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Game Thread #120: A's at Kansas City

Apparently he's happy and he knows it.
Apparently he's happy and he knows it.
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Two exciting teams fighting for best -- or at least a -- position in the post-season. The next best thing to October baseball is September baseball, and the next best thing to September baseball is mid-August baseball. Bring it on!

Today's matchup features two LHPs, Scott Kazmir and Jason Vargas. Kazmir has been bitten by the big inning two starts in a row, beaten by a 4-run 5th inning and then picking up a win despite a 5-run 7th. The 4-spot came courtesy of these Royals. Vargas can relate, as he tossed 4 perfect innings at Oakland only to watch the A's erupt for 8 runs in the 5th as they chased him.

The A's are, of course, coming off of a 20-hit attack in which Brandon Moss contributed 4 hits, Sam Fuld 3 hits, Josh Donaldson 2 HRs. Entering play Oakland is 3.5 up on the Angels, while Kansas City maintains a 1/2 game lead on the reeling Tigers in the AL Central.

Coco Crisp and Jed Lowrie return to the A's lineup, as do lefty-mashers Jonny Gomes and Nate Freiman:

Today's Lineups

Coco Crisp - CF Norichika Aoki - RF
Sam Fuld - LF Omar Infante - 2B
Josh Donaldson - 3B Salvador Perez - C
Jonny Gomes - DH Billy Butler - 1B
Derek Norris - C Alex Gordon - LF
Jed Lowrie - SS Josh Willingham - DH
Nate Freiman - 1B Lorenzo Cain - CF
Josh Reddick - RF Alcides Escobar - SS
Alberto Callaspo - 2B Christian Colon - 3B
Scott Kazmir - LHP Jason Vargas - LHP