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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, July 3rd (All times Eastern)

Boston Red Sox (42-38) at Oakland Athletics (39-42), 10:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Jon Lester (5-5, 4.53) Oakland - Bartolo Colon (6-7, 4.22)

(Sports Network) - Bartolo Colon returns from the disabled list tonight, as the Oakland Athletics try to secure a series win against the Boston Red Sox in the second of three games at the Coliseum.

Colon has been sidelined since suffering an oblique injury on June 17 against the San Diego Padres. He was tagged with the loss in that one, despite allowing a run in just two-plus innings of work.

The 39-year-old right-hander is no stranger to the Red Sox, having faced them 25 times (24 starts) and going 8-11 with a 4.08 ERA.

Colon will be trying to deliver Oakland a series win tonight after Brandon Moss' three-run home run helped the A's to a 6-1 victory on Monday. Josh Reddick also homered and knocked in two runs for Oakland, which won its second straight game.

Jarrod Parker (5-3) allowed one run on six hits and three walks over 6 2/3 innings for the win. He has now allowed one run or fewer in seven of his last eight starts.

"Parker was able to throw his offspeed stuff when he was behind in the count and he used both sides of the plate with his fastball," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "The couple times we had a threat going, he snuffed it out pretty quickly."

Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-3) was touched for five runs on four hits and two walks over just one-plus innings. It was the shortest outing of his career, throwing a mere 28 pitches.

Hoping for a better effort tonight, the Red Sox will rely on lefty Jon Lester, who has won two of his last three starts, but is only 5-5 on the year with a 4.53 ERA. Lester beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, surrendering four runs and seven hits in seven innings. He also struck out four without walking a batter.

"A win always takes away the questioning in the back of your mind," Lester said. "A win is a win. I'm not going to overanalyze anything."

Lester is 3-3 lifetime against the A's with a 4.53 ERA in nine starts.

Oakland took two of three from the Red Sox earlier in the year.

07/03 10:42:21 ET