Don't look now but with a win tonight the A's would be all of 6 games out in the AL West, after the Rangers scored 6 runs behind Cliff Lee and lost (8-6). Texas has had the August swoon needed to give the A's their shot, but Oakland's 1-5 road trip stopped the A's from really gaining some appreciable ground.
Back home, though, the A's are 2-0 on their current homestand despite facing the major leagues' -- and the AL East's -- second best team. Tonight features a matchup of two of the league's toughest lefties: David Price and Brett Anderson. A's starters have gone at least 6 innings in 19 consecutive starts, which hasn't happened since the 1980 team that had careful pitch limits of 187 with a strict 14-inning limit. (Except the last day of the season, of course, when Rick Langford went 15.)
Banished to the bench for his naughty game-winning hits and stellar web gems is Cliff Pennington, while batting 7th as pennance for failing to maintain a .400 OBP is Jack ".399 OBP" Cust.
Tampa Bay Rays @ Oakland Athletics
08/21/10 6:05 PM PDT
|Tampa Bay Rays||Oakland Athletics|
|B.J. Upton - CF||Coco Crisp - CF|
|Jason Bartlett - SS||Daric Barton - 1B|
|Carl Crawford - LF||Kurt Suzuki - C|
|Evan Longoria - 3B||Kevin Kouzmanoff - 3B|
|Carlos Pena - 1B||Mark Ellis - 2B|
|Ben Zobrist - RF||Rajai Davis - LF|
|Willy Aybar - DH||Jack Cust - DH|
|Sean Rodriguez - 2B||Steven Tolleson - SS|
|Kelly Shoppach - C||Travis Buck - RF|