The Oakland Athletics get a rare opportunity to win two games by playing just 12 innings Friday night when they host the Detroit Tigers in the completion of a suspended game before a regularly scheduled affair.
The clubs will pick up where they left off on May 19 in Detroit, when rain prompted the suspension of a game the A's led 5-3 headed into the bottom of the seventh.
Stephen Piscotty, currently out of the Oakland lineup with a sprained ankle, put the A's ahead in the getaway-day game with a two-run double in the top of the seventh.
The game will be played with current rosters, which expanded on Sept. 1, giving Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire an opportunity to be creative once he finds out who counterpart Bob Melvin will call upon to start the seventh.
"I've got copies of the lineup cards here," Gardenhire noted to reporters Thursday in Kansas City. "We're going to have to make a few changes. We've got some different people here, and we've got people that are out of the game already and can't come back into it. It's a little different, but we have a chance to win a game."
The logical candidate to get the ball for the A's would have been former starter Yusmeiro Petit, but he left the team Thursday to tend to personal issues in Venezuela and isn't expected to return until after the series.
Another potential go-to guy for Melvin was taken out of the equation Thursday when A.J. Puk worked two innings in Oakland's 10-6, come-from-behind win over the Los Angeles Angels. Puk, one of the the A's top prospects, registered his first major league win in the game.
On a positive note, playing two games in one day gives Melvin an opportunity to show off his new toy -- catcher Sean Murphy, who homered in his second big-league at-bat Wednesday, an opposite-field shot.
"That's not the last time you'll see him hit a home run to right field like that," Melvin gushed to reporters afterward. "He's a big kid. He's got great leverage. You look at some of the exit (velocities) and so forth and their times are off the charts."
In Friday's "nightcap," Oakland will turn to a guy they didn't have the last time they saw the Tigers -- right-hander Homer Bailey (12-8, 4.96) -- in hopes he can make a third impressive start against Detroit this season.
Pitching then for Kansas City, Bailey went 2-0 against the Tigers earlier this year, allowing just two runs and nine hits in 12 innings. He has struck out 10 those two games in running his career record against Detroit to 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA in four starts.
The Tigers flew into Oakland on Thursday night in the wake of a 6-4 win at Kansas City that snapped a four-game losing streak.
The win temporarily prevented Detroit (41-97) from matching its loss total from each of the last two seasons (98), although it remains a possibility that they'll reach 100 for the first time since 2003 by the end of the weekend.
Right-hander Spencer Turnbull (3-14, 4.45), seeking to end a personal 10-game losing streak, is scheduled to pitch the regularly scheduled game for the Tigers.
In his first career start against the A's, he was the losing pitcher in a 17-3 home loss in May, the victim of a six-run third inning that featured a grand slam by Jurickson Profar. Five of the six runs Turnbull allowed were unearned.
--Field Level Media