(Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics shoot for their ninth straight win on
Friday when they open a three-game set against the Detroit Tigers in a rematch
of last year's American League Division Series at O.co Coliseum.
Of course, the Tigers won that series in a thrilling five-game set, but the
Athletics may hold the advantage on Friday, as they enter this series on the
heels of a perfect six-game road trip.
Oakland, which is off to its best start since 1992, improved to 8-2 on the
season on Thursday, as Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer and Yoenis Cespedes
added a solo blast to back eight stellar innings from A.J. Griffin to lead the
A's past the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 8-1.
Seth Smith had four of the club's 16 hits Thursday and knocked in a run, Jed
Lowrie went 2-for-5 with an RBI and Chris Young contributed a two-run double
behind Griffin (2-0), who limited the Angels to one run on five hits to pick
up the victory.
"We were looking for an outing like that to give our bullpen a rest," A's
manager Bob Melvin said. "This was probably our best game all around."
However, Oakland may run into some problems on Friday, as Bartolo Colon takes
the hill for the A's trying to beat Detroit for the first time since April 13,
2003. In fact he is 0-7 against them in that span with a 7.67 ERA in 12 games
Colon, though, returned from his performance-enhancing drugs suspension to
beat Houston on Saturday, as held the Astros to three runs and eight hits in
The 39-year-old hurler is 8-10 lifetime versus the Tigers with a 5.60 ERA in
25 games (24 starts).
Detroit will counter with righty Max Scherzer, who beat the New York Yankees
his first time out, but was not particularly sharp. Scherzer allowed four runs
and five hits in five innings of that one to get the win. He also fanned seven
batters and walked a pair.
Scherzer has faced the A's four times and is 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA.
Detroit enters this set on the heels of a series win against Toronto that
culminated with an 11-1 win on Thursday. Prince Fielder had two hits and four
RBI in the win, while Torii Hunter added two hits, three RBI and a pair of
runs scored for the Tigers, who have won four of their last six contests.
"We played the game well today, man," Hunter said. "For the conditions we had,
we ran the bases well, we had timely hitting, played good defense, pitching
was great today. For these kind of conditions, wet, cold, rainy, I was pretty
impressed. That was fun."
Doug Fister (2-0) struck out five and surrendered a run on eight hits and a
walk over eight innings in the win.
Detroit won four of its seven regular season matchups versus the A's last
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