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Game 112: A's at Orioles

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The Last-Place Tour continues as the last-place A's- fresh off a series victory over the last-place Royals- open up a three-game set with the last-place Orioles.

Isn't August baseball the most?

To say the least.

But the A's keep playing because the schedule tells them to, and we keep watching because we have nothing better to do are true fans. And last-place or not, there are some intriguing subplots to chew on:

- Will the A's continue their mastery over the O's? Eight straight times they've beaten up on their feathered friends, dating back to last season. This includes a three-game sweep back in June, when Oakland outscored Baltimore 21-5.

- Will Jeremy Guthrie get more outs than runs allowed? He failed to do as much on June 5 when the A's roughed him up for six runs in the first, and he was pulled having retired only two batters in what was the Stanford grad's shortest outing of his big-league career.

- Is the Gio Gonzalez we've seen lately the real Gio Gonzalez? Since Minnesota scored 11 runs off him on July 20 , the southpaw has surrendered a total of four runs in 18-2/3 frames, and it's come against some fairly formidable lineups: Boston, New York, and Texas.

- Will Bob Geren's club finally post a winning month? Too early to tell at 5-4, but one thing's for sure: these are not your first-half A's. Since falling to Tampa Bay one month ago today (which coincides with the team's last three-game losing streak), Oakland has gone a respectable 14-13, including eight wins in their last 13 games. And it's not like the schedule has been littered with pushovers; 19 of their 25 games have come against teams with serious playoff aspirations.

The lineups:


Lineup

Oakland Athletics @ Baltimore Orioles

08/10/09 4:05 PM PDT

Oakland Athletics Baltimore Orioles
Adam Kennedy - 3B Brian Roberts - 2B
Rajai Davis - CF Nolan Reimold - LF
Scott Hairston - LF Adam Jones - CF
Jack Cust - DH Nick Markakis - RF
Kurt Suzuki - C Ty Wigginton - 1B
Tommy Everidge - 1B Luke Scott - DH
Ryan Sweeney - RF Melvin Mora - 3B
Mark Ellis - 2B Matt Wieters - C
Cliff Pennington - SS Cesar Izturis - SS