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What's new: The A's (75-58) are coming off a walkoff loss to the Tigers on Thursday. But they took three of four from the Central leaders (after losing two of three at Baltimore) and are only a half-game behind the Rays for the top wild-card spot. Oakland recently got opening day starter RHP Brett Anderson (stress fracture in his right foot) back, and ace RHP Bartolo Colon (groin) returned Thursday. 3B Josh Donaldson (.294, 19 homers, 77 RBIs) is having a good year with LF Yoenis Cespedes (20 homers) and OF/1B Brandon Moss (25) providing power. RHP Grant Balfour gave up four in the ninth Thursday but has converted 33 of 35 save chances.

Key stat: Moss hit four home runs during the four-game series against the Tigers and already has surpassed his career high (set last season) by four.

Connections: Balfour, C Stephen Vogt and injured C John Jaso are former Rays. A's bullpen coach Darren Bush, 39, was born and raised in Dunedin. Rays OF David DeJesus and first-base coach George Hendrick are former A's.

Series history: The Rays swept a three-game series at the Trop April 19-21. The A's lead overall 86-55, including 47-21 in Oakland.

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Rays-A's preview 08/29/13 [Last modified: Thursday, August 29, 2013 9:09pm]

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