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Game Thread #67: A's vs. Yankees

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"I'm ba-a-a-ack!!!!"
"I'm ba-a-a-ack!!!!"
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

And a happy Friday the 13th to you! With a day-and-a-half at home to rest, relax, and rejuvenate, the A's hope to shed some hitting slumps as they open a 3-game series, and 10-game homestand, against the New York Yankees.

Among the A's hitters hope to bust out of recent slumps, Jed Lowrie is 1 for his last 23, Brandon Moss has struck out in 14 of his last 24 at bats, and even John Jaso has recently tried to fit in by going 0 for his last 14. And I feel like I'm forgetting someone else... (see "fun fact" below)

The A's enter play 3½ games up on the Angels, thanks to their ability to salvage the final game of the series by beating up on Jered Weaver for the second time in just over a week. Meanwhile, the Yankees are coming off of their first 3-game series sweep of the season, a sweep of Seattle that has gotten the Yankees to ... 3 games over .500.

Tonight's matchup is Sonny Gray vs. David Phelps. In his career, Phelps (1-4, 4.88 ERA) has pitched 5 IP against Oakland and allowed just 1 hit and 0 ER, all in relief. Gray (6-2, 2.83 ERA) has never faced the Yankees.

Today's "fun fact": Entering play tonight, since the game on June 6th featuring the controversial tag Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado combined to go 1/41 at the plate. You can't make this stuff up.

Tonight's starting lineups aren't especially typical for the A's against a RHP. Partly this is because Oakland is still without Josh Reddick and partly it is because Alberto Callaspo is on paternity leave for this series. In any event, the 7-8-9 is comprised of players who often sit against RHP: Derek Norris, Nick Punto, and Kyle Blanks. The lineups:

Today's Lineups

NEW YORK YANKEES OAKLAND A'S
Brett Gardner - LF Coco Crisp - CF
Derek Jeter - SS John Jaso - DH
Jacoby Ellsbury - CF Josh Donaldson - 3B
Mark Teixeira - 1B Brandon Moss - RF
Brian McCann - C Yoenis Cespedes - LF
Carlos Beltran - DH Jed Lowrie - SS
Ichiro Suzuki - RF Derek Norris - C
Brian Roberts - 2B Nick Punto - 2B
Kelly Johnson - 3B Kyle Blanks - 1B