Jun 22, 2013; Phoenix AZ, USA; The Cincinnati Reds base runner Jay Bruce (32) reacts with teammate Brandon Phillips (4) after hitting a home run to right center in the ninth inning against The Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports Images

Reds are California Dreamin their way to Oakland

The Diamondbacks weren’t too kind to the Reds beginning their west coast swing, but with Sunday’s victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Reds may be heading on the right track after all.

For the next two days, the Reds will head out to Oakland, California to face the Oakland Athletics for two of the four games between the two respected franchises this year.

Cincinnati and Oakland have brought each fan base some great World Series memories, and now with two teams fighting to reclaim their division titles, these two games are pretty interesting.

Tuesday 10:05 PM EST Reds Bronson Arroyo (6-5, 3.13 ERA, 56K) vs. Athletics Tommy Milone (6-7, 3.98 ERA, 74K)
Wednesday 3:35 PM Est Reds Homer Bailey (4-5, 3.75ERA, 95K) vs. Athletics A.J. Griffin (5-6, 3.90 ERA, 74K)

Here’s the back story on the Oakland Athletics, they have a 44-34 record, are a game behind their division leading Texas Rangers, and for the most part, are winning with players you really haven’t heard a whole lot about.

Sure, guys like Yoenis Cespedes are spoken about for their fantastic power numbers and incredible athletic ability. But this season the Athletics have been lead at the plate by third basemen Josh Donaldson and Shortstop Jed Lowrie.

Donaldson has had a great year with a .305/.373/.488 with ten home runs and 46 RBI. He’ll play a big part in these two games, a guy the Reds have to get out.

Lowrie on the other hand has hit a solid .304/.379/.421 with four home runs and 30 RBI. Pretty solid numbers for a former Houston Astro.

Pitching wise, the Athletics have had a really solid bullpen lead by their closer Grant Balfour (0-1, 2.03 ERA, 18/18 save opportunities). Fortunately the Reds won’t run into Bartolo Colon on this two game set, but Griffin and Millone have been two solid inning eaters for the A’s.

Good news for Reds fans coming into this series is that a right handed bat is returning to the team. Outfielder Chris Heisey will join the team tonight in Oakland after battling a hamstring injury for a few months. This team has been very lefty heavy of late, so getting Heisey back on the team is a very nice thing to have.

Along with Jay Bruce‘s hot hitting and Brandon Phillips looking like he’s getting his swing back, this series could be two high scoring, exciting games.

Tags: Cincinnati Reds Interleague Baseball MLB Oakland Athletics

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