Much of AN's front page staff and quite a few community members are headed east today, where the Stockton Ports are facing the High Desert Mavericks at 2:09pm. It's going to be 104 degrees at Banner Island Ballpark, so that's just fantastic.
Meanwhile, there's Major League Baseball going on as well, a Saturday matinee in Baltimore that will determine the series winner. Scott Kazmir is pitching for the A's, carrying a 6-2 record and 2.40 ERA into the start. He's being discussed more and more seriously about pitching for the American League in the All-Star Game; his performance to date would certainly warrant an appearance.
The Orioles are countering with Ubaldo Jimenez, the Ubaldo Jimenez of 2010 Colorado Rockies first-half, borderline messianic fervor, when it seemed like he truly couldn't be beat. Then the All-Star Break happened and he came back down to earth just a little bit. He had a very solid year for the Indians in 2013, though, posting a 13-9 record and 3.30 ERA, racking up more than a strikeout per inning.
Here are the lineups, with three (count 'em — three) Oakland "catchers" making an appearance (John Jaso DHing, Stephen Vogt in right field, and Derek Norris actually doing the catching):
|OAKLAND A'S||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|John Jaso - DH||Nick Markakis - RF|
|Nick Punto - SS||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Josh Donaldson - 3B||Adam Jones - CF|
|Brandon Moss - LF||Nelson Cruz - LF|
|Yoenis Cespedes - CF||Chris Davis - 1B|
|Stephen Vogt - RF||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Derek Norris - C||Steve Pearce - DH|
|A. Callaspo - 2B||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Kyle Blanks - 1B||Nick Hundley - C|
|Scott Kazmir - LHP||Ubaldo Jimenez - RHP|