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Open Thread: Game 38 - A's at Rays

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There's something pure about weekday baseball. And there's something refreshing about knowing the A's have put up a crooked number, not just in a single inning (or game, mind you), but in terms of the consecutive wins column. It's a rarity this year, as the team, as you know, has more than its fair share of disappointments. Yesterday, too, could have been slotted in that disappointment column, had it not been for the otherworldly levitating leapitude of one Ryan Sweeney who snatched victory from the jaws of what looked like an inevitable late-innings collapse on the part of Oakland.

But baseball is one game at a time, one day at a time, or so the platitudes tell me, which leads to this afternoon's matchup, featuring two pitchers going in opposite directions. The A's will post southpaw Dallas Braden, with his 3-5 record (including three straight losses), against the Rays' Matt Garza, who is 3-0 in his last four decisions, sporting a 4-2 record. Braden, who surprised us all by recovering from his being nailed by a line drive in the first inning during his start on May 10th, leads the team not just in fortitude, but ERA, wins and innings pitched.

As you may have already heard, lefty reliever Craig Breslow, acquired from the Twins, has joined the A's on their roster. To make room, OF Aaron Cunningham is headed down to Sacramento. On the pre-game show, Geren intimated Nomar could rejoin the club tomorrow, at which point a pitcher would likely be sent down.

We'll bring you the purity of weekday baseball from the decidedly unpure Tropicana Field, starting at 1:08 Pacific.


Lineup

Oakland Athletics @ Tampa Bay Rays

05/21/09 1:08 PM PDT

Oakland Athletics Tampa Bay Rays
Orlando Cabrera - SS B.J. Upton - CF
Kurt Suzuki - C Carl Crawford - LF
Jack Cust - RF Evan Longoria - 3B
Matt Holliday - LF Carlos Pena - 1B
Jason Giambi - DH Jason Bartlett - SS
Adam Kennedy - 2B Willy Aybar - DH
Ryan Sweeney - CF Akinori Iwamura - 2B
Bobby Crosby - 1B Gabe Kapler - RF
Jack Hannahan - 3B Dioner Navarro - C