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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, July 18 (All times eastern)

Baltimore Orioles (52-42) at Oakland Athletics (59-36), 10:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Chris Tillman (7-5, 4.11) Oakland - Jeff Samardzija (3-8, 2.78)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Orioles and the Oakland Athletics have both earned contender status in the American League, and they'll begin the second half of the season against one another in the opener of a three-game set Friday night at O.co Coliseum.

Oakland (59-36) made it to the All-Star break with the best record in the majors, while Baltimore (52-42) finds itself with a four-game lead atop the American League East.

The Orioles have won 10 of their last 13 and entered the break in first place for the first time since 1997. Most recently, they took two of three from the division-rival Yankees.

"We have a goal of going out and winning the division this year," Chris Davis said. "We wanted to kind of control our own destiny. We're definitely in the driver's seat right now and hopefully we can keep it going."

This marks the beginning of a 10-game road swing for the Orioles, who will also face the Angels and Mariners during the trip.

Oakland set a franchise record with 59 victories before the All-Star break. The team sent six players to this week's All-Star game, not including newly acquired starter Jeff Samardzija, who was selected to represent the NL before being traded from the Chicago Cubs to Oakland on July 5. Yoenis Cespedes defended his Home Run Derby title, joining Ken Griffey Jr. as the only players ever to do so.

The A's have won six straight and 11 of their last 12 at home.

Samardzija gets the start for Oakland in Friday's series opener. He is 1-1 with a 2.40 ERA in two starts for his new team. He went the distance at Seattle last Friday but ultimately was out-dueled by Felix Hernandez. Samardzija took the loss as he allowed three runs on five hits to go along with five strikeouts.

Orioles starter Chris Tillman has posted a 2.47 ERA over his last seven starts but has earned only two wins in that span due to spotty run support. He has posted a quality start in six of his last seven outings, although he took a loss against the Yankees his last time out after giving up three runs over 6 2/3 innings.

"I think (I'm) getting better," Tillman said. "I had a rough start, but it's not how you start; it's how you finish. I think we are only getting better as a pitching staff. It's been fun to show up every day and watch these guys go to work, so I'm happy with the fact that it's getting better."

There is some bad blood between these two teams stemming from a pair of bench- clearing incidents earlier this season. Both incidents were sparked by Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, which earned him a five-game suspension. Oakland took two of three at Baltimore from June 6-8.

07/18 10:44:37 ET

TV
  • NCAAT: Louisville v. Michigan State

    Today at 2:20 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Duke v. Gonzaga

    Tonight at 5:05 on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 115
ATL 100
Final
CAR 3
NJD 1
5:00pm Tonight
CAR
BOS
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUKE
GONZ
 
Final
NYY 2
BAL 10
Final
TAM 6
BOS 9
Final
MIA 1
HOU 1
Final
MIN 7
PHI 1
Final
DET 4
STL 3
Final
PIT 8
TOR 3
Final
TOR 3
ATL 5
Final
NYM 10
WAS 2
Final
CIN 9
CHC 5
Final
MIL 2
CLE 3
Final
CHC 18
COL 4
Final
CWS 4
OAK 10
Final
TEX 2
SDP 3
Final
SEA 8
SFG 9
Final
ARI 5
KAN 10
Final
ANA 4
LOS 5
1:05pm Today
PHI
DET
 
1:05pm Today
WAS
MIA
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:05pm Today
STL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
HOU
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
ATL
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
TAM
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
BAL
 
3:10pm Today
ANA
CIN
 
4:05pm Today
KAN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
CLE
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
LOS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
MIL
 
4:05pm Today
SDP
SEA
 
4:05pm Today
LOS
TEX
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
Final
CHA 115
ATL 100
Final
CHI 111
NYK 80
Final
MIL 95
GSW 108
Final
UTA 94
OKC 89
Final
POR 120
DEN 114
12:30pm Today
WAS
HOU
 
3:30pm Today
BRK
LAL
 
4:00pm Today
NOP
MIN
 
4:30pm Today
CLE
PHI
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
DET
 
6:00pm Tonight
BOS
LAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
SAN
MEM
 
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
OKC
 
Final
WISC 85
ARZ 78
Final
YALE 78
CAN 73
Final
KENT 68
ND 66
2:20pm Today
LOU
MSU
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUKE
GONZ
 
Final
WAS 3
NAS 4
Final
NYI 2
ANA 3
Final
PIT 3
ARI 2
Final
BOS 4
NYR 2
Final
PHI 2
SJS 3
Final
DET 4
TAM 0
Final
MON 3
FLA 2
Final
CAR 3
NJD 1
Final
TOR 4
OTT 3
Final
STL 2
CLB 4
Final
MIN 4
LOS 1
Final
COL 5
BUF 3
Final
VAN 3
DAL 4
3:00pm Today
NYR
WAS
5:00pm Tonight
CAR
BOS
 
5:00pm Tonight
NAS
CAL
 
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
DET
 
5:00pm Tonight
OTT
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
WIN
CHI
 
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
SJS