So far this week, the A's are doing their best to make an even stronger statement right back.
With wins in each of the first two games of a four-game set in Anaheim, the A's have cemented themselves as the top team in the AL Wild Card hunt. They're two games ahead of the nearest challenger for the top spot, while the Angels sit 4 1/2 behind Oakland and 2 1/2 games out of the playoffs. The A's are even within range for first place in the AL West, sitting three games behind the Rangers.
A.J. Griffin takes the ball for Oakland on Wednesday as he looks to become the first pitcher in A's history to start his career 6-0. With a win his last time out, Griffin equaled Tom Burns, who did so in 1988, as the only pitchers to start 5-0 for the franchise.
"Seems like every time he pitches, we feel good about our chances, and he gives us a great chance to win when he goes out there," manager Bob Melvin said.
Griffin has been especially dominant away from home this year, posting a 3-0 mark with a 1.54 ERA in his four starts on the road.
Opposite Griffin, Angels righty Ervin Santana has rebounded from a disastrous first four months of the season. Santana has lasted at least six innings in all seven of his starts since the beginning of August, and the club has lost only one of those games.
Santana filled in for ace Jered Weaver on Friday and he held the Tigers to just two runs in 6 2/3 innings.
"His fastball command as the game went on was very sharp," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after the start. "He threw a fastball/breaking ball combo that, when it's on, is as good as anyone in the league."
A's: McCarthy discharged from hospital
A's right-hander Brandon McCarthy was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday and returned home six days after he was hit in the head with a line drive and needed emergency brain surgery.
McCarthy won't return this season, but news of his good health had the entire A's clubhouse in good spirits.
"Obviously it's been a scary week, and we were all praying and worrying about him," fellow starting pitcher Jarrod Parker said. "We always had him in the back of our minds this whole week, and for him to have a chance to go home in what seems like a really short time after something like that is a big boost for us. We're excited about it and about seeing him soon."
Angels: Trumbo's struggles continue
Mark Trumbo was on the bench for the third time in the Angels' last seven games, as he continues to look to bust out of a slump that has plagued him for about a month.
Trumbo is 2-for-24 with 12 strikeouts in September, and his average has dropped 32 points since the start of August. The man who replaced Trumbo in left field, Vernon Wells, is confident Trumbo will snap out of his funk.
"We all go through struggles, no matter if you're Albert Pujols struggling early in the year or if you're Mark Trumbo struggling later in the year," Wells said. "This is baseball. You'll see some stuff happen in this game that'll make you just shake your head, and it's a matter of how you respond."
Angels outfielder Mike Trout stole his 45th base on Monday, making him the first rookie in history with 25 homers and 45 steals.
With their next win, the A's will assure themselves of a finish above .500 for the first time since the 2006 season. They finished the 2010 campaign 81-81.
A's infielder Cliff Pennington is hitting .478 in 23 at-bats against Santana lifetime.