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New York at Oakland

Venue: O.co Coliseum

After the Oakland Athletics bolstered their rotation with two high-profile trades prior to the non-waiver deadline, many figured they would cruise to the AL West crown.

Despite a season-worst losing streak that caused them to fall out of first place for the first time since April, the A's are confident they can regroup.

Oakland looks to avoid a sixth straight defeat as Scott Kazmir seeks a career-best 14th victory in Tuesday night's series opener with the visiting New York Mets.

The A's (73-51) acquired starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs on July 4 and made another big splash July 31 when they dealt slugger Yoenis Cespedes to Boston for Jon Lester.

They were alone in first place from April 28 through Saturday, when the Los Angeles Angels slipped ahead of them. Lester then suffered his first defeat since the trade, giving up four runs in six innings of a 4-3 loss to Atlanta on Sunday.

Oakland has dropped seven of eight, but the attitude has remained positive.

"Guys are competing, we just aren't getting results right now," Lester said. "This team's too good to stay in this funk."

After a 1-6 road trip, the A's head home for two against the Mets and a crucial three-game set with the Angels beginning Friday. Oakland is a major league-best 21-7 at home since June 17.

"This was not a good trip, so we've got to get home and we've got to regroup," manager Bob Melvin said. "It will be good to get home in front of our crowd. They're usually good for us."

Kazmir (13-5, 2.78 ERA) has gone 7-2 with a 2.34 ERA at O.co Coliseum but hasn't been very effective in two starts there this month, yielding nine runs and 15 hits in 12 2-3 innings. He was better on the road Wednesday, allowing three runs in seven innings of a 3-0 loss to Kansas City.

"I felt good. I was able to add and subtract from my fastball, but the important thing was I was getting my changeup back," Kazmir said. "That's positive going forward, definitely."

He'll try again to surpass his career high for victories, first set in 2007 with Tampa Bay, against the club which made the left-hander a first-round pick in 2002 and handed him his worst start this year. Kazmir gave up seven runs and eight hits - including three homers - in three innings of a 10-1 loss to New York on June 24.

The Mets (59-67) didn't have that type of offense during a four-game split with the Cubs, being held to four hits in each contest. They fell 4-1 on Monday as they matched a franchise record with fewer than five hits for the fifth straight game.

"Maybe they're swinging too much," manager Terry Collins said. "It's trying not to do too much, just try to put the barrel on the baseball."

New York has provided Dillon Gee only five runs of support over his last six starts.

Gee (4-5, 3.69) is 0-4 with a 5.60 ERA during that span. He gave up four runs and walked a season worst-tying four in six innings of Thursday's 4-1 loss to Washington.

"The command's been on and off and I just keep working on it," said Gee, who has issued 13 walks in his last 22 1-3 innings. "There's nothing really I can pinpoint that's making that a problem."

The right-hander had a career-high six walks in his only start against the A's, giving up four runs in four innings of a 7-3 loss in 2011.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

D. Gee
N.Y. Mets Last 3 Starts Oakland
0-1 Wins-Losses 1-2
18.2 Innings Pitched 19.2
3.38 Earned Run Average 5.49
10 Walks 3
13 Strikeouts 9
1.18 WHIP 1.27

S. Kazmir
Probable Pitchers
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
NY Mets2nd NL East157.682 ½ 9-1 W 8
Oakland3rd AL West1312.5201 ½ 5-5 W 2

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Series Game Log
Apr 29OAKOAK 7-4Madson Sipp 
Apr 30OAKOAK 2-0Hahn Devenski 
May 1OAK 4:05 PM EDT  
Jun 3HOU 8:10 PM EDT  
Jun 4HOU 4:10 PM EDT  
Jun 5HOU 2:10 PM EDT  
Jul 7HOU 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 8HOU 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 9HOU 4:10 PM EDT  
Jul 10HOU 2:10 PM EDT  
Jul 18OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Jul 19OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Jul 20OAK 3:35 PM EDT  
Aug 29HOU 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 30HOU 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 31HOU 2:10 PM EDT  
Sep 19OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Sep 20OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Sep 21OAK 3:35 PM EDT