|1:07 PM PT2:07 PM MT3:07 PM CT4:07 PM ET16:07 ET20:07 GMT4:07 1:07 PM MST3:07 PM EST3:37 PM VEN0:07 UAE (+1)3:07 PM CT, March 31, 2019
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California Attendance: 23,265
Montas up next for A's vs. Angels
Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics
- The Angels have won the season series with the Athletics each of the past five seasons. However, the last time these teams met in Oakland, the Athletics hung 38 runs on the Angels over three games. That was the most any team scored in a three-game span against an opponent last season.
- The Angels finished 2018 with an 80-82 record, their third consecutive season under .500. Los Angeles had not finished three straight seasons with a losing record since 1992 through 1994. The Angels have a new manager at the helm, Brad Ausmus, for the first time since 2000 (Mike Scioscia's first season).
- Oakland finished second in the American League West in 2018 despite winning 97 games, its most wins since 2002 (103). The Athletics opened their 2019 season in Japan, losing both games to the Mariners. Oakland has not lost its first three games of a season since 1996.
- Trevor Cahill will be making his first start for the Angels on their Opening Day. He went 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA while pitching for Oakland in 2018. He was 5-1 with a 1.84 ERA and a .179 opponent batting average in 11 starts at the Oakland Coliseum last season.
- Mike Fiers will be making his second start of the season after he took the loss in the Athletics' first game in Japan. Since being acquired on August 6 of last season, Fiers is 5-3 but has allowed 13 home runs in 56.0 innings (2.09 HR/9), the fifth-highest rate in the AL over that span (minimum 50 innings).
- Mike Trout became the highest-paid player in MLB history over the offseason. He is coming off back-to-back seasons with a .400-plus OBP and a .600-plus slugging percentage, the first player to do so in consecutive seasons since Albert Pujols with the Cardinals in 2008-09 (minimum 400 plate appearances).
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Right-hander Frankie Montas will seek to continue a run of mastery by Oakland Athletics starting pitchers Sunday when he faces the visiting Los Angeles Angels in the finale of a four-game series.
Mike Fiers, Marco Estrada and Brett Anderson each pitched six shutout innings in the first three games of the series, turning over 4-0, 2-0 and 4-0 leads, respectively, to the Oakland bullpen.
The A's held on to win two of the three games despite allowing eight late runs, six in a 6-2 loss on Friday and two in a 4-2 win on Saturday.
Montas, who made the Athletics' roster thanks in large part to injuries to Sean Manaea (shoulder surgery) and Jesus Luzardo (sore shoulder), will be facing the Angels for the fourth time in his career, but the first time as a starter. He made three relief appearances against L.A. in 2016 and 2017, allowing one run and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings (1.69 ERA).
The 26-year-old went 5-4 with a 3.88 ERA in 13 appearances, including 11 starts, last season.
Montas became the next-man-up in the A's opening rotation after pitching brilliantly in the spring, compiling a 2-0 record and 0.56 ERA in five games, including two starts.
His counterpart Sunday, Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs, had no such luck in Arizona, going 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA in three spring starts.
He pitched five times against the A's last season, including in the second game of the opening series, with the Angels having lost 6-5 the day before. Skaggs blanked the A's over 6 1/3 innings that day, allowing three hits, as the Angels broke into the win column with a 2-1 win.
The 27-year-old went 2-2 in his five starts against Oakland last season, running his career record against the A's to 2-6 with a 5.19 ERA. He's pitched well in Oakland, going 2-3 with a 3.21 ERA in six starts.
One batter Skaggs surely will have to deal with Sunday is Mark Canha, whose two-run home run proved to be the difference in Saturday's 4-2 win.
Canha started in center field Saturday, but likely will be at first base Sunday against the left-handed starter. Lefty-swinging Kendrys Morales has started the last two games at first base in place of injured Matt Olson.
"I'm confident," Canha told reporters of his ability to play both infield and outfield positions. "I work on everything. I'm still taking reps in the outfield. I'm still doing my work at first. Just kind of staying on top of everything like I always do."
If there was a positive for the Angels in Saturday's loss to the A's, it was that they were able to give closer Cody Allen the night off after he'd thrown a scoreless ninth inning Friday.
Three L.A. relievers nonetheless teamed to shut out the A's on three hits over 4 1/3 innings, giving the Angels a chance after they'd fallen behind 4-0.
The Angels are hoping to bring Allen along slowly early in the season, and thus weren't concerned that his fastball speed in his season debut Friday was a bit slower than his 2018 numbers in Cleveland.
"He and (pitching coach Doug White) are working on some things mechanically, which is part of the reason I was glad to get him into more of a softer situation to start," Angels manager Brad Ausmus noted to reporters before Saturday's game. "We're hoping the velocity will get better as he gets stronger."
--Field Level Media
Updated March 31, 2019