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Game Thread #96: Oakland Athletics vs. Baltimore Orioles

Baseball is BACK!

Good evening! Happy Friday on this gorgeous summer night, and welcome to the second "half" of A's baseball! Technically, the season is more than half over (I know, I can't believe it either), and the A's--despite having the best record in baseball--are clinging to a 1.5 game lead over the team with the second-best record in baseball; the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who look to be on the verge of acquiring Huston Street.

It was an exciting All Star break for the green and gold; nearly a third of the team was hanging out in Minnesota with yours truly. Seeing Yoenis Cespedes repeat as Home Run Derby champ was a baseball highlight for sure, and the new stadium is gorgeous! I'll be back with a post next week with all of the in-person details, but tonight, the A's have a game to win.

Enter the Orioles.

The last time the A's and the Orioles hooked up was in the great bat-gate incident of 2014. Jeff Samardzija, who will be starting the game for the A's tonight, was not yet a member of the green and gold, but I'm sure he's in the loop. I fully expect nothing to happen in the game regarding the incident, except for a rousing chorus of boo's from the fans tonight, and I don't think anyone will really complain about that, Machado included. The A's lineup will take a crack at Chris Tillman tonight. Andy Parrino will be the chosen one at second base tonight, and we're going with a 3-catcher lineup, which is usually a good sign.

The A's need to keep winning on their quest to defend the AL West crown; the Angels will be facing off against Seattle tonight, another AL West team with something to play for.

Here are your lineups:

Today's Lineups

Nick Markakis - RF Coco Crisp - CF
Steve Pearce - LF John Jaso - DH
Adam Jones - CF Yoenis Cespedes - LF
Nelson Cruz - DH Brandon Moss - RF
Chris Davis - 1B Josh Donaldson - 3B
J.J. Hardy - SS Stephen Vogt - 1B
Manny Machado - 3B Jed Lowrie - SS
Caleb Joseph - C Derek Norris - C
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Andy Parrino - 2B