The A's and the suddenly fantastic Esteban Loaiza with a 7-7 record and a 5.12 ERA take on the Red Sox and Kason Gabbard with an 0-2 record and a 3.38 ERA.
Many will say that the A's lucked out by missing Lester...but the truth is that the A's seem to struggle against the unknown. And Gabbard will be the unknown. Although he is a left-handed pitcher, so the A's are likely using the same lineup that they would've used against Lester:
Chavez is the only left-handed bat that Gabbard will face. The A's hopefully put on a Lilly-like clinic handling the Red Sox starter rather than treating him more like he's Scott Kazmir. The A's will likely need a win tonight to stay 5.5 up on LAAAAAA with the Angels getting the Mariners tonight.
The Red Sox send out this starting lineup:
Carlos Pena makes a return to the Coliseum and the A's miss Manny Ramirez for the first game. Don't underestimate them though...the Sox can still put up runs in bunches with Ortiz smack dab in the middle of that lineup. We'll find out if Loaiza is really going to finish off one of the best pitching months of August by one pitcher the A's have ever had. With another good night tonight, he could be firmly entrenched in Oakland history right behind Cory Lidle's amazing August 2002.
LET'S GO A'S!!!!!!!