May 13, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher A.J. Griffin (64) delivers a pitch against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A’s Go For Sweep Against Struggling Royals: Game Preview


After another one-run victory Saturday evening over the Kansas City Royals, the Oakland Athletics will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon with A.J. Griffin on the mound. Luis Mendoza will get the start for the Royals, and the right-hander is 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 2013.

Kansas City is 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position in the series, although they accumulated five hits in each of the first two games and had several opportunities early Saturday against Tommy Milone. Billy Butler hit an RBI single in the first, but in the second inning the Royals missed a golden opportunity to capitalize with the bases-loaded and no-outs, and Milone only allowed two hits through the next four innings before passing the baton to the stellar Oakland bullpen.

They’ll have to contend with Griffin Sunday, and the right-hander may finding his groove after going seven innings with eight strikeouts in his last start against the Texas Rangers. That’s a scary prospect for the A’s opposition, as the 25-year-old showed exactly what he’s capable of when he’s locked as he went 7-1 in his rookie campaign in 2012 and never really hit a rough patch.

On offense, Josh Donaldson has continued his fantastic start to the season with a 3-for-6 performance this series, including a solo home run Friday and a double yesterday. The third basemen is now hitting .323 with 26 RBI, 15 doubles and six home runs.

That production has been crucial for Oakland as big contributors like Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Moss have struggled as of late.  Over the A’s last 10 games, the two are a combined 9-for-70 at the plate, and manager Bob Melvin will need them to get going in order to have any sort of sustainable success this year.

Game time today is at 1:05 PST at O.Co Coliseum.

 

LINEUPS

Oakland Athletics (22-22)

1. C. Crisp DH

2. J. Lowrie SS

3. Y. Cespedes LF

4. B. Moss 1B

5. J. Donaldson 3B

6. S. Smith RF

7. C. Young CF

8. D. Norris C

9. E. Sogard 2B

 

Kansas City Royals (20-19)

1. D. Lough CF

2. A. Escobar SS

3. A. Gordon LF

4. B. Butler DH

5. E. Hosmer 1B

6. M. Moustakas 3B

7. J. Francoeur RF

8. G. Kottaras C

9. C. Getz 2B

 

Tags: Game Preview MLB Oakland Athletics