Tonight, the A's want to replicate the feat to move back into a first-place tie with the Angels in the division, and Oakland sends Jon Lester (13-8, 2.58) to the mound against Los Angeles' C.J. Wilson (10-8, 4.59) in a lefty duel.
Everyone knows Wilson hates the O.co Coliseum; his vitriol for the mound here is well known. Back in 2011, he let loose on the topic. Since then, well ... the A's have won two AL West division titles, and Wilson is scuffling for the Angels.
Should be a fun time in the 5-1-0.
Los Angeles leads the division by one game with a 76-51 record, which is also the best record in the majors. Oakland had the best record in majors from June 18 until last week; the A's now have a 75-52 record, which includes a 9-11 slump in August. Oakland has posted 14 straight winning months now, but they'll need to recover in the next nine days to make it 15 in a row.
The A's and the Angels have five more games against each other this month.
Jon Lester hasn't really disappointed since the A's picked him up on July 31. He's 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA for Oakland in four starts and 27.2 innings pitched. Meanwhile, C.J. Wilson has his worst ERA ever as a starter in a "full" season, and he's given up 43 runs in his last 58 innings dating back to June.
The A's hope that continues, of course: Oakland has scored the most runs in the majors this season (613), and that doesn't bode well for Wilson. The Angels are third in runs scored (595), but clearly, Lester has the edge tonight on the mound—he's posted 12 consecutive quality starts this summer (7-1, 1.67).
Being at home is good for the A's, too: Oakland has won 36 of its last 49 contests at the Coliseum, and the team has the best home record in the majors overall (42-22). Oh, and Lester is 6-0 with a 0.91 ERA in his last eight starts at home (two in Oakland, six in Boston).
The A's may have the deck stacked in their favor tonight, but you never know what's going to happen.
Game time tonight is 6:05 p.m.