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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, July 4 (All times eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (47-40) at Oakland Athletics (52-33), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Marcus Stroman (4-2, 4.01) Oakland - Tommy Milone (6-3, 3.79)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Oakland hurler Tommy Milone will try to stretch his unbeaten streak to 11 starts in a row on Friday afternoon when the Athletics play the second contest of a four-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Milone is 6-0 with a 2.87 earned run average since his last loss on May 3 and the A's are 8-2 over his unbeaten streak. The left-hander lost his first three decisions of the campaign, but now sits at 6-3 on the year with a 3.79 earned run average.
Milone has won three of his past four starts, giving up three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and two walks over seven frames of a victory over Miami on Sunday.
The 27-year-old is 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA in seven outings at home this year, but has lost both of his previous career meetings with the Blue Jays while yielding 11 earned runs over 13 innings.
Marcus Stroman faces Oakland for the first time as he gets the call for Toronto. The rookie has not allowed more than three runs in any of his six starts this year, posting a 2.48 ERA.
A first-round pick in 2012, Stroman pitched a one-run, eight-inning gem to beat the New York Yankees on June 23 and was then solid in a no-decision versus the Chicago White Sox on Saturday. Stroman allowed two runs on just two hits and a pair of walks over 6 2/3 innings, fanning six.
The 23-year-old was pulled in the seventh frame after giving up a double and a walk, but reliever Dustin McGowan served up a three-run homer as the White Sox jumped in front.
"If you could do things over, you leave [Stroman] in," Jays manager John Gibbons admitted. "But my thinking was, he pitched his butt off, it was kind of uncharted territory, I don't want him to lose the game right there. That's the way it goes. But you always look back on things like that. I had a plan and it just didn't work."
Stroman, a right-hander, is 4-2 with a 4.01 ERA in 11 total appearances on the year.
The Blue Jays fell into a tie for first place in the AL East with Baltimore after losing last night's opener 4-1. It marked Toronto's fourth setback in six games and came despite R.A. Dickey giving up four runs -- two earned -- over a complete-game setback.
He was outdueled by Oakland's Sonny Gray, who yielded a run over seven innings. Gray struck out five and scattered four hits and three walks to help the A's snap a three-game slide.
"His curveball was disgusting tonight," said catcher Stephen Vogt on Oakland's website. "It was back to the Sonny Gray that I've known for the last year and a half. He's got one of the best curveballs in baseball, and he had it tonight."
Toronto swept a three-game series at home from May 23-25 and won two of three in Oakland a season ago.
07/04 10:21:20 ET