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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, July 27 (All times eastern)

Oakland Athletics (64-39) at Texas Rangers (41-63), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Scott Kazmir (11-3, 2.32) Texas - Miles Mikolas (1-2, 7.48)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The best team in baseball tries to put some more distance between itself and the rest of the American League West on Sunday, as the Oakland Athletics seek to close out a three-game set against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on a positive note.

Oakland, which owns the largest run differential (plus-164) in the majors, has won three of the last four outings and is 25 games over .500, yet the squad is a mere two games ahead of the Anaheim Angels in the division standings.

On Saturday night the A's employed the long ball in order to capture the 5-1 win over the Rangers, utilizing four home runs in their assault. Josh Reddick, Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes each had solo home runs, while John Jaso connected on a two-run shot in the sixth inning to kick the Oakland offense into gear.

As a group, the A's now have 109 home runs through 103 games, tying them for third in the American League heading into play on Sunday.

"Home runs are a part of our game," said manager Bob Melvin, "so you just have to stay with it at times when you go into some droughts a few innings in a row and know that one swing can get you going."

Starting pitcher Sonny Gray continued to shine for the A's in just his second season, permitting just a single run on seven hits and four walks, while striking out five over 6 2/3 innings. Gray, who is now 12-3 on the campaign, lowered his ERA to 2.65.

Not so fortunate was Texas starter Nick Tepesch who, after looking great for five innings, not only lost his edge but also had to exit early due to soreness in his left knee.

"I just felt a little discomfort in the knee," Tepesch said. "It got me on my last pitch. When my front leg landed, I felt it a little bit. I had never felt anything like that before."

Tepesch gave up three runs on just four hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out a pair as well.

The Texas lineup put up seven hits and five walks, yet only Jim Adduci managed to cross the plate in the bottom of the fourth.

Having already exceeded his entire win total from last season, when he finished 10-9 for the Cleveland Indians, Scott Kazmir gears up for his next trip to the mound tonight versus the Rangers.

A native of Texas himself, Kazmir has won his last two decisions but saw a strong performance in his most recent outing fail to be rewarded. Against Houston earlier this week, the left-hander allowed just two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits and a walk, while striking out six through seven innings.

In a career that began in Tampa Bay and dates back a decade, Kazmir has a record of 7-4 with a 3.22 ERA in 15 all-time appearances versus Texas.

Originally scheduled to make the start for the Rangers on Saturday, Miles Mikolas is ready to take his turn this evening instead. The right-hander, who is getting his first-ever look at the A's even though he played his first two major league seasons with San Diego, is coming off his first win of the campaign on Monday versus the New York Yankees.

Mikolas made it through 7 1/3 innings in the Bronx, permitting two runs on four hits and a couple walks, while striking out three as he lowered his ERA from 10.05 to 7.48.

07/27 10:26:04 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