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Game Thread #76: Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals

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Riding high on a 5-game winning streak, the A's welcome in the Kansas City Royals to the Coliseum tonight, as the A's look to complete a turn-around of their 2015 season. We didn't get to 14 games under .500 in a single day, and we won't climb out of it in a single day either. All I know is that on June 9th, the A's were 14 games back, and now they're 7. They are moving in the right direction, and nothing would be a better sign than a well-played series here at home.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a week makes, am I right? My recap on Friday night was the lowest of the season, as the A's lost the opener to the Angels by blowing a huge lead in the late innings. Yes, the A's could be on a six-game win streak, but we'll have to settle for five in a row, and try to pick up the sixth tonight. I apologize to the crowd who stayed for last week's fireworks show, and I hope you can make it to the game tonight, where hopefully the fireworks will be on the field only, in the form of A's hits and runs.

As you can probably guess, I'm deliberately ignoring any other story lines involving the A's and the Royals. I don't care about the Royals. What I care about is that the A's have a real challenge for this weekend after playing the AL West for so long. I think the A's can compete in their own division, but I'm ready to see how they play against winning teams. A winning series this weekend could go a long way in convincing A's fans that it's not too late to turn the season around and compete in the wide-open AL West.

The hot-tossing Jesse Hahn will take the mound for the A's as the A's hitters face off against Edinson Volquez in tonight's contest. I can't even with the lineup. If Billy Burns needed a day off, it might have made sense for him to take it yesterday afternoon in Texas. He's being replaced by Eric Sogard, leading off tonight against the Royals. That's not a typo.

Here are the rest of the lineups:

Today's Lineups

Alcides Escobar - SS Eric Sogard - 2B
Mike Moustakas - 3B Brett Lawrie - 3B
Lorenzo Cain - CF Stephen Vogt - C
Eric Hosmer - 1B Ben Zobrist - LF
Kendrys Morales - DH Josh Reddick - RF
Alex Gordon - LF Billy Butler - DH
Salvador Perez - C Ike Davis - 1B
Alex Rios - RF Marcus Semien - SS
Omar Infante - 2B Sam Fuld - CF
Edinson Volquez - RHP Jesse Hahn - RHP