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GameThread: Athletics (37-40) @ Orioles (23-52), 7:05 PM

This week's series between the O's and the Oakland Athletics marks the third and final time the teams will meet this season. They first faced off in Oakland for the Orioles' fourth series of the year. Going into it the Orioles were 1-9, but we weren't yet wondering if they might end up the worst team in baseball history. The A's, on the other hand, were 7-4, in first place in the AL West, and ready to embarrass the team. And embarrass they did, taking three of four, with only a win in the series finale saving the Orioles from losing their 10th consecutive game. The winning pitcher in that game was tonight's starter, Brian Matusz. Matusz struck out 8 batters in 6.1 innings that day and out-dueled Oakland's young stud, Brett Anderson (who has sadly been sidelined with an elbow injury).

On 25 May the Athletics made their first appearance at Camden Yards to play three games against the 15-31 Orioles. The A's sat in second place with a 23-23 record. Again the A's took the series, losing the first game 5-1 but winning the next two. The losing pitcher in game two of the series was Matusz, who gave up 6 earned runs in just five innings, marking his second consecutive poor start. Let's hope that's not a pattern as Matusz was roughed up six days ago by the Marlins.

Today the A's are 37-40 and in third place, 10 games behind the first place Texas Rangers. Like the Orioles, they just swept their last interleague opponent (the Pittsburgh Pirates). Lefty Dallas "don't cross my mound" Braden was scheduled to start tonight, but has been scratched with a stiff left elbow. Instead the Orioles will face Vin Mazzaro. Jake Fox was originally scheduled to DH but was removed upon the announcement (thanks to Brittany Ghiroli for the update).

2010 - Vin Mazzaro 2-2 4.71 1.57 22 14

2010 - Brian Matusz 2-8 4.95 1.45 68 30


Athletics: Coco Crisp LF, Daric Barton 1B, Conor Jackson LF, Kurt Suzuki C, Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B, Adam Rosales2B, Mark Ellis DH, Rajai Davis RF, Cliff Pennington SS

Orioles: Corey Patterson LF, Miguel Tejada 3B, Nick Markakis RF, Ty Wigginton 1B, Luke Scott DH, Adam JonesCF, Craig Tatum C, Julio Lugo 2B, Cesar Izturis SS.

I guess with Matt Wieters hitting so well of late the last thing we want to do is DH him tonight. It's not like they were off (and not traveling) yesterday or anything.