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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, May 22nd (All times Eastern)

Oakland Athletics (30-16) at Tampa Bay Rays (19-28), 4:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Sonny Gray (5-1, 2.10) Tampa Bay - Alex Cobb (1-1, 1.89)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Right-hander Sonny Gray can stay red-hot on Thursday afternoon when the streaking Oakland Athletics visit Tropicana Field to wrap up a three-game series with the host Tampa Bay Rays.

Oakland enters the finale with a chance to match a 2014-best win streak of six games, while the Rays aim to avoid a sweep on home field and equaling their season-worst five-game skid.

The Athletics won their second straight against Tampa Bay in unusual fashion on Wednesday night, managing just a single hit while nonetheless securing a 3-2 victory.

Brandon Moss homered and Oakland's batters walked seven times and reached base on two Tampa Bay errors. Athletics starter Tommy Milone (2-3) surrendered two runs on five hits with three strikeouts across 5 2/3 innings to earn the win.

It was the first time since at least 1914 that Oakland won a game with just one hit.

"It's not the easiest way to win a baseball game," Moss said.

It was also the first time that the Rays lost throwing a one-hit game.

James Loney and Yunel Escobar both supplied two hits and an RBI for Tampa Bay.

Erik Bedard (2-2) tossed a sold 5 1/3 innings, giving up just one hit and three runs -- one earned -- in the loss.

Oakland has won 11 of 13 games and has outscored opponents, 39-10, while winning six straight games on the road. Its last seven-game streak away from home was in 2012 and it hasn't swept a three-game series at Tampa Bay since 1999.

Gray is 5-0 in his last six road starts with a stingy 1.42 earned run average. His last start outside of Oakland, which came Friday at Cleveland, ended in an 11-1 win after he allowed two hits in six innings and struck out nine.

In his last four starts anywhere, he's 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA.

He beat the Rays, 2-1, with 6 2/3 scoreless innings of work last August -- the only time he's faced Tampa Bay.

The Rays have been shut out twice in its four-game losing streak.

Returning to the mound for Tampa Bay is right-hander Alex Cobb, who returns from the disabled list after a prolonged battle with a strained oblique muscle.

His last start was back on April 12, when he allowed four hits in seven scoreless innings while defeating Cincinnati, 1-0.

Cobb has won his last two home starts against the Athletics while allowing three runs in 16 1/3 innings.

05/22 10:31:46 ET

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