During the past two seasons, April has been awfully cruel to the Los Angeles Angels and their fans.
A 17-32 mark during the month is bad enough, but add to it a slew of injuries this year, and things are looking bleak for the club that started the 2013 campaign as one of the favorites in the American League.
But with Wednesday comes a new month, and the Halos will look to start it off strong in Oakland. The A's, meanwhile, have their sights set on a fourth straight win and a second consecutive series sweep of their division rivals.
"It's been a frustrating time for us right now, but we really believe in these guys," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think there's a lot of potential for this team to improve in the next couple of weeks with some guys getting back in and hopefully some guys settling in, getting into their game.
"I think we still are looking at the big picture. You never want to lose a game like that [Monday's 19-inning setback], but I don't think we've seen this team together yet. And I think when we do, we're going to see those wins come."
The Angels will have to contend with Oakland left-hander Tommy Milone, who lost to Baltimore on Friday despite allowing just one unearned run. Milone has been dominant at home this season, sporting a 1.77 ERA, compared with a 6.17 mark on the road.
"We always feel good when Tommy takes the mound, and even when we struggle to get runs and even hits, he still keeps you in the game," manager Bob Melvin said.
The A's were without three of their key players on Tuesday night, as Chris Young (quad), Jed Lowrie (neck) and Coco Crisp (hamstring) all received the night off after playing in Monday's marathon.
"Chris is closer than Coco," Melvin said. "Chris has a chance to pinch-hit. With Crisp, we want to be careful with his hamstring and give him a day or two. Jed had that stiff neck, and he played 19 innings. He's available."
Whoever starts for Oakland in the finale will have to contend with southpaw C.J. Wilson, who is off to a 2-0 start to the season with a 4.30 ERA. He hasn't pitched into the seventh inning yet this year.
"My job is to go out there and throw seven or eight innings every time, and I haven't done that yet," Wilson said. "And that's really the most frustrating part of the season for me."
Wilson retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced his last time out against the Mariners, but surrendered three runs on six hits and two walks in the next 2 2/3 innings. Still, he managed to pick up the win.
Angels: Bourjos to DL
Peter Bourjos was placed on the disabled list Tuesday after sustaining a strained left hamstring on Monday.
Shortstop Erick Aybar came off the DL Tuesday and batted leadoff in Bourjos' place, J.B. Shuck started in left field and Mike Trout moved to center.
Bourjos was hurt trying to beat out an 11th-inning bunt.
A's: Scribner recalled
A's right-hander Evan Scribner was recalled Tuesday, taking the place of Dan Straily, who was sent back down following Monday's contest.
Scribner allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning in relief of Tuesday starter Jarrod Parker.
The 27-year-old right-hander began the season with the big league club and posted a 4.26 ERA in eight relief appearances before he was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. In 30 outings last year, Scribner went 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA.
• The A's have won each of the past two season series against the Angels and appear well on their way to making it three straight in 2013. Prior to the current stretch, the Angels had won six of seven.
• Hitters currently on the A's roster have combined to bat .170 against Wilson.
• The A's are 13-2 vs. the AL West, but 3-10 vs. everybody else.