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Athletics vs. Phillies: Oakland Looks To Get Back On Track At NL East Leader

The Oakland Athletics head down the road from New York to open up a three game interleague series on Friday with the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The A's lost their last series in New York after dropping the final two games in tough fashion. Oakland currently sits in last place in the AL West eight games under .500. The All Star Break is two and a half weeks away and the a winning series in Philadelphia could provide some much-needed momentum heading into the Break.

The A's will send out Guillermo Moscoso, Trevor Cahill, and Josh Outman to face Vance Worley, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay. The A's pitchers have incredibly limited experience against the Phillies (just a handful of batters faced), so it could make for some interesting pitchers' duels, particularly given the A's own offensive struggles.

The A's will likely send out Hideki Matsui for at least a couple starts in left field. He showed that he still had some decent range and a solid glove against the Mets, which makes it easier to keep him in the lineup in National League parks. Oakland now has to decide how to handle first and third base in the coming days. Mark Ellis made his first career start at first base and will be moving around the infield in a utility role for the foreseeable future.

Scott Sizemore continues to hit the ball well, while Jemile Weeks brings much needed energy to the A's lineup. The optimal lineup right now includes Conor Jackson at first base but the team is looking for ways to fit Ellis into the lineup for now. We'll see how long that lasts and whether his bat returns in any form.

Current Series

3 game series vs Phillies @ Citizens Bank Park

Oakland Athletics
@ Philadelphia Phillies

Friday, Jun 24, 2011, 4:05 PM PDT
Citizens Bank Park

Guillermo Moscoso vs Vance Worley

Mostly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing out to right field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around .

Complete Coverage >

Sat 06/25 - Trevor Cahill vs. Cole Hamels 4:05 PM PDT
Sun 06/26 - Josh Outman vs. Roy Halladay 10:35 AM PDT