For Athletics left-hander Scott Kazmir, Sunday's series finale marks a chance at redemption. As for right-hander Matt Shoemaker, well, he's merely looking to lead the Angels to a four-game sweep in Anaheim.
Shoemaker has never started against the A's in his budding Major League career. He did strike out Brandon Moss in a five-pitch relief appearance back in June, but on Sunday, Shoemaker will be facing Oakland on a serious roll.
Shoemaker has allowed just three hits over his last two starts and in his last seven games (six starts), he's 6-1 with a 1.31 ERA and opponents batting average of .168.
For a team that already lost a breakout star in Garrett Richards (season-ending knee surgery), Shoemaker's ascent couldn't come at a better time.
"You see the beard and you think he's 35 and he's a vet, but he's really held his own and his composure is beyond his years," Angels catcher Hank Conger said.
Kazmir enters on a distinctly different note, considering his last start -- against these very Angels -- was one of his worst. Lasting just three innings, Kazmir surrendered seven runs on 10 hits to end his first 2014 meeting with the Angels on a sour note.
"I hit maybe one spot the entire game," Kazmir said after the 9-4 loss last Sunday. "I feel like I was kind of trying to trick people out there, throwing curveballs, sliders and changeups, instead of just really focusing on my fastball and establishing that. By the time I'd get to that pitch, it wasn't there -- it'd be up and away, it'd sail on me."
Athletics: Crisp sits after wall crash
When center fielder Coco Crisp came up empty-handed on his robbery attempt of Chris Iannetta's home run Friday, it ended up costing the Athletics far more than two runs.
After suffering a neck injury on the play and having to be helped off by trainers, Crisp was out of the lineup again Saturday. And with a day game Sunday, it's likely that he sits for the finale of a pivotal series against the Angels.
Manager Bob Melvin called Crisp "a little stiff" before Saturday's matchup and said he wouldn't be available off the bench. To replace him at the top of the lineup, Melvin bumped up Sam Fuld. Defensively, Craig Gentry got the start in center.
In his fifth season with the A's, Crisp is batting .254 (94-for-370) with 20 doubles and 61 runs scored.
Angels: Roth recalled to bolster bullpen
On Saturday, left-hander Michael Roth was recalled to provide some additional length to the bullpen, and he was one of eight pitchers used during the Angels' 2-0 victory that night.
In four stints with the Angels this season, Roth has given up four runs over seven total innings. He threw seven shutout innings for Double-A Arkansas on Monday so he comes to the Angels on a normal round of rest.
"Just to get through [the weekend], we're going to need a little bit of length and Michael can provide it whenever it's needed," manager Mike Scioscia said.
In a corresponding move, the Angels optioned first baseman-outfielder Efren Navarro to Triple-A Salt Lake.
• The Angels have won the first three meetings this series to stretch their lead to four games over the A's atop the American League West.
• The Angels are 6-3 at home against Oakland this season; on the road, 1-5. Since 2008, the Angels lead the series, 69-68.
Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.