The Oakland Athletics get a rematch with the team that ended their season a year ago when they open a three-game series against the visiting New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
Yankees right-hander Domingo German (16-2, 3.96) will seek his eighth consecutive win and attempt to get his team started on a winning note as it embarks on a nine-game Western swing that also features a showdown with the Los Angeles Dodgers later in the week.
"The major league season is filled with different challenges," Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters Sunday. "Going on the road, these are different challenges that are inevitable in the major league season that you kind of look forward to. So we get to go out on the West Coast, get to play a couple of really good teams obviously, but look forward to going out there."
When the Yankees last saw the A's, the 2018 season was on the line in the American League wild-card game. Playing at home on Oct. 3, New York got a two-run home run from Aaron Judge in the first inning off A's "opener" Liam Hendriks en route to a front-running, 7-2 win.
Judge, a California native who attended Fresno State, is looking forward to his Golden State homecoming.
"We can't wait," he gushed Sunday, after the Yankees completed a 2-2 home series against Cleveland. "We want to play the best teams, and those are some of the best teams out there, so I'm looking forward to it."
The A's began the week outside of playoff position, but they are aiming higher than a wild-card repeat. They are coming off a series in which they took three of four from Houston, allowing Oakland to climb within 7 1/2 games of the Astros in the AL West.
The A's won the first three games of the series before falling 4-1 on Sunday, watching their four-game winning streak disappear in the process.
"Four-game sweeps are pretty tough, especially against a team like that," A's manager Bob Melvin noted after the game. "We're a little disappointed we couldn't take the fourth game. But come (Monday), when we look at three out of four, it's a plus."
German will be starting a game in Oakland for the first time in his career. He's 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA against the A's in two career appearances, one of which came in relief.
The A's are scheduled to counter with right-hander Homer Bailey (10-8, 5.22), who authored one of the surprise outcomes of the season when he pitched the Kansas City Royals to a 6-1 win at Yankee Stadium in April.
The 33-year-old went six innings, limiting the Yankees to one run and three hits.
The win improved his career record against New York in three starts to 2-1 with a 4.42 ERA.
The A's have summoned reinforcements for the series, promoting one of their top prospects, left-hander A.J. Puk, from Triple-A Las Vegas.
The sixth overall pick of the 2016 draft is expected to be available out of the Oakland bullpen. He has never pitched in the majors.
--Field Level Media
German goes for 8th straight W as Yanks visit A's
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