ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Los Angeles Angels are one of the best come-from-behind teams in the majors this season, and they will need to pick themselves up again heading into their series opener against the visiting Oakland A’s on Monday.
The Angels appeared on the verge of rallying from at least four runs down to win for a league-leading ninth time on Sunday against the Houston Astros, but they gave up a three-run triple with two outs in the eighth and lost 7-5 to drop 1 1/2 games back of Minnesota Twins in the race for the second American League wild card.
“We’ve been doing it all year, we’ll bounce back,” said Angels reliever Cam Bedrosian, who gave up the three-run triple to Brian McCann. “This is a good group of guys. I don’t worry about us at all.”
The Angels will be up against an Oakland team that is coming off a three-game sweep of the visiting Rangers, results that stunted Texas’ postseason drive. The Rangers took three of four in Anaheim earlier last week to leapfrog the Angels and move within a game of the final AL wild-card spot, but they are now three games back.
Daniel Gossett (3-6, 5.49 ERA) will take the mound for Oakland. The rookie was recalled last week from Triple-A Nashville for the second time this season, and he gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings during at no-decision at Baltimore on Wednesday. The A’s went on to lose 8-7 in 12 innings.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin told the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News after Gossett’s last start that the right-hander would stay with the big league club.
“The direction we’re going, as far as seeing our youth, it’s time for him to be up here and get some consistent starts,” Melvin said. “At this point in time, it’s more about seeing some of the younger guys. And it’s no coincidence that he’s pitching well on top of that.”
Gossett hasn’t faced the Angels, but he is 0-3 with a 5.63 ERA against the AL West this season.
Only four of his previous 11 starts this season came at night, and he was better in those games. He owns a 1-3 night record with a 3.70 ERA, compared to a 2-3 mark and a 6.75 ERA during the day.
Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney (0-0, 8.10 ERA) will make his third start of the season following his return from Tommy John surgery. He is still seeking his first quality start after pitching five innings in each of his first two outings, allowing a total of nine runs and 15 hits. On the positive side, he hasn’t walked a batter and has struck out nine, and he ran his pitch count into the 80s in both games.
Heaney made one start against the A’s in 2014 and another the following season, going 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA in those two outings. His last major league victory came against Oakland on Sept. 2, 2015, when he went seven innings and allowed three runs and seven hits in a 9-4 road victory.