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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

  • Sun Bowl: Duke vs. Arizona State

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: Louisiana Tech at NC State

    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
3rd
NYR 1
CAR 0
 
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
Final
CLE 105
MEM 91
Final
MIA 100
BOS 84
Final
BRK 110
DET 105
Final
SAC 108
LAL 101
Final
ORL 88
PHI 96
Final
WAS 92
PHO 104
4th
MIN 87
IND 87
 
4th
OKC 97
NOP 99
 
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
Final
NICST 64
TROY 65
 
Final
BRAD 47
UCI 55
 
Final
UGA 65
SHU 47
Final
ALA 60
APP 59
Final
KSU 53
NDST 52
 
Final
WASU 82
SJST 53
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
Final
DET 1
COL 2
Final
EDM 5
DAL 6
 
3rd
BOS 2
BUF 3
 
3rd
NYR 1
CAR 0
 
3rd
CHI 2
TOR 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
Final
STL 27
NYG 37
Final
OAK 26
BUF 24
Final
DAL 42
IND 7
1st
ARI 0
SEA 0