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What's new: There has been a lot changing for the A's: RHP Bartolo Colon suspended 50 games, SS Stephen Drew acquired from Arizona, 2B Jemile Weeks demoted to Triple A, pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson reinstated, 3B Brandon Inge hurt, C Kurt Suzuki traded. But, at least thus far, they've hung in the postseason race, thanks primarily to tremendous pitching, though it has been slipping a bit, and Colon's suspension is a further loss. Still, the A's are last in hitting in the AL, 13th in runs and tied for 12th in on-base percentage.
Key stat: The A's are 20-11 in games decided in the last at-bat, including an MLB-best 13 walkoff wins.
Connections: Oakland OF/DH Jonny Gomes and RHP Grant Balfour are ex-Rays. Tampa Bay 1B Carlos Peña played for the A's, RHP Joel Peralta started his career with them as an infielder.
Series history: 3-3 this season; A's lead 84-51 overall, 37-30 at Trop.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer