Interleague Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, July 8th
(All times eastern)
Oakland Athletics (52-37) at Pittsburgh Pirates (53-34) 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Bartolo Colon (11-3, 2.78)
Pittsburgh - Jeff Locke (8-1, 2.12)
(Sports Network) - Division leaders square off at PNC Park on Monday, as the
Pittsburgh Pirates host the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a three-game
The series opener also pits All-Star pitchers Bartolo Colon and Jeff Locke
against one another.
For Oakland, 16-year veteran Colon has already matched his highest win total
since capturing the AL Cy Young Award in 2005 as he sits at 11-3 with a 2.78
earned run average.
"I feel extremely happy about it," Colon said about his All-Star selection. "I
believe it's all about the work that I've been doing, since even before the
season started. I thank the Oakland A's for giving me the opportunity to be
part of them."
However, Colon lost for the first time in nine starts against the Cubs on
Wednesday as he gave up two earned runs on nine hits over seven innings of
While the 40-year-old Colon basks in his third career All-Star selection, the
25-year-old Locke will make his first-ever appearance in the Midsummer
Locke won the final spot in Pittsburgh's rotation out of spring training and
has not looked back, as he has not lost since his first start of the season.
Locke owns an 8-1 record and his 2.12 ERA is the second-best mark in the
The southpaw has allowed a mere two earned runs in his last 25 innings at
home. Both of those runs came against the Phillies his last time out, although
Locke still pitched well enough in 5 2/3 innings to earn the win.
"I was totally surprised and felt honored (about the All-Star selection),"
Locke said. "It's something they can't take away from you. It goes beyond the
numbers. The confidence level is something I did not have before. I've got a
little edge on the mound."
Despite dropping four of its last six, Pittsburgh is tied with division foe
St. Louis for the top record in the NL. The Pirates are coming off Sunday's
4-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs in 11 innings. Buccos outfielder Starling Marte
forced extra innings with a game-tying homer with two outs and two strikes in
the ninth. However, the Cubs eventually won it on Dioner Navarro's sacrifice
fly two innings later.
Meanwhile, Oakland has won eight of its last 11 for a half-game lead over
Texas in the AL West. Josh Reddick, Jed Lowrie and Eric Sogard all homered in
Sunday's 10-4 win at Kansas City, as they combined to drive in nine of the
team's 10 runs.
The A's are 9-0 all-time in the head-to-head series with the Pirates, although
this marks the first meeting between the two clubs since 2010.
07/08 10:25:20 ET
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