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Athletics vs. Rays: Rich Harden Looks To Pitch Oakland To Four-Game Sweep

The Oakland Athletics wrap up their four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays with a rare four-game sweep. The A’s are riding a hot streak that has them leading Major League Baseball with a .321 team batting average since the All Star break.

Although they lost a three-game series to the New York Yankees, Oakland has otherwise been able to make a dent in their first half struggles. They are currently sitting ten games under .500 as the trade deadline fast approaches. A run at the division remains a bit of a longshot, but if the A’s could win out through the weekend, maybe they hold off on dealing their veterans? If they win Thursday, Friday and Saturday, they’d be seven games under .500. If they’re under 10 games out, maybe it’s worth rolling the dice with what they have.

Coco Crisp gets the day game off on Thursday and the A’s will move hot-hitting shortstop Cliff Pennington to the second spot in the lineup. Manager Bob Melvin continues to bounce Conor Jackson and David DeJesus between the five and six positions, but otherwise has settled in with most of his lineup.

Oakland Athletics
1. Jemile Weeks 2B
2. Cliff Pennington SS
3. Hideki Matsui DH
4. Josh Willingham LF
5. David DeJesus RF
6. Conor Jackson 1B
7. Ryan Sweeney CF
8. Kurt Suzuki C
9. Scott Sizemore 3B