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:
|OAKLAND A'S||KANSAS CITY ROYALS|
|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|