OAKLAND, Calif. -- Two pitchers hoping to make the most of an otherwise meaningless September clash of fourth- and fifth-place teams will go head-to-head when the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics wrap up a three-game series Wednesday.
Angels right-hander Alex Meyer will be making his second major league start and A's righty Jharel Cotton his first in the afternoon affair.
Meyer has two advantages of Cotton in the matchup.
First off, he'll be facing an A's team that's been no-hit into the eighth and sixth innings in two of their last three games.
Also, Meyer has four games of big-league experience under his belt, even if those outings didn't go well.
Pitching at the time for the Minnesota Twins, Meyer made two relief appearances in 2015 and one earlier this season, pitching a total of 3 2/3 innings. He allowed seven runs on seven hits in those outings.
Given a shot to start at Houston on May 1, the 26-year-old didn't fare much better, giving up three runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings. He was charged with the loss in the 6-4 loss.
The 6-foot-9 former first-round pick of the Washington Nationals will bring a 14.21 career ERA, fifth highest among all pitchers who have made four or more appearances the last two seasons, into the contest.
Meyer will be making his Angels debut. He was acquired on Aug. 1 along with Tuesday's starting pitcher, Ricky Nolasco, from the Minnesota Twins for left-hander Hector Santiago and minor league right-hander Alan Busenitz.
"This pitcher absolutely has as much upside as any pitcher in the game today," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Meyer following his acquisition. "He just has to realize some of that potential, turn it into performance."
Cotton was one of three pitchers acquired by the A's when they dealt right fielder Josh Reddick and left-hander Rich Hill to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline.
He will be making his major league debut after going 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA in six starts for Nashville, the A's Triple-A affiliate.
Cotton will be the seventh Oakland pitcher to make his major league debut this season, and second in three days.
Right-hander Raul Alcantara's turn in the spotlight turned quickly into a complete disaster in the series opener Monday. He hit three of the first eight batters he faced and lasted only three innings, allowing five runs on five hits in a 10-7 loss.
Cotton attended Tuesday's 3-2, come-from-behind win over the Angels even though he technically hadn't been placed on the active roster.
"This is awesome. I'm glad I'm here," he told reporters before the game. "I'm excited. Just have to go out there and pitch and have a good time with my teammates."
Cotton can only hope his big day turns out to be as special as fellow rookie Joey Wendle's was Tuesday.
Wendle recorded his first game-winning RBI, capping a three-run rally that produced the 3-2 win.
Wendle recorded his first major league hit, first major league RBI and first major league game-winning hit all within the first six days of the month.