Oakland at Baltimore

Venue: Oriole Park at Camden Yards
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The Oakland Athletics have finally started to play better after tumbling out of first place in the AL West, but their current winning streak hasn't helped them get much closer to reclaiming the top spot.

The Athletics look to continue to taking advantage of the Baltimore Orioles when they go for their season-high fifth straight win Wednesday night.

Oakland (38-40) led Texas by one game to start the month, but lost 16 of 22 to fall into third behind the Rangers and Los Angeles Angels. Despite their resurgence, the A's are fighting to keep their deficit in the West under double digits.

They got back on track by sweeping NL-worst Pittsburgh and are hoping to do the same to Baltimore (23-53), owners of the worst record in the majors. Oakland opened the series with a 4-2 victory Tuesday.

Kurt Suzuki drove in three runs and Coco Crisp had three hits, two stolen bases and two runs. Since returning from the disabled list a week ago, Crisp is 10 for 22 with nine runs in six games.

"He's just been outstanding," manager Bob Geren said.

Crisp has batted .389 in his last nine games against Baltimore.

Oakland's winning streak matches a season high set twice this season, most recently May 26-29.

The A's extended their run by snapping the Orioles' four-game win streak. Baltimore scored 28 runs during that stretch, but was held to five hits and made two errors Tuesday.

The Orioles have lost three straight to the A's and 16 of the last 19 meetings.

Baltimore will try to bounce back behind veteran Kevin Millwood (2-8, 5.22 ERA).

The right-hander won his second straight start Thursday against Florida, although he wasn't very effective, needing 116 pitches to get through five innings. He gave up four runs and eight hits, but got plenty of offensive support in an 11-5 win.

Millwood beat San Diego 5-4 in his previous outing June 19. Prior to that, the Orioles had not given him more than three runs of support in 14 starts.

"The numbers haven't been there, but (the offense has) done everything they can to put some good numbers on the board," he told the team's official website. "It just hasn't happened, and lately they've given me some runs and we've won some games. Hopefully, we can continue that."

Millwood is 6-4 with a 3.44 ERA in 17 starts against the A's. He allowed four runs in six innings of a 4-2 win at Oakland on April 16.

Crisp is 2 for 15 against Millwood.

Ben Sheets (3-7, 5.01) returns to the mound after snapping a four-start losing streak Friday, as he gave up four runs in six innings to beat the Pirates 14-4. He struck out a season-high nine in his first win since May 8.

Like Millwood, Sheets suffers from a lack of run support. The right-hander gets 3.18 runs per game, seventh lowest in the majors and one spot behind Millwood (3.10).

Sheets got enough runs in his last outing against the Orioles, beating them 6-2 on April 15 with six scoreless innings. The only other time he faced them was in 2003.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Ben Sheets, RHP
2010 stats
93.1 Innings Pitched 101.2
3-7 Wins-Losses 2-8
5.01 Earned Run Average 5.22
37 Walks 31
70 Strikeouts 81
95 Pitches Per Start 108
Career vs. opponent
12.0 Innings Pitched 96.2
1-1 Wins-Losses 6-4
3.75 Earned Run Average 3.44

Kevin Millwood, RHP
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Oakland2nd AL West8874.543105-5 W 1
Baltimore1st AL East9666.593-4-6 W 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Kevin Millwood
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Gross65101.833
Pennington73002.429
Sweeney156114.400
Ellis3212021.375
Barton123002.250
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs David Hernandez
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Rosales32001.667
Davis73001.429
Barton31001.333
Suzuki62011.333
Pennington51001.200
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Ben Sheets
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Wigginton3312263.364
Markakis31000.333
Jones31001.333
Millwood82002.250
Patterson4090119.225
 

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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Oakland -115 Baltimore 105
Injuries
Oakland
PlayerInjury
K. BlanksAchilles
C. GentryHead
A. GriffinElbow
J. JasoConcussion
E. O'FlahertyArm
J. ParkerElbow
Baltimore
PlayerInjury
C. DavisSuspension
M. MachadoKnee
J. SantanaShoulder
M. WietersElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser