Major League Baseball

Yankees hope German can help solve A’s

mlb1ATHLETICS (78-56) AT YANKEES (88-48)

The Oakland Athletics (+1.5) are on another second-half surge, and their four performances against the New York Yankees (-1.5) are playing a small role.

Oakland tries to remain unbeaten against the Yankees on Saturday afternoon when the teams continue a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.

The A’s enter Saturday one-half game behind the Cleveland Indians for the American League’s first wild-card spot. Oakland leads the Tampa Bay Rays by one game for the second wild.

Like last season, when Oakland was 63-29 from June 16 through the end of the regular season, the A’s are doing it again. Since June 16, they are 42-21.

Oakland improved to 11-4 in its past 15 games and 28-15 since the All-Star break when it opened the series with an 8-2 victory at New York on Friday. The A’s also head into Saturday 23-16 against opponents currently occupying playoff spots.

Jurickson Profar homered and drove in three runs, and rookie Seth Brown drove in three runs and went 3-for-3, giving him a hit in seven straight at-bats, one shy of the team record.

“He’s just a fighter,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of Brown. “He’s having a lot of fun with this big-league thing right now.”

Brown is 10-for-22 (.455) with seven RBIs through his first five major league games.

The Yankees, who have lost the season series against Oakland in five of the past seven seasons, could face the A’s in the division series by finishing with the AL’s best record.

“We’re a confident group whoever we play,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Obviously, Oakland’s beat us up a little bit out there and got us here. As far as how that affects us moving forward and who we’ll see, I don’t worry about that at all.”

The Yankees are 7-7 in their past 14 games, and they did not hit a homer for the first time in 12 games and had their last 16 batters set down in order Friday. They also enter Saturday with consecutive home losses for the second time since April 13.

Despite New York doing little offensively Friday, Aaron Judge remains on a roll by hitting .441 (18-for-48) in his last eight games after getting two hits Friday.

Homer Bailey (12-8, 5.04 ERA) will make his ninth start for Oakland since being acquired from Kansas City. He is 6-2 with a 5.52 ERA with the A’s. Bailey last pitched in a 19-4 rout at Kansas City on Monday, when he allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings.

With one more win, Bailey would match the career-high total he set with Cincinnati in 2012. Two of his victories are against the Yankees, whom he beat in New York with Kansas City on April 18 and last week in Oakland.

Bailey is 3-1 with a 3.75 ERA in four career appearances against the Yankees.

Domingo German (17-3, 4.03 ERA) is 8-1 with a 4.24 ERA in his past 10 starts and is attempting to become the first 18-game winner in the majors. German rebounded nicely from losing at Oakland by allowing one run and five hits in six innings Sunday during a 5-1 win at the Los Angeles Dodgers (-1.5).

German is 0-1 with a 6.91 ERA in three career appearances (two starts) against Oakland.

–Field Level Media

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