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Preview: Giants at Athletics

Current Conditions – Oakland
CLOUDY 60 °F
Wind: CLM 0
5-Day Forecast GAME: San Francisco Giants (79-73) at Oakland Athletics (64-89)
DATE/TIME: Friday, September 25 – 10:05 PM EST
WHERE: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A

The San Francisco Giants are hanging by a thread in the playoff race and could be eliminated by the time their Bay Bridge Series against the host Oakland Athletics, which begins Friday, is over. San Francisco fell eight games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West with 10 remaining after dropping a 5-4 decision at San Diego on Thursday.

The Giants’ chances at the second NL wild card are even bleaker, as their next loss or the next victory by Chicago will seal the spot for the Cubs. With the hope of repeating as world champion all but squashed, San Francisco still has an opportunity to sweep the season series against its Bay Area rival. The Giants won all three contests of their home interleague set versus Oakland in July, outscoring the Athletics 15-7. The Athletics look to end a losing streak that reached five games with Thursday’s 8-1 setback against Texas as they begin their final home series of the season.

TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, MLBN, CSN Bay Area (San Francisco), CSN California (Oakland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants RH Mike Leake (10-9, 3.81 ERA) vs. Athletics RH Sonny Gray (13-7, 2.72)

Leake fell to 1-4 in seven starts since being acquired from Cincinnati when he yielded three runs and eight hits over three innings against Arizona on Saturday. The 27-year-old native of San Diego has posted a 4.69 ERA with San Francisco — more than a full run higher than the mark he registered in 21 outings with the Reds (3.56). Leake made his only career start versus the Athletics as a rookie on June 21, 2010, allowing just one run despite giving up five hits and walking four over six frames in a no-decision at Oakland.

Gray has had a rough time of late, surrendering five or more runs in three of his last four outings. The 25-year-old from Nashville is 1-1 in that span, however, but has posted just the one victory in his last seven turns overall. Gray recorded the win in his only career outing versus the Giants on July 8, 2014, allowing one run and six hits while striking out eight in seven innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Athletics surrendered 26 runs during the three-game sweep at the hands of the Rangers.

2. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy expects to play the remainder of the season without OFs Hunter Pence and Juan Perez due to oblique injuries and 1B Brandon Belt, INF Ehire Adrianza and OFs Nori Aoki and Gregor Blanco due to concussions.

3. Oakland DH Billy Butler doubled on Thursday for his 1,400th career hit.

PREDICTION: Athletics 5, Giants 3