Major League Baseball
Preview
Kansas City at Oakland
When: 9:35 PM ET, Friday, August 1, 2014
Where: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California

The Oakland Athletics sent another signal that they are aiming to make a deep postseason run by acquiring left-hander Jon Lester from the Boston Red Sox prior to Thursday’s trading deadline. Oakland, which opens a three-game set against Kansas City on Friday, sent left fielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox in the deal for Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes. The Athletics traded for right-hander Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago Cubs earlier in July.

Oakland sends another top-notch pitcher to the mound in the opener against the Royals in Sonny Gray, who has won six consecutive decisions. Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie has battled consistency issues all season for a squad that relies on a strong bullpen. Royals closer Greg Holland recorded his 29th save in Thursday’s victory over the Minnesota Twins while set-up man Wade Davis has allowed just one run in his last 34 appearances.

TV:
9:35 p.m. ET, FSN Kansas City, CSN California (Oakland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Jeremy Guthrie (6-9, 4.70 ERA) vs. Athletics RH Sonny Gray (12-3, 2.65)

Guthrie broke a three-game losing skid despite allowing five runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings against Cleveland in his last turn. He has been touched up for 22 runs and 34 hits in just 19 2/3 innings during the stretch. Guthrie is 3-4 with a 4.80 ERA in 10 career appearances (nine starts) against Oakland.

Gray has allowed four total earned runs while winning each of his last five outings. He defeated Texas in his last outing when he gave up one run and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. Gray, who has never faced the Royals, is 7-2 with a 2.87 ERA in 12 home starts this season.

WALK-OFFS

1. Lester is scheduled to make his Oakland debut Saturday.

2. Kansas City 1B Eric Hosmer aggravated a hand injury during Thursday’s game and is unlikely to start the series opener.

3. Oakland C John Jaso and 1B/DH Brandon Moss each have hit two homers off Guthrie.

PREDICTION: Athletics 5, Royals 0
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Kansas City 55-52 W2 27-27 28-25 14-12 25-25 8-11 8-4
Oakland 66-41 L1 34-17 32-24 18-11 11-8 27-20 10-2
Last Meeting
Kansas City Oakland
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/7/13 OAK 10 KC 4 .263 2 .764 .375 3 1.107
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City R. Ibanez .107 3 .250
Oakland J. Gomes .400 2 1.500
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City R. Ibanez 0 0 1
Oakland J. Gomes 1 1 2
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 0.00 .000 0
Oakland 0.00 .000 0
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City A. Escobar .277 104 .691
Oakland C. Crisp .274 77 .789
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City M. Moustakas 13 32 42
Oakland J. Donaldson 23 72 76
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 3.67 .262 776
Oakland 3.19 .253 817