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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, June 20 (All times Eastern)

Boston Red Sox (34-39) at Oakland Athletics (45-28), 10:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Felix Doubront (2-4, 5.12) Oakland - Brad Mills (0-0, 0.00)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Brad Mills has not made a start in the major leagues in nearly two years.

The lefty, though, will get the call on Friday night for the Oakland Athletics and does so for the second contest of a four-game series with the offensively struggling Boston Red Sox.

Oakland acquired the 29-year-old Mills on Tuesday from the Milwaukee Brewers for cash considerations and he'll step in to replace Drew Pomeranz, who landed on the disabled list that same day because of a fracture to his non-pitching hand.

Jesse Chavez, originally scheduled to start tonight, has been pushed back to Saturday.

Mills has not made an appearance in the majors since a July 8, 2012 start with the Los Angeles Angels and went 4-2 with a 1.56 earned run average in 14 games and 12 starts with Triple-A Nashville this season.

Mills squares off against a Red Sox club that has been held to a pair of runs or fewer in six straight games, including last night's 4-2 series-opening loss.

Oakland's Scott Kazmir held Boston to just four hits over seven innings, the lone damage a two-run homer off the bat of Dustin Pedroia. Kazmir won his fourth straight decision and his 2.05 ERA trails only New York Yankees rookie Masahiro Tanaka for tops in the American League.

"(Kazmir) has done a very good job for us all year," said A's third baseman Josh Donaldson. "He throws strikes."

Yoenis Cespedes cranked his 14th home run of the season for Oakland, who have won six of eight overall and 16 of their past 21 at home.

Boston managed a three-game sweep at home of Minnesota to begin the week despite its struggling offense, but was not as lucky on Thursday.

Those continued issues prevented Jake Peavy from winning his first game since April 25. He gave up four runs -- three earned -- over 6 1/3 innings of work.

"I thought Jake battled," said Boston manager John Farrell. "He kept multiple runs off the board in a number of innings."

Farrell will hand the ball tonight to Felix Doubront, who makes his first start in a month in a return from a left shoulder strain. He'll slot in to replace Brandon Workman, who is in the midst of serving a suspension.

Doubront is 2-4 with a 5.12 ERA in nine starts this year and was solid over five no-hit innings on Sunday in his second minor league rehab start. The 26- year-old lefty struck out 10.

"His last start was much improved in terms of overall stuff," Farrell told Boston's website. "There was increased intensity, increased velocity, increased action to his pitches that are going to be required here, and he gets the ball (Friday)."

Doubront is 1-2 with an 8.56 ERA in three previous meetings with Oakland, charged with 13 runs over 13 2/3 innings.

Though the Red Sox took two of three at Fenway Park from the Athletics earlier this season, Oakland has won nine of the last 10 encounters at home in this series.

06/20 10:38:34 ET

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