
DATE/TIME: Monday, September 28 – 10:05 PM EST
WHERE: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A

The Los Angeles Angels are keeping the heat on the Houston Astros for the final wild-card spot in the American League and probably couldn’t ask for a better opponent to continue doing so. The Angels eye their sixth straight victory on Monday when they open a three-game set at home against the AL-worst Oakland Athletics.

Los Angeles (81-74) began its winning streak by taking two of the final three games of its previous series with Houston before returning home to complete a three-game sweep of Seattle over the weekend. The Angels, who moved within three games of Texas in the AL West with their second consecutive 3-2 victory on Sunday, remained one-half game behind the Astros. Although Oakland has won seven of the 16 meetings with Los Angeles in the season series in 2015, the Athletics have not been nearly as competitive in September, falling to 7-17 this month after dropping two of three at home to San Francisco. Oakland will hope for the same kind of success that it had the last time it saw Angels starter Hector Santiago, who they roughed up for five runs en route to a 11-5 victory on Aug. 31.

TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, CSN California (Oakland), FSN West (Los Angeles)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics LH Felix Doubront (3-3, 5.53 ERA) vs. Angels LH Hector Santiago (9-9, 3.47)

Doubront continued his recent struggles in Wednesday’s 10-3 loss versus the Rangers, surrendering seven runs – including a pair of homers – on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings. The 27-year-old Venezuelan has yielded at least four runs in four of his last five starts and posted an 8.33 ERA over his last five turns. Doubront, who has allowed seven home runs across his last four outings, is 2-1 with a 4.12 ERA in four career games (three starts) against the Angels.

Santiago had an uneven outing on Tuesday at Houston, but was still able to pick up the victory despite giving up two runs – both on solo homers – on four hits and five walks in five frames. The New Jersey native has just two quality starts over the last seven outings and has recorded more walks (24) and strikeouts (22) over that span. Santiago has faced Oakland three times the season (1-1, 5.02 ERA) and is 2-2 with a 3.28 ERA in 12 career appearances (four starts).

WALK-OFFS

1. With his next RBI, Angels 1B/DH Albert Pujols can become the first player in major-league history to reach 90 in 14 of his first 15 seasons.

2. The Athletics (65-91) clinched the worst record in the AL with Sunday’s loss, doing so for the third time in franchise history.

3. Los Angeles RH Mike Morin, who collected his first career save in Sunday’s victory, has allowed one run over 11 innings in September.

PREDICTION: Angels 6, Athletics 4