A’s aim to continue ascent vs. Angels

MLB

The Oakland Athletics continue to win under manager Bob Melvin, and the Los Angeles Angels are the latest team to find that out.

The Angels came into the three-game series riding a season-high six-game winning streak, however they will try to avoid getting swept when they face the A’s on Wednesday afternoon in Oakland.

The A’s climbed a season-high 15 games above .500 with a 6-4 win against the Angels on Tuesday night, the same day the organization extended their club option on Melvin.

Melvin has been with Oakland since 2011, getting the A’s into the postseason in six of the past nine seasons. They’re leading the American League West again this year.

The extension came two days after Melvin became the 35th manager in MLB history to win 1,300 games, and he recently surpassed Tony La Russa for the most wins by a manager in Oakland history.

“I don’t even consider myself in the same ballpark as a guy like Tony La Russa,” Melvin said before Tuesday’s game. “It’s humbling. It certainly means that I’ve had some longevity here, and I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful for my bosses having faith in me and the players we have here. As much as this is about me right now, it’s about everybody else here that allows me to remain here for as long as I have.”

Melvin could get a key player back on Wednesday in outfielder Ramón Laureano, who has missed the past 17 games with an injured hip.

Laureano ran the bases without issue on Tuesday, but Melvin wanted to wait until Wednesday to decide if he prefers Laureano complete a rehab assignment before returning to the A’s.

Oakland plans to send left-hander Cole Irvin to the mound for the series finale.

Irvin (4-7, 3.70 ERA) faced the Angels for the first time in his major-league career on May 30 and bounced back after allowing four runs in the second inning. He went six innings overall, giving up four runs and six hits in the 4-2 loss.

In his last starts, Irvin has produced nearly identical lines of one earned run and six hits in six innings. He picked up the win against the Colorado Rockies on June 5 and received a no-decision versus the Kansas City Royals on Friday.

“I did something I’ve always wanted to do in the big leagues,” Irvin said of relying on his fastball. “I executed it to a tee, could not have gone any better.”

The Angels are scheduled to start right-hander Griffin Canning, who is coming off his best outing of the season, according to manager Joe Maddon.

Canning (5-4, 5.22 ERA) allowed one run and five hits in a season-best 6 2/3 innings of the 6-1 win against the visiting Royals last Wednesday.

Canning threw his curveball more than he had in previous starts, and that seemed to keep the Royals off balance.

“I love the curveball,” Maddon said. “I think it’s a really good pitch and gives the hitter a little bit of a difference in velocity to be concerned with.”

Canning owns a 1-3 record with a 4.88 ERA in six career starts against Oakland.. He faced the A’s twice last August and didn’t make it out of the fifth inning either time.

–Field Level Media

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