A’s Go For Sweep Over Pirates: Game Preview

Jul 9, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Oakland Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss (37) rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run as Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes (left) reacts during the fourth inning at PNC Park. The Oakland Athletics won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After two contentious games that saw the visiting team win by a score of 2-1 in each contest, the Oakland Athletics will go for the sweep against the Pittsburgh Pirates today and try to maintain their perfect all-time record against the Bucs.

Tommy Milone will get the start for the A’s, and he’ll be hoping that it’s another low scoring affair similar to the first two games of the series. The left-hander has a 4.11 ERA on the season, but he’s developed a trend of giving up home runs, with the opposition going deep in 12 of his 18 starts. The 19 homers he’s allowed so far this year are quite the departure from last season, when he allowed 26 the entire year.

That’s not to say he’s not throwing the ball well. In his last start against Kansas City, Milone nearly threw his second complete game and first career shutout, going 8.1 innings with only two hits allowed going into the final frame. He’d end up getting charged with three earned runs as the Royals rallied in the ninth, but it was an impressive performance nonetheless as he struck out four and didn’t walk a batter in the win.

Francisco Liriano will be on the hill for Pittsburgh, and the southpaw is having a resurgent season with the Pirates after a disappointing 2012 campaign.

The seven-year veteran has an 8-3 record with a 2.20 ERA in 11 starts, and most recently against the Cubs he threw a complete game against the Cubs, allowing only four hits with seven strikeouts and two earned runs. He hasn’t lost since June 17 against the Reds, when he gave up two earned runs in six innings and got only one run of support from Pittsburgh’s offense.

Neither team has gotten much done in the way of run production over the course of the series. The Pirates had nine hits in the opener but didn’t put together a threatening rally until the later innings, and yesterday was a pitcher’s duel that saw the teams garner eight total hits, with a two-run homer by Brandon Moss being the difference.

Tonight’s game starts at 4:05 PST, and the A’s will travel back to Oakland on Wednesday before taking on the Boston Red Sox at home, the final series before the All-Star break.

 

LINEUPS

Oakland Athletics

1. C. Crisp CF

2. J. Lowrie SS

3. J. Donaldson 3B

4. Y. Cespedes LF

5. N. Freiman 1B

6. C. Young RF

7. D. Norris C

8. G. Green 2B

9. T. Milone P

 

Pittsburgh Pirates

1. S. Marte LF

2. J. Tabata RF

3. A. McCutchen CF

4. R. Martin C

5. P. Alvarez 3B

6. G. Sanchez 1B

7. J. Mercer 2B

8. C. Barmes SS

9. F. Liriano P

 

 

 

Topics: Game Preview, MLB, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates

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