MLB Game Preview: Oakland Athletics vs. San Francisco Giants - Date: 7/15/2018 Improved A's, Giants look for series win 10m ago• 3 min read The Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants will head into the All-Star break in significantly better shape than a year ago.First though, there is the matter of concluding the first part of the "Bay Bridge" series Sunday afternoon when the Giants host the Athletics at AT&T Park.Last season, the Giants were 34-56 at the break, their worst mark at the unofficial halfway point since reaching the break in 2008 at 40-55. Profitable Handicappers. This year, the Giants enter their final game before the break at 50-47 after not getting their 50th win until late-August last season en route to losing 98 games.The Giants also are 5-4 in a stretch where they play 25 of 27 against winning teams and are seeking to improve to 11-0-2 in their last 13 series since April 8-10 despite hitting just five homers since the start of July.San Francisco opened the series with a 7-1 victory but failed to clinch the series victory by leaving 11 runners on in a 4-3 loss on Saturday.Rookie Steven Duggar drove in two more runs while Buster Posey also went 2-for-4. Duggar is 8-for-25 (.320) in his first five games while Posey is 10-for-29 (.345) in his last six games despite dealing with right hip inflammation that will keep him out of the All-Star game."He's been playing with it. You could tell. All of you can tell," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy told reporters recently. "It's bothering him. He's been a warrior through this and had missed some time. Sports Bettors Email Leads. The break will serve him well." Things were not going much better for the Athletics at this point a year ago. Fox Sports Picks. They reached the break at 39-50 and it was the third straight season they hit it with at least 50 losses and 10 games under .500.This year the Athletics are 54-42 after pinch-hitter Mark Canha hit the go-ahead two-run homer off Tony Watson in the seventh inning Saturday.Oakland is 14-4 in its last 18 games and 20-6 in its last 26 games since June 16 while totaling 39 homers in the hot stretch that has put them in the wild-card race and has management thinking about buying and not selling before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline."It's a team effort," Oakland third baseman Matt Chapman told reporters after a game in Houston on Thursday. "We're deep. One through nine, guys off the bench, there's no letup in our lineup. I think we have one of the best lineups in all of baseball. We're confident in that." Second baseman Jed Lowrie did not start but entered as a pinch hitter after sustaining a leg contusion colliding with right fielder Stephen Piscotty Friday. Lowrie is batting .323 (30-for-93) in his last 26 games and remains day-to-day.The third pitching matchup in the six-game season series which resumes next weekend in Oakland features a pair of young left-handers as Oakland's Sean Manaea opposes San Francisco's Andrew Suarez.Manaea is 8-6 with a 3.44 ERA and is on a nice roll in his last seven starts by going 3-0 with a 3.16 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .217 average.It is a similar performance to how he began the season.After starting out 4-2 with a 1.03 ERA in his first six starts, Manaea hit a speed bump by going 1-4 with a 7.18 ERA in his next six outings.Manaea last pitched Tuesday in Oakland's bizarre 6-5 11-inning loss at Houston when he allowed three runs on seven hits in four innings in a game that ended with catcher Jonathan Lucroy making a throwing error on Alex Bregman's tapper in front of the plate.He is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in two career starts against the Giants, though both were across the bridge in Oakland.Suarez also is hoping to keep a good streak going. He has allowed two runs or less in six straight outings while posting a 2.00 ERA in those games.Overall, he is 3-5 with a 3.75 ERA in the first 15 starts of his career and the Giants are 6-9 in those games. He allowed one run on three hits in six innings and took a no-decision Monday against the Chicago Cubs in a game decided by Pablo Sandoval's 11th-inning single.
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