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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 24th (All times eastern)

Oakland Athletics (13-8) at Boston Red Sox (13-7), 4:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Brett Anderson (1-3, 5.95) Boston - Jon Lester (3-0, 1.73)

(Sports Network) - Weather permitting, the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox are set for the rubber match of their three-game series Wednesday afternoon at Fenway Park.

Boston won Monday's series opener, 9-6, behind a grand slam by Mike Napoli. But Oakland returned the favor with a 13-0 rain-shortened victory on Tuesday night. Bartolo Colon was masterful in that contest, as he allowed just three hits in seven innings before inclement weather brought the game to a close before the eighth. Colon threw 67 of his 94 pitches for strikes and finished with seven strikeouts.

Seth Smith headlined Oakland's offense with a home run and three RBI, although it was a true team effort. All of the A's starters reached base, and all but one scored.

While Colon was cruising along despite slippery weather conditions, Red Sox starter Alfredo Aceves had a night to forget. Aceves got the hook after just 3 1/3 innings as he allowed seven earned runs to cross the plate. Six of those runs came in the third inning alone. Aceves also issued four walks and was called for two balks.

Brett Anderson gets the start for the A's, who are finishing up a six-game East Coast road trip that has produced just one victory thus far. The left- hander lasted only one inning against Tampa Bay on Friday due to a sprained ankle but deemed himself ready to go earlier this week. Oakland manager Bob Melvin concurred.

"Everything is on schedule at this point for him," Melvin said.

For Boston, this marks the sixth leg of the team's 10-game homestand. Left- hander Jon Lester will look to continue his hot start. The Red Sox have won all four games started by Lester, who boasts a 1.73 ERA and has fanned at least five batters in each of his starts.

David Ortiz has swung a hot bat in three games since returning from the disabled list with a right Achilles injury, as he has gone 6-for-12 with a pair of doubles. The designated hitter was given off Tuesday but is expected to be back in the lineup for Wednesday's series finale.

"How he's feeling, his guide in this and his involvement will go a long way in this," manager John Farrell said. "I think we've got to build an occasional day off for him."

Oakland dominated the Sox last season, winning eight of nine meetings. Anderson will try to keep that going, as he has a 2.70 ERA in eight career starts against Boston. However, Napoli might have something to say about that. The first baseman is 4-for-10 lifetime off Anderson with two doubles and a homer.

04/24 10:28:44 ET