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Angels face two tough foes: Oakland's Gio Gonzalez, fatigue

September 23, 2011 |  5:19 pm

The road-weary Angels will turn to ace Jered Weaver in an effort to keep their slim playoff hopes alive Friday night, but their hitters will also have a difficult obstacle to overcome in Angel Stadium: Oakland left-hander Gio Gonzalez.

Gonzalez has a 6-2 record and 2.72 earned-run average in nine career starts against the Angels, including a 6-3 A’s victory on Sept. 12 in which he gave up two runs and seven hits, struck out six and walked one in 6 2/3 innings.

Weaver, though, has dominated the A’s this season, going 3-0 with one shutout and a 1.21 ERA in four starts against them, including a 4-1 win on Sept. 14 at Oakland in which he allowed one run and six hits in seven innings.

Weaver, who is 18-7 with a 2.41 ERA and has allowed one earned run or less and thrown seven innings or more in a major league-best 17 starts, has allowed just four earned runs in 34 innings (1.06 ERA) of his last five starts against the A’s in Anaheim.

The Angels, coming off a mediocre 5-5 trip through Oakland, Baltimore and Toronto, enter Friday five games behind Texas in the American League West and three games behind Boston in the wild-card race with six games to play.

After a crushing 4-3, 12-inning loss in Toronto on Thursday night, the Angels flew for most of the night, landing at LAX at about 3 a.m. and then busing to Anaheim. Most players didn’t get to their homes until about 4:30 a.m.

“You get in late, you have the time change, everything works against you,” Angels right fielder Torii Hunter said. “That’s why we drink coffee. That’s why they make Red Bull.”

Angels reliever Scott Downs could become the first pitcher in modern baseball history (since 1900) to make 25 or more home appearances in a season and not allow a single run. The left-hander has not allowed a run in 24 innings of 26 home games.

The Angels lineup:

3B Maicer Izturis

CF Peter Bourjos

2B Howie Kendrick

RF Torii Hunter

1B Mark Trumbo

DH Vernon Wells

LF Mike Trout

SS Erick Aybar

C Jeff Mathis

P Jered Weaver


The A's lineup:

2B Jemile Weeks

CF Coco Crisp

DH Hideki Matsui

LF Josh Willingham

RF David DeJesus

SS Cliff Pennington

1B Brandon Allen

C Kurt Suzuki

3B Scott Sizemore

P Gio Gonzalez


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Photo: Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez. Credit: Ben Margot / Associated Press