Aug 17, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Sam Fuld (23) celebrates his run scored with Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) after a sacrifice play by Oakland Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp (not pictured) in the eighth inning of their game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The Braves won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland A's vs Anaheim Angels Three-Game Series Preview

Starting this evening the Oakland A’s start a critical three-game series against the Anaheim Angels.

After dropping eight of their last 10 games the Oakland A’s find themselves out of first place in the A.L. West in the first time in a long time. That losing streak, combined with the Angels winnning eight of their last 10 games is how a four-game lead in the division had disappeared so fast.

The Angels are coming off of a four-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox in Boston, so they may be a bit weary from travel. For the Oakland A’s, hopefully yesterday’s day off will prove helpful and has given them an extra day to prepare and work out some issues with hitting and pitching as well.

Can the bats for the Oakland A’s come back alive? In their last 10 games they have managed to score more than three runs just three times. Two of those resulted in wins. Also, two of those three times came in their last series against the Mets as well.

A couple of guys that are struggling and need to pick it up are Brandon Moss and Derek Norris. Moss is hitless in his last four games (although he walked six times in that span) and only has four RBI’s in the month of August. Derek Norris has also registered just five hits in his last 10 games. Those hits were spread through just three games though and he has gone hitless in seven of his last 10 games.

Here are the pitching probables for this upcoming three-game series.

Game 1- Sonny Gray (12-7, 2.99 ERA) vs Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.46 ERA)

Sonny Gray has struggled as of late and in four starts in the month of August has posted a 0-4 record to go along with a 4.94 ERA. That includes four earned on eight hits in his last start. He was also tagged by the Royals for six runs back on August 6th.

Game 2- Jon Lester (3-1, 2.93) vs C.J. Wilson (10-8, 4.59 ERA)

The second game of the series will feature the red-hot Lester who has had 12 consecutive quality starts against Wilson who has won two consecutive games as well. Wilson has had trouble with his command throughout the season, and that was evident in his last start where he gave five free passes. Patience may be the key for the Oakland A’s against Wilson.

Game 3 – Scott Kazmir (14-5, 2.73) vs Jered Weaver (13-7, 3.70 ERA)

The series finale pits Scott Kazmir against a struggling Weaver. Weaver has not pitched into the seventh inning since July 23rd — six starts — and has issued four or more walks in three of those games. Kazmir had struggled at the end of July and into early August, but his last start against the Mets showed he is moving in the right direction. In that game he allowed just one run on four hits in six innings.

Tags: Jon Lester Oakland Athletics Scott Kazmir Sonny Gray

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