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A's look to keep it going in second half

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A.J. Griffin
  • Thearon W. Henderson/getty images
  • A.J. Griffin went 8-6 in the first half for the A's and will look for win No. 9 tonight in Anaheim.

The American League West-leading A's attempt to pick up where they left off prior to the All-Star break when they visit the division-rival Los Angeles Angels today in the opener of a three-game series.

Oakland, which enters with a two-game lead over the Texas Rangers, dropped the first contest of a home set against AL East-leading Boston before limiting the Red Sox to two runs over the final two outings — both victories.

The A's hope Yoenis Cespedes' power display in winning the Home Run Derby carries over, as the 27-year-old Cuban has gone 19 games without a blast.

Oakland will open the second half with right-hander A.J. Griffin on the mound. He looks to extend his winning streak to four games as he faces the Angels for the second time this season.

The 25-year-old posted his second win in as many career starts against Los Angeles on April 11, when he allowed just one run and five hits over eight innings on the road. Griffin has held the opposition scoreless in two of his last four outings, tossing his first career shutout against the Cincinnati Reds on June 26 and scattering six hits over eight frames in a win over Boston on Saturday.

Los Angeles attempts a second-half surge as it trails the A's by 11 games in the West and Texas by nine for the second wild-card spot. The Angels went into the break on a down note, as they were swept by the Mariners in a three-game series in Seattle.

More is expected of former AL MVP Josh Hamilton, who has recorded only 39 RBIs over 89 games in his first year with Los Angeles after driving in 128 runs with Texas last season.