The A's and Angels have been hit hard by injuries early in the season, but the clubs are moving in opposite directions.
The A's learned Wednesday that second baseman Scott Sizemore will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, the same injury that forced him to miss the entire 2012 campaign. Gold Glove outfielder Josh Reddick has missed the past two games with a sprained right wrist.
The Angels placed ace Jered Weaver on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday with a fracture in his left elbow. Erick Aybar could join Weaver on the DL if the shortstop's ailing left heel does not improve. He missed Wednesday's game.
Unlike the Angels, though, Oakland has not been slowed by injuries. The A's have won seven in a row and will look to complete a three-game sweep of the Angels on Thursday in Anaheim.
Reddick could return to the lineup for the series finale. He took 40 swings off a tee before Wednesday's 11-5 win, and said he felt no pain in his wrist. Reddick will take batting practice on Thursday and could play for the first time since he suffered the injury in Houston on Sunday, when he crashed into the outfield wall.
"I thought it was going to be a lot worse than what I went through," Reddick said. "To be at this stage, just a few days after it happened, I'm quite happy. I don't think it'll be taking much longer."
The Angels have dropped three straight games and six of their past seven. They have the worst record in the American League.
But are injuries to blame for the Angels' slow start?
"We're all professionals, we've all dealt with injuries before," said catcher Chris Iannetta. "When someone goes down we have to help each other out. We're a team. We've got to play like a team. There's things that are character builders, they make you better in the long run. But as a team we have to fill in the gaps when some guys aren't able to play."
More than injuries, the Angels have been hurt by an inability to drive in runs. The Angels left 13 men on base in Wednesday's loss and went 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position. In eight games, they are hitting .120 with runners in scoring position (9-for-75), last in the Majors.
"For the most part we haven't hit our stride in that department," said manager Mike Scioscia.
Athletics: Griffin well rested for start
• Right-hander A.J. Griffin gets the ball in the series finale, six days after making his season debut. Griffin beat Seattle in that outing, going six innings and allowing two runs on seven hits with three strikeouts against two walks.
Griffin was successful last season when pitching on at least six days' rest, going 3-0 with a 2.88 ERA in four starts.
The second-year pro made one start against the Angels last year, tossing eight shutout innings on Sept. 12 in Anaheim to earn his sixth career victory.
• Second baseman Andy Parrino could draw his first start with the A's on Thursday. The switch-hitter was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday to take Sizemore's spot on the roster and entered Wednesday's game as a defensive replacement at shortstop in the eighth inning. He could get more playing time with left-hander Jason Vargas scheduled to start for the Angels.
"It's great to have the opportunity," Parrino said. "It's a great honor and privilege, and hopefully I can jump right in there and help the team any way possible."
Angels: Vargas looks to build on strong outing
Vargas will take the mound against the A's after an encouraging season debut against the Rangers on Friday, when he allowed one run on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
In 15 career appearances against Oakland, including 13 starts, Vargas is 5-5 with a 3.13 ERA. The left-hander has pitched well in Angel Stadium, compiling a 3-1 record and 2.27 ERA in seven career appearances. Thursday will be his first home start in Anaheim.
Vargas will pitch on five days' rest. He's 20-20 during his career with that amount of time off, compared to 17-21 when pitching on the normal four days' rest.
• Oakland outfielder Coco Crisp is 12-for-33 (.364) in his career against Vargas, with one home run, two doubles and three RBIs.
• The Angels were 3-6 in their first nine games of 2012, but finished the season 89-73.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.