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Sun, Aug 11, 2013 - 1:07 PM ET
 

Athletics-Blue Jays Preview

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No pitchers have served up more homers this year than the ones who will start Sunday in Toronto. That fact should be particularly enticing to Josh Reddick and Jose Bautista.

The duo has accounted for seven home runs through the first half of this four-game set. Five of them have come from Reddick, who takes on R.A. Dickey looking to extend his domination of the Blue Jays while Bautista faces A.J. Griffin and tries to keep tormenting the Oakland Athletics.

Griffin (10-8, 3.91 ERA) has given up a major league-high 28 homers, including 10 in his past four outings. He's the first Oakland pitcher to allow at least two in four straight starts since Mark Redman in 2007.

"He's not pitching poorly," said manager Bob Melvin, who seeks win No. 700. "The home runs just stand out."

Dickey (9-11, 4.49) is tied for second in the majors with 25 home runs allowed, including 18 in 12 starts at home. No current A's player has homered off the knuckleballer, but Reddick has never faced him.

Reddick homered three times Friday, snapping an 0-for-20 slump, as Oakland won the series opener 14-6. He had five RBIs that night and added three more Saturday on a pair of home runs, though Toronto won 5-4.

"I'm going into the batter's box a lot more comfortable and feeling like they can't get me out right now," Reddick said.

Bautista also went deep in both games and is 6 for 9 in the series. He's batting .467 with eight extra-base hits, including four homers, in his last nine games against the A's (65-50).

While Bautista is hot in general - 15 for 30 during an eight-game hitting streak - and among the AL leaders with 27 homers, Reddick has struggled nearly all season after hitting 32 home runs last year. Half of his 10 this season have come in the last two days, and all 11 of his RBIs over his last 15 games have been against the Blue Jays.

"He's on fire," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "His home runs have been down this year, but he seems to be picking it up."

Reddick has nine homers and 23 RBIs in 13 games versus the Blue Jays (54-62) since the start of last season.

Dickey, meanwhile, is 0-2 with a 7.11 ERA in three home starts since July 1, but he's pitched well on the road in his last two. He allowed another homer Monday but ended a five-start winless stretch with a 3-1 victory at Seattle, five days after giving up two unearned runs in six innings of a 5-2 win in Oakland.

Griffin won that series opener July 29 despite surrendering home runs to Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie. He yielded only one other hit in seven innings of the 9-4 victory, improving to 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in three starts versus the Blue Jays.

The right-hander yielded four runs again Sunday en route to his second loss in nine outings, going 6 2-3 innings in a 4-0 defeat to Texas. Griffin had been slated to start Saturday but was pushed back a day, and he's 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA in five career starts on at least six days' rest.

He'll try to step up for an Oakland team which has lost seven of nine as its rotation has posted a 5.12 ERA. He's the only pitcher to go beyond six innings in that stretch.

Toronto's Jose Reyes drove in a run for the fifth straight game Saturday and homered for the third time in eight games.

Tagged: Athletics, Blue Jays, R.A. Dickey, Jose Bautista, Josh Reddick

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