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OAKLAND Barry Larkin Jersey , Calif. — Two guys thrust into the middle of a playoff race will go head-to-head in a high-stakes matchup when the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics continue a three-game series on Tuesday night.The A’s (83-56) tightened up the American League wild-card race with a 6-3 win in the series opener on Monday, moving within 3 1/2 games of the Yankees (86-52) for the right to host the single-elimination contest.Yankees left-hander J.A. Happ (15-6, 4.00 ERA), acquired from Toronto at the trade deadline, will get the ball in Tuesday’s rematch, with the A’s calling upon right-hander Liam Hendriks (0-1, 7.82) in what figures to be a parade of relievers from Oakland’s deep bullpen.Article continues below ...That’s no mismatch, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after watching his club lose for the fifth time in their last eight games Monday.“They have some dynamic guys down there that make it tough,” Boone said of the Oakland bullpen, which has allowed a 3.29 ERA and .226 opponents’ batting average this season. “It’s that time of year. If you want to be great http://www.redsfanproshop.com/authentic-chris-sabo-jersey , it’s hard. We have to keep grinding away here and do a better job of rallying back.”Hendriks will be starting his second game in four days. The first did not go well.He allowed two hits and a walk to the first eight Seattle Mariners he faced, leaving a scoreless game with two on and two outs in the second inning.A’s manager Bob Melvin chose that point to switch to a left-hander, and the move backfired when left-handed-hitting Ben Gamel smacked a two-run double off Danny Coulombe, giving Seattle a lead it never relinquished.Suffice it to say, the Yankees will not be seeing Coulombe. He was designated for assignment Monday so that the A’s could add yet another arm, right-hander Aaron Brooks, to their reliever corps.Tuesday’s start will be just Hendriks” second since 2014, and his first against the Yankees since 2012, when as the starter for the Minnesota Twins he allowed a two-run home run to Nick Swisher in the first inning of a 6-3 loss.Hendriks, who has spent most of this season at Triple-A Nashville Billy Hamilton Jersey , has faced the Yankees a total of eight times, seven times in relief, with a 2-2 record and 6.75 ERA.He will be complemented not only by a seemingly endless supply of quality arms in the Oakland bullpen, but by a team that left the stadium Monday feeling good about itself.Asked if the three-run win had sent a message to the Yankees, A’s catcher Jonathan Lucroy said, “Not only send a message to them, but send a message to the league that we’re coming after it and we want it.”The road to a second consecutive win over the team with the second-best record in the majors will have to go through Happ, one of the majors’ nine 15-game winners.The 35-year-old hasn’t seen the A’s this season, but he has had success against them in the past, going 4-1 with a 3.69 ERA in 10 meetings Anthony DeSclafani Jersey , including eight starts.The A’s knocked out Happ, pitching then for Toronto, in the sixth inning of their most recent head-to-head last June, although it was Ryon Healy, now a member of the Mariners, who did all the damage, driving in five runs with two homers in a 5-3 win. BOSTON (AP) — Don’t look for Dustin Pedroia and Chase Utley to be turning any double plays during this World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers.But the presence of both has already had an impact on the clubhouses of the two teams looking to add to their already rich trophy cases.With 10 All-Star appearances and three championship rings between them, Pedroia and Utley are two of the premier second basemen of their generation, each earning revered status that exceeds their stats and awards.Pedroia has spent his entire career in Boston, winning championships with the Red Sox in 2007 and 2013. Utley started his career in Philadelphia and spurred the Phillies team that won it all in 2008.But with a knee injury sidelining Pedroia and age slowing down Utley as he approaches 40 http://www.redsfanproshop.com/authentic-adam-duvall-jersey , they have embraced the unfamiliar role of baseball elder this time around.“I don’t think either one of us will be getting any at-bats in this Series. So, we’re similar in that way,” Utley joked on Monday.This season has been a final lap for Utley, who in July announced his plans to retire at the end of his 16th season.He appeared in 87 games during the regular season but after hitting just .213 with one home run and 14 RBIs, didn’t make either of manager Dave Roberts’ NL Division Series or NL Championship Series rosters. He’s still soaked in every moment of the run so far.“This is the reason I wanted to play this year, was to get to this point,” Utley said. “I’m excited for the opportunity that we have. … Dustin, I know his teammates respect him and look up to him. From what I hear he’s a good motivator and a guy you definitely want on your team.”Dodgers third baseman David Freese said Utley commands respect.“He just does so much for this group,” Freese said. “The guy just wants to win. … I view him differently than other guys.”Currently in his 13th season, the 35-year-old Pedroia has no plans of hanging up his cleats. That’s despite playing just three games in 2018 because of a left knee injury that has dogged him since he was spiked by Manny Machado on a late slide last year.He had surgery on the knee in the offseason but had an additional arthroscopic surgery while rehabbing in Arizona in July to clean up scar tissue. He had two initial procedures on the knee last October.“It’s hard not playing Michael Lorenzen Jersey , but to be honest with you I’m enjoying this more than the other trips in years past,” Pedroia said. “It stinks not being able to play with them and be there with them, but I’m not upset about not playing because of the way they’re approaching the year.”His rehabilitation process was slow, though the four-time All-Star returned to action in May for three games. But he went just 1 for 11 with two walks before going on the disabled list again and eventually being shut down in September.Even before his season ended, Pedroia remained a presence in Boston’s clubhouse as it rolled up a franchise-record 108 regular-season wins.He texted teammates after big wins and during hitting slumps. He also called the clubhouse and was put on speakerphone to offer words of encouragement. He’s been on the field this week as the Red Sox prepared for Game 1 on Tuesday night.“He’s the heart and soul of this team,” infielder Brock Holt said. “He’s been here the longest. He’s won two World Series. So to have him here — it’s always better with him here than when he’s gone.”That opinion of Pedroia is shared by Boston’s opponent.“He set the tone for this organization,” Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill said.Pedroia believes his words still have an impact.“I hope I still do,” he said. “If not, they’re asking me a lot of questions wasting my damn time.”
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