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OAK@LAA: Straily fans four, holds Angels to two runs

Forget about any exciting shootouts reminiscent of the wild, wild West this weekend in Oakland.

At this point, the A's and Angels would just settle for more than four runs.

The American League West rivals open a four-game series on Thursday at Coliseum in a battle of two anemic offenses and featuring two of the game's stingiest pitchers of late -- so any chance of an offensive breakout likely will have to wait until Friday.

On Thursday, however, Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson and A's righty Dan Straily rekindle a duel from last Saturday in which Wilson came out on top in a 2-0 victory.

Wilson's gem that day -- 8 1/3 scoreless innings of three-hit ball -- certainly didn't come out of nowhere. The lefty has not allowed a run in three of his last six starts and is 6-1 with a 1.69 ERA in his last eight trips to the hill.

"His past couple starts have been really good," Angels catcher Hank Conger said afterward. "He's throwing a lot of strikes, he's getting ahead of counts, and [Saturday] he was able to just get a lot of swing and missed on his slider and curveball."

Straily, 24, has been just as good -- including in his last start against the Angels. The right-hander has allowed three runs over his last 20 1/3 innings and is 5-1 with a 2.80 ERA and .208 average against in his last 10 starts.

Straily allowed two runs on eight hits and no walks in seven innings against the Angels on Saturday but received no support -- something with which both A's and Angels pitchers are familiar.

The A's are hitting .203 and averaging 2.6 runs in their last 12 games. The Angels, meanwhile, come to Oakland having been held to four runs or fewer in a season-high nine straight games, during which they're averaging only 2.1 runs per contest.

Angels: Downs one shy of franchise mark
Left-handed reliever Scott Downs hasn't allowed a run in in 29 consecutive games, one shy of trying Francisco Rodriguez's franchise record. Downs' streak also is one shy of tying White Sox righty Jesse Crain for the AL's longest streak this season.

• Closer Ernesto Frieri is 48-for-53 in save situations in his career, with his 91 percent save conversation rate the highest in Angels history among relievers with at least 45 saves.

A's: Hot and cold
While Yoenis Cespedes (.417) and Coco Crisp (.294) each have four-game hitting streaks, fellow outfielder Seth Smith is struggling mightily. Smith is hitless in his last 22 at-bats, one shy of the longest barren streak of his career.

• Left-hander Brett Anderson, rehabbing a stress fracture in his right foot, tossed 40 pitches in a bullpen session on Wednesday. If there are no setbacks, Anderson's return likely will come in mid-August at the earliest.

• Wednesday's victory over the Astros improved Oakland to 59-42, its best start since a 60-41 mark in 1992.

Worth noting
• The Angels have won three of the last four against the A's, but they've lost 11 of the last 15 matchups in Oakland.

• The Angels have dropped seven of their last 11.

• After starting 13-3 against the AL West, Oakland is 13-15 against the division since May 10. Comments