The Oakland Athletics meet the Arizona Diamondbacks Sunday afternoon looking to secure a series victory in their interleague play finale. Oakland will send out its newly minted All Star Game pitcher Gio Gonzalez to face Ian Kennedy who will battle for a spot in the Final Vote. Even before the announcements this matchup had the makings of the best one this weekend. Gonzalez is 7-5 with a 2.38 ERA while Kennedy is 8-2 with a 3.01 ERA.
The A’s put together a starting lineup that once again features Chris Carter hitting fifth. Josh Willingham is eligible to come off the DL on Sunday but will not as the Achilles injury continues to bother him. There is no specific timetable for his return. That gives Chris Carter a chance to show something to the team and convince them to keep him with the big club even when Willingham returns. Carter is 3-for-12 in three starts and a pinch-hit appearance. He is coming off a two-hit game on Saturday and will look to build on it over the coming days.
The A’s will once again go with Scott Sizemore in the two-spot where he was 2-for-4 on Saturday. Sizemore and Jemile Weeks have the two highest batting averages on the A’s and will look to continue their solid performances at the top of the lineup. Once Willingham does return it will be interesting to see how the A’s mix up the lineup. Weeks is hitting the ball well lately at the top of the order but his numbers at the bottom were pretty filthy as he was hitting .406 in the nine spot. He’s hitting .259 at the top of the order but he’s 10 for his last 31 in the leadoff spot (.322) so maybe he’s turning it around up there.