Up next for Tampa Bay Rays: Oakland Athletics

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at A's

Tonight-Thursday

What's new: The A's pitch well, with an AL-best 3.33 team ERA, but that's about it. They are a worse offensive team than the Rays, with the fewest homers (56) in the AL; they don't run much; and they have made the most errors and allowed the most unearned runs in the league. Also, they are an AL-worst 14-20 in one-run games. After a solid first six weeks, they've gone 22-37 since, and while the June 9 change of managers from Bob Geren to Bob Melvin has improved their attitude, it hasn't made much difference in the standings.

Key stat: The A's haven't had a three-homer game since May 2.

Connections: Rays DH Johnny Damon is a former A's player, as is 1B coach George Hendrick, who was on the 1972 championship team. … A's RHP Grant Balfour spent the past 3½ years with the Rays; trainer Nick Paparesta is a former Rays assistant.

Series history: A's lead 76-46, including 43-18 in Oakland.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Up next for Tampa Bay Rays: Oakland Athletics 07/24/11 [Last modified: Sunday, July 24, 2011 9:50pm]

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