(SportsNetwork.com) - Jesse Chavez takes another stab at his first win of the season Monday night when the Oakland Athletics enter Angel Stadium to open a three-game set with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Chavez has been stellar through two turns (1.38 ERA) in his first full season as a starting pitcher in the majors. After holding Seattle to one run in six innings during his first start, Chavez quieted the Twins bats on Thursday as he allowed only earned one run in seven innings.
However, both times he walked away with a no-decision.
For Los Angeles, left-hander Hector Santiago is also in search of his first win in 2014. But unlike Chavez, Santiago struggled in both of his first two starts. Most recently, he allowed four runs and three walks in 4 1/3 innings against Seattle last Tuesday.
He'll hope for some more offensive production from a lineup that has come alive of late. On Sunday, Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Raul Ibanez connected on back-to-back-to-back home runs in the first inning of an eventual 14-2 win over the New York Mets in the rubber match of a three-game interleague series.
Hank Conger and Ian Stewart also went deep for the Halos, and all nine hitters in the lineup recorded a hit and scored at least one run.
"(The Angels are) always a very dangerous team," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Monday's opponent. "You have to play well against them. Offensively, they're a force. I know they're down (injured outfielder Josh) Hamilton right now, but they still have a lot of guys who can hurt you, and some different starting pitching we haven't seen."
However, Oakland's pitching presents a tough challenge, as well. A's starters threw 17 scoreless innings and struck out 34 batters in the three-game weekend series at Seattle.
In Sunday's series-clinching, 3-0 win, Scott Kazmir struck out nine and allowed only two hits in six shutout innings. Four relievers combined to close the door over the final three frames.
"It's exciting to have guys follow up a quality start, one after another, one through five. It really is exciting," Kazmir said. "We just want to keep going out there and keep making quality pitches and quality outings, all of us."
In terms of the head-to-head series between these two teams, Oakland has won 13 of the last 19 meetings at Angel Stadium. Overall, the A's have won the last four season series after going 11-8 against the Halos in 2013.