Sun, 04 Dec 2022

Angels still prioritizing winning as they host A's

Field Level Media
27 Sep 2022, 09:55 GMT+10

The Los Angeles Angels will begin their final homestand of the season on Tuesday night when they open a three-game series with the visiting Oakland Athletics in Anaheim, Calif.

Neither team has much to play for other than finishing strong, while some players will be striving to reach statisticalmilestones.

The Angels (67-86) are 10-12 in the month of September, giving them the opportunity to have a winning month for the first time since they went 14-8 in April.

Individually, Angels center fielder Mike Trout is three homers away from hitting 40 for the third time in his career. Shohei Ohtani is seven RBIs away from reaching 100 for the second consecutive season.

"We keep playing to win," Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. "We're playing to win baseball games, playing a winning brand. It's not just about numbers. We talk about Sho getting to 100 and Mike getting 40 and guys getting whatever numbers, but we're playing winning baseball. We've talked about it, and guys have bought into it and that's what I'm proudest of."

Despite missing 42 of the Angels' 153 games this season, Trout still entered play Monday tied for second in the American League in homers (37), second in slugging percentage (.619) and third in OPS (.983).

"I'm just trying to finish strong," Trout said. "We have nine games left and just trying to finish strong."

Left-hander Patrick Sandoval (6-9, 3.01 ERA) will be on the mound for the Angels, making what is likely his second-to-last start of the season. Sandoval has been the club's most consistent pitcher as of late, giving up two or fewer earned runs in nine consecutive starts. He is 2-3 with a 1.65 ERA in six career starts against Oakland.

Right-hander James Kaprielian (4-9, 4.43) will make his 25th start of the season for the A's. He is 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA in five career starts against the Angels.

Oakland outfielder Seth Brown started the season slowly but is peaking late in his first season as an everyday player. Brown has a career-best 25 homers, including ones against Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer over the weekend against the Mets.

"He's got 25 home runs with a chance to do more," A's manager Mark Kotsay said. "We're excited about how he's finishing the season. Really, really impressed with what Seth's done.

"He continues to get better. He continues to take great at-bats. He's hitting in the heart of the lineup. He's got two years of service time, yet the growth we're seeing is what we were looking for."

Brown adds value to the club because he can play all three outfield spots as well as first base. And Kotsay said the club is impressed with his work ethic.

"His passion and energy for the game and for success is what drives him," Kotsay said. "He's versatile enough to play the outfield and first base, which provides a lot of value. The approach, there's no question he's probably the hardest-working guy on the club. I'm seeing a lot of good things from Seth."

--Field Level Media

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