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Game Thread #127: Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels

Well, here it is. The one for all the marbles. Expect loud, full crowds for this weekend showdown between the top two teams of the American League, both in the West. The Angels have been on fire, overcoming a 4-game deficit and creating their largest lead yet; a two game margin over your A's. The A's have been in free-fall for most of the month, and if they ever were to rebound, it should be now, in a three-game series with the team that is standing in the way of their third straight crown.

Jamie Squire

Good evening, Happy Friday, and welcome to your American League showdown! The Coliseum is rocking, the crowds have arrived, and everyone is hoping against hope that the A's show up tonight. If you look at the A's schedule, you'll see a three-game series next week against the Astros, but no one will notice or remember that break. All you need to know is that the A's play the Angels three times at home and four times on the road in the next 10 days, and it's not a stretch to say that this right here is the playoff run for the A's, who are in search of their third straight Division championship. The A's have played four months of incredible, magical baseball, but the past few weeks, they have been in a dead slump. Something needs to happen to turn things around on a dime; to give the momentum to the A's and not the Angels.

I was hoping for the A+ lineup tonight, and I'm going to be honest. I hate this lineup. The A's are up against Hector Santiago, and left-handers be damned; I can't see this lineup without Moss, Reddick or Vogt. And yet, look at the lineup. Freiman? Callaspo? Fuld? Parrino? The bottom of the lineup will be fun, but we welcome back Craig Gentry to the team. Maybe some fresh blood will get the A's back in gear.

Sonny Gray, who has struggled along with his team this month, will try to turn things around as we head into the final stretch of the season. He'll be taking the mound, and the A's are looking for aces tonight. Join in wherever you are...LET'S GO OAK-LAND!

Here are your lineups:

Today's Lineups

Kole Calhoun - RF Coco Crisp - CF
Mike Trout - CF Craig Gentry - LF
Albert Pujols - 1B Josh Donaldson - 3B
Josh Hamilton - LF Derek Norris - C
Howie Kendrick - 2B Jonny Gomes - DH
Erick Aybar - SS Nate Freiman - 1B
David Freese - 3B Alberto Callaspo - 2B
Efren Navarro - DH Sam Fuld - RF
Hank Conger - C Andy Parrino - SS