Game Thread #112: A's at Reds

Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

Two great American ballclubs, the Red and the Athletics, kick off a two-game series at the greatest American ballpark: the Great American Ballpark.

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After briefly enjoying a six-game lead in the American League West, the A's are now treading on increasingly thin ice. Oakland leads Texas by a measly two games after dropping two out of three games to the Rangers over the weekend.

Similarly, Cincinnati is in a bit of a funk, sitting 6.5 games behind first-place Pittsburgh and 2 behind the Cardinals. They've dropped 7 of their last 10.

Dan Straily (6-5, 4.41 ERA) will have to deal with a hitter-friendly park tonight, and with a formidable opponent as well. Cincinnati's Mat Latos is 10-3 on the year with a 3.37 ERA, and given the way the A's offense has been scuffling since the All-Star Break, that's definitely a point of concern for tonight's game.

Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Donaldson would normally be the A's only right-handed batters in the lineup against a righty hurler, but tonight Oakland is playing in a National League park, so Dan Straily will get the chance to take his hacks from the 9th spot in the batting order.

Seth Smith would also normally be in the lineup, but with the lack of the DH slot, Straily is taking his place. John Jaso is also still on the 7-day concussion list, so Stephen Vogt continues to get his starts at catcher against right-handed pitching.

Lineups:

First pitch is at 4:10pm Pacific.

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