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Game #119: Oakland Athletics at Kansas City Royals

Who knew that a showdown between the first-place Oakland Athletics and the first-place Kansas City Royals would make for such compelling August baseball viewing? I mean, compelling if you squint really hard and remember the days when the A's offense beat everyone by ten on a nightly bases, and didn't consider themselves lucky to parlay three hits into two runs, which kept them in yesterday's game until nearly the bitter end. Jon Lester will be starting for the A's tonight, coming off the A's best start of the year. Let's do this.

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, and welcome to the pitcher's duel between your Jon Lester and their Jeremy Guthrie. Lester pitched a completed game, 3-hit shutout his last time out, and he'll look to continue his general awesomeness with his start today, as more likely than not, he'll have to pick back up the struggling offense. Here's his quote:

"We all know what [Yoenis] Cespedes did for this organization and how well he's liked," said Lester of the player Oakland dealt to acquire him from Boston. "Just coming over here, you don't want to screw that up. You want to make the trade look like it had a purpose and it was good. You don't want to come in halfway through the year after these guys have been battling their butts off to be in first place and screw that up."

I kind of love him. But don't worry, we love you. The offense? Not so much right now. The A's will mix it up a little bit today; Lowrie and his broken finger will be sitting, Fuld will be leading off, Jaso will be back in the second slot, and all three catchers will be in the game. Here's to hoping.

Here are the full lineups:

Today's Lineups

Sam Fuld - CF Norichika Aoki - RF
John Jaso - DH Omar Infante - 2B
Josh Donaldson - 3B Salvador Perez - C
Brandon Moss - LF Billy Butler - 1B
Derek Norris - C Alex Gordon - LF
Stephen Vogt - 1B Josh Willingham - DH
Josh Reddick - RF Mike Moustakas - 3B
Alberto Callaspo - 2B Lorenzo Cain - CF
Eric Sogard - SS Alcides Escobar - SS
Jon Lester - LHP Jeremy Guthrie - RHP