Major League Baseball

Angels, A’s ready for series finale

ANGELS (25-29) AT ATHLETICS (29-26)
3:37 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, FS-W, MLB.TV

Impressive rookie Griffin Canning will attempt to give the Oakland Athletics a losing streak immediately following their 10-game winning spree when the visiting Los Angeles Angels go for a second straight win in the series finale Wednesday afternoon.

The Angels denied the A’s an 11th consecutive victory Tuesday night when Shohei Ohtani lined a two-run, tie-breaking single with two outs in the ninth inning, producing a 6-4 win.

The 23-year-old Canning (2-1, 3.42) will be making his sixth career start. The last two have been brilliant, having limited Kansas City and Texas to a total of one run and six hits in 12 innings.

The UCLA product admitted if he had any doubts that he would succeed in the big leagues, his teammates and coaches extinguished them.

“Everyone told me when I got up here that I belong,” he told reporters recently. “That’s the biggest thing: confidence. I’m just trying to keep my head down and keep getting better.”

Canning, a California native, has never faced the A’s.

Meanwhile, Oakland right-hander Daniel Mengden (1-1, 3.31) has had nothing but bad experiences against the Angels. He’s faced the American League West rival four times, three times as a starter, and gone 0-2 with an 8.84 ERA.

If Mike Trout were to identify his favorite pitcher, he’d likely have Mengden on his short list. Trout has bombed his rival for two singles, two doubles and a home run in six career at-bats. He’s also been walked twice and hit once, meaning he’s reached base in eight of nine plate appearances.

Mengden hasn’t fared much better against Trout’s teammate Albert Pujols, who has recorded two singles, a double and a home run in six career at-bats in the head-to-head.

None of those meetings were this season, when the 26-year-old has pitched the best ball of his career.

His last two outings have been almost as impressive as Canning’s, having given up a total of just two runs and eight hits in 11 innings against Detroit and Seattle.

Mengden hopes to get the type of offensive support his teammates have afforded Chris Bassitt and Frankie Montas in the first two games of the series, when the A’s have pounded Angels pitching for six home runs.

“People were freaking out about our offense, and now it’s like: Here it is,” Bassitt observed earlier in the series. “We have one of the best offenses in the league. We knew this was coming. It was just a matter of time.”

The A’s might have lost Tuesday, but it appears they uncovered another bullpen weapon in left-hander Wei-Chung Wang.

Promoted from the minors over the weekend, Wang entered a game the A’s were trailing 4-1 and kept the Angels from tacking on, shutting out the visitors on one hit over two innings.

Oakland then rallied to tie the game at 4-4, only to fall short in the end, long after Wang’s work was complete.

The 27-year-old from Taiwan hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2017 and entered the contest with an 11.09 career ERA in 22 games with the Milwaukee Brewers.

–Field Level Media

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