Giants vs. A's: Who has the advantage?


Giants vs. A's: Who has the advantage?

Programming note: Giants-A's coverage begins tonight at 6:30 p.m. with A's Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California!

The second leg of the Battle of the Bay series begins Friday at the Coliseum. The Giants took the first series in decisive fashion -- winning two of three. Those games were played in San Francisco. The A's hold the all-time series lead 46-43.Home FieldIn Oakland, the A's will have the home field advantage. The Giants haven't won in the East Bay since June 24, 2009. The A's will be looking for their seventh-straight win over SF on their turf. Advantage: A'sMomentumThe Giants have lost their last two games, and have won four of their last 10. The A's are on a three-game winning streak, having just swept the NL-best Dodgers. They have won eight of their last 10 games. The Giants were off on Thursday, while the A's beat the Dodgers on a day in which reigning NL Cy Young Clayton Kershaw started -- winning the game on a three-run walkoff homer by Yoenis Cespedes. The Giants have rest on their side, but the A's have the momentum. Advantage: A'sOffenseThe East Bay leg of this series brings the designated hitter into play. It is also worth noting that neither team had their top weapons available in the previous series. Pablo Sandoval missed the prior battle while recovering from hand surgery, and Cespedes had a hand injury as well. When these teams last met in SF, Melky Cabrera torched the A's -- going 8 for 11 with a double. The DH also lets the Giants keep Buster Posey in the lineup. The A's didn't have either of their Brandons -- Inge or Moss -- in the last meeting. Moss has clubbed seven home runs since joining the A's. That is more than every Giants first baseman has combined. Advantage: EVENTim Lincecum (2-8, 6.19 ERA) vs. Jarrod Parker (3-3, 2.82 ERA) Lincecum is in a freakish funk right now. He has allowed 14 runs in his last 16 innings pitched. He was also defeated by the A's in their previous meeting. Prior to that start, he had a 1.38 ERA against Oakland, and was 5-1, with three complete games -- two of which were shutouts. Parker is pitching on extra rest and coming off a start at hitter-friendly Coors Field, where he threw seven shutout innings. The young righty has a little extra motivation against the Giants -- who rocked him for six runs and knocked him out in the third inning on May 18. Parker has allowed two runs or less in all but two of his starts. He was pitching with the flu on that day. He'll be looking to prove that outing was a fluke. Advantage: ParkerMadison Bumgarner (8-4, 2.92 ERA) vs. Tyson Ross (2-6, 6.11 ERA) Bumgarner, 22 is becoming one of the games toughest left-handed pitchers. The A's will have their work cut out against him on Saturday. The A's have never faced him before. Coincidentally Bumgarner was born in 1989, the year the A's and Giants met in the World Series. Ross, 25, was three during that World Series. He grew up on 66th Street in Oakland, and is familiar with the A's and Giants rivalry. He has been ping-ponging back and forth between the Major Leagues and Triple-A this season. He faced the Giants in SF on May 19, he lost the game but threw six innings, and allowed two runs. The A's didn't score in that game. Advantage: BumgarnerMatt Cain (9-2, 2.34 ERA) vs. Brandon McCarthy (6-3, 2.54) This match up is the toughest to call. Sure, Cain is undoubtedly one of the best pitchers in the game today -- he did just throw a perfect game after all -- but McCarthy is on fire lately. Cain is coming off an uncharacteristically mediocre start against the Angels, giving up three runs, six hits, and three walks in just five innings. McCarthy is on a career-best six-game win streak. The reason I am giving Cain the edge here is because he is "the horse." The Giants will ride Cain well over 100 pitches, while McCarthy will be on a strict pitch count. He will likely be held to 90 or fewer pitches after experiencing shoulder issues over the last month. Advantage: CainWho has the series advantage? You make the call

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's skid-snapping win over White Sox

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's skid-snapping win over White Sox


The A’s six-game road trip got off to a promising start Friday as they try to reverse their fortunes away from Oakland.

Jharel Cotton shined over five innings before leaving because of a blister on his right hand, and the bullpen took care of things from there to complete a 3-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Considering the A’s came in just 9-25 on the road so far, this was the rare occurrence of them taking control early and staying in control while wearing the road grays. Now the A’s just hope the victory didn’t come with a steep price.

In addition to Cotton (5-7) leaving after a blister opened up on his right thumb, shortstop Chad Pinder left with a strained left hamstring. The severity of that injury wasn’t immediately known.

Here’s five things you need to know from the opener of this three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field:

-- Davis hits No. 19: Khris Davis gave Cotton some early cushion with a two-run homer off Mike Pelfrey (3-6) to center field in the first. It was Davis’ team-leading 19th long ball, but just his third in 22 games this month.

-- Another solid outing for rookie: Coming off a strong 6 1/3-inning outing against the New York Yankees, Cotton again looked in control Friday before having to leave. The right-hander held the Sox to three hits over his five innings, striking out three and walking one. It’s unknown whether the blister will affect his availability for his next start, but the A’s learned with Rich Hill last season how nagging a blister can be for a starter.

-- Ninth-inning nerves: The final score didn’t indicate how tense things got for Oakland in the ninth. Closer Santiago Casilla gave up two singles to start the inning. After Avisail Garcia flied out, Todd Frazier hit a pop up behind first. Yonder Alonso couldn’t haul it in and the ball dropped, but Alonso alertly threw to second to get a force out. Then Matt Davidson sent a deep fly ball to center that Jaycob Brugman hauled in at the warning track.

--- Joyce powers up: In the fifth, Matt Joyce lit into a 3-2 pitch from Pelfrey and homered to center field to put the A’s ahead 3-0. It was the ninth homer for Joyce, who continues to provide some of the spark the A’s are looking for in the leadoff spot.

-- A double ejection: : White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and manager Rick Renteria both were ejected for arguing a fifth-inning play after Anderson hit a dribbler near home plate that surprised him by being called fair.

A's lineup: Young faces throughout as Athletics start series vs White Sox

A's lineup: Young faces throughout as Athletics start series vs White Sox

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Astros-A's coverage begins at 4 p.m. with Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming right here.

The latest A's youth movement embarks on its first road trip when they visit the south side of Chicago and the White Sox. Manager Bob Melvin has issued his lineup for Game 1 of the series.

Chicago White Sox:
1. Melky Cabrera (S) LF
2. Jose Abreu (R) 1B
3. Avisail Garcia (R) RF
4. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
5. Matt Davidson (R) DH
6. Tim Anderson (R) SS
7. Yolmer Sanchez (S) 2B
8. Kevan Smith (R) C
9. Adam Engel (R) CF
RHP -- Mike Pelfrey 

Oakland A's:
1. Matt Joyce (L) LF
2. Matt Olson (L) RF
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) DH
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Ryon Healy (R) 3B
7. Chad Pinder (R) SS
8. Bruce Maxwell (L) C
9. Jaycob Brugman (L) CF
RHP -- Jharel Cotton