After slugging their way to an 8-5 win in the opener, the Oakland Athletics will try to make it two-straight wins over the Chicago White Sox when they continue a four-game series Friday. Zach Neal will make his first start of the season for Oakland Friday while the White Sox will go with tough righty Dylan Cease.
The A’s will turn to Neal as they try to cobble together a rotation after recent injuries to Luis Medina and Freddy Tarnok. Neal has made seven appearances at the major league level for Oakland and has struggled allowing 19 hits and 11 earned runs in just 12 innings. He did make nine starts at Triple A Las Vegas, but his longest outing this season at the major league level is 3 1/3 innings. So, the bullpen is likely to put in quite a bit of work in Friday’s game.
It has been an up and down second half for Cease who has a 6.75 ERA through four starts in August. Twelve of the 14 runs he has allowed this month came over the course 6 1/3 innings in starts against the Rangers and Rockies on the road. He’s been much better at home where he has a 3.79 ERA and a 3.89 FIP in 73 2/3 innings.
The A’s slugged five homers in Monday’s win, including two by Shea Langeliers and another by Zack Gelof. Gelof’s homer was his 10th of the season in just his 35th game, making him the fastest player in team history to reach double figure homers. Mark McGwire needed 41 games to reach 10 home runs in 1987.
Langeliers’ two homers gave him 15 for the season and four in his last four games. He is second on the team in homers behind Brent Rooker, who hit his 22nd of the season in Thursday’s win. Despite playing in just 35 games, Gelof is tied for fifth on the team in homers trailing only Rooker and Langeliers along with Seth Brown and Ryan Noda, who both have 11.
Game Date/Time: Friday, August 25, 4:10 p.m. PDT
Location: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois
Radio: A’s Cast, Bloomberg 960 AM / 103.7 HD2