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|7:05 PM PT8:05 PM MT9:05 PM CT10:05 PM ET22:05 ET2:05 GMT10:05 7:05 PM MST9:05 PM EST9:35 PM VEN6:05 UAE (+1)9:05 PM CT, August 3, 2018
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California Attendance: 14,766
Upwardly mobile A's open series against Tigers
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics will attempt to continue their climb up the standings when they open a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
Two 30-something left-handers -- Oakland's Brett Anderson (2-3, 5.55 ERA) and Detroit's Blaine Hardy (4-3, 3.61) -- will get the series rolling.
The A's enter the series having won 30 of their last 40 games, which has allowed them to rally from fourth place in the American League West, 11 games behind second-place Seattle, into a virtual tie with the Mariners for the second AL wild-card spot at the end of play Wednesday.
The A's had Thursday off after a three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays to open an eight-game homestand.
The A's not only took Toronto three in a row but also completed a 7-0 season-series whitewashing of the Blue Jays by a total score of 51-18.
It was just the third season series sweep of seven or more games in franchise history.
The impressive part of the three straight wins in Oakland, according to manager Bob Melvin, was that they immediately followed three consecutive losses in Colorado.
"I don't want to say it was important, but when you're playing as well as we were playing and you get three in a row handed to you, it humbles you a bit," he said. "To get home here and win three games works really well."
The A's won four straight at Detroit in June, and will be going after a second consecutive season series sweep the next three days.
The A's don't expect the Tigers, coming off a sweep of their own in a two-game series against Cincinnati, to be a pushover.
Detroit leads the majors in batting average against left-handed starting pitchers (.274).
Anderson has made only one home start this season, and it was a disaster. He was shelled for 10 hits and nine runs (seven earned) in three innings of a 16-2 loss to Houston on May 7.
He's 3-3 lifetime against the Tigers with a 5.46 ERA in seven games, including six starts. The 30-year-old won his last start against Detroit, 5-4 for Toronto last September.
The A's will send their hot hitters up against Hardy, who has faced Oakland 11 times in his career but just once as a starter.
That start took place on June 26 in Detroit, when the 31-year-old was roughed up for six hits and six runs (three earned) in four innings of a 9-7 loss.
Hardy did not get a decision in that game, and will take a 1-0 record and 3.14 career ERA to the mound Friday against the A's.
Jed Lowrie had a homer for the A's against Hardy in the earlier meeting. Coincidentally, the club's lone All-Star was not among the team's big hitters in a 17-8 run through the month of July.
Khris Davis was a candidate for AL Player of the Month in July with a .323 average, nine home runs and 29 RBIs. Nick Martini (.394) and Matt Chapman (.322) also hit above .300.
Updated August 2, 2018
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