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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, July 7th (All times Eastern)
Oakland Athletics (51-37) at Kansas City Royals (41-43), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - A.J. Griffin (6-6, 3.95) Kansas City - Luis Mendoza (2-4, 4.41)
(Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals will square off Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
Oakland survived a scare in the ninth inning to take a 6-3 win in Friday night's series opener, but it was Kansas City that came out on top with a 4-3 victory on Saturday.
Jarrod Dyson went 3-for-3 with an RBI infield single in the eighth inning that drove in the winning run for the Royals. The rest of the Kansas City lineup had just three hits total.
Aaron Crow pitched a scoreless eighth inning to get the win and Greg Holland locked up his 20th save by striking out the side in the ninth inning. The Royals have won three of their last four.
Josh Donaldson went 2-for-3 with a home run, his 15th, and a pair of RBI and Josh Reddick knocked in another run for Oakland. Ryan Cook gave up a pair of walks before Dyson's game-winning single to take the loss.
Oakland has split its last four decisions and is still a half-game ahead of Texas for the AL West lead.
With his sights set on a bounce-back performance on Sunday afternoon, A.J. Griffin will get the start for the Athletics.
In his last time out, Griffin struggled mightily as he was blasted for seven runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings against the Cubs. Fortunately for Griffin, the Athletics were still able to win the game, 8-7, as they improved to 9-8 in games Griffin starts. Griffin had pitched his first career shutout in the start before facing Chicago.
Griffin has split the 12 decisions he has factored in while making 17 starts. In that time he has amassed 109 1/3 innings of work while posting an ERA just under 4.00.
Griffin is in just his second season in the majors and of his 32 career starts, just one has come against the Royals. That start was earlier this season when the 25-year-old allowed three runs over six innings of work. The Athletics won the game but Griffin had to settle for a no-decision.
The Royals will send out their fifth starter, Luis Mendoza, to the mound in Sunday's series finale.
With a record of just 2-4 on the campaign, it might look like Mendoza has just been a spot starter for the Royals. However, other than a few missed starts, Mendoza has been a consistent force in the rotation with 14 starts on the year.
Mendoza, who owns a 4.41 ERA on the season, has pitched past the sixth inning just twice this season. His most recent start was the shortest he has had since May 1 as he lasted just four innings while surrendering four runs on six hits.
In his seven-year career, he has faced Oakland six times with three of those appearances being starts. In that time, Mendoza has gone 0-2 with an ERA of 3.31 in 16 1/3 innings pitched against Oakland.
Oakland is 4-1 against the Royals this season.
07/07 10:31:03 ET