Angels starter Jose Soriano to return from IL vs. Athletics

Promising young right-hander Jose Soriano is set to return from the injured list and deal with a team that has inflicted pain upon him in previous meetings when the Los Angeles Angels open a three-game road series against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.

The series is a rematch of a three-game Angels sweep at home last week, one in which the hosts outscored the A’s 17-8.

The Angels went on to complete the week with three wins in four games against the Detroit Tigers, giving them a season-best six wins in their last seven games. Oakland has lost seven of eight.

“We’re playing good baseball,” Angels pitcher Tyler Anderson said after watching his team rally from a seven-run deficit in a 7-6 home loss to the Tigers on Sunday. “Down big right there, for the guys to have great at-bats and put up five (in the ninth) was awesome. Obviously, we didn’t finish it. But there was a lot of fight from the guys, which was huge, and always good to see.”

Soriano (4-5, 3.48 ERA) was on a nice roll, capped by a career-best, eight-plus-inning effort June 12 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, before having to go on the injured list because of an abdominal infection. He hasn’t pitched since and enters Tuesday’s game having won his last two starts.

The 25-year-old faced the A’s twice as a reliever last season and neither time went well.

He entered a 4-4 game in the seventh inning in Oakland last September and promptly served up six runs (four earned), three coming on a Shea Langeliers double, in a 10-6 loss.

Then in the season’s second-to-last game, he came on in the eighth with a 3-2 lead, only to balk in the tying run and then give up a three-run homer to Langeliers in a 7-3 home defeat.

Over those two games, his only lifetime head-to-heads with the A’s, he’s 0-1 with a 33.75 ERA.

A’s right-hander Mitch Spence (4-4, 4.35) had a similar experience last Tuesday when facing the Angels for the first time in his career. He was tagged for six runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings in a 7-5 road loss, with Mickey Moniak’s grand slam contributing to a five-run fourth inning.

The 26-year-old has pitched into the sixth inning in each of his last six starts, allowing two or fewer runs three times.

For the second straight homestand, the A’s are matched up with a team against which they got swept on the road in their previous meeting. Last time, against the Kansas City Royals, the A’s won two of three at home after going 0-3 in the Midwest.

The A’s have been a 14-14 team at home since April 29, as opposed to having just three wins in their last 27 road outings.

As was the case two weeks ago, the A’s got a day off Monday leading into the homestand, which manager Mark Kotsay liked.

“We’ve been playing better at home than we have on the road,” he said. “We get (Monday) off, which will be another day to get away and refocus and come back ready to play Tuesday.”

–Field Level Media