The Oakland Athletics shoot for their ninth straight win on Friday when they open a three-game set against the Detroit Tigers in a rematch of last year's American League Division Series at O.co Coliseum.
Of course, the Tigers won that series in a thrilling five-game set, but the Athletics may hold the advantage on Friday, as they enter this series on the heels of a perfect six-game road trip.
Oakland, which is off to its best start since 1992, improved to 8-2 on the season on Thursday, as Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer and Yoenis Cespedes added a solo blast to back eight stellar innings from A.J. Griffin to lead the A's past the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 8-1.
Seth Smith had four of the club's 16 hits Thursday and knocked in a run, Jed Lowrie went 2-for-5 with an RBI and Chris Young contributed a two-run double behind Griffin (2-0), who limited the Angels to one run on five hits to pick up the victory.
"We were looking for an outing like that to give our bullpen a rest," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "This was probably our best game all around."
However, Oakland may run into some problems on Friday, as Bartolo Colon takes the hill for the A's trying to beat Detroit for the first time since April 13, 2003. In fact he is 0-7 against them in that span with a 7.67 ERA in 12 games (11 starts).
Colon, though, returned from his performance-enhancing drugs suspension to beat Houston on Saturday, as held the Astros to three runs and eight hits in six innings.
The 39-year-old hurler is 8-10 lifetime versus the Tigers with a 5.60 ERA in 25 games (24 starts).
Detroit will counter with righty Max Scherzer, who beat the New York Yankees his first time out, but was not particularly sharp. Scherzer allowed four runs and five hits in five innings of that one to get the win. He also fanned seven batters and walked a pair.
Scherzer has faced the A's four times and is 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA.
Detroit enters this set on the heels of a series win against Toronto that culminated with an 11-1 win on Thursday. Prince Fielder had two hits and four RBI in the win, while Torii Hunter added two hits, three RBI and a pair of runs scored for the Tigers, who have won four of their last six contests.
"We played the game well today, man," Hunter said. "For the conditions we had, we ran the bases well, we had timely hitting, played good defense, pitching was great today. For these kind of conditions, wet, cold, rainy, I was pretty impressed. That was fun."
Doug Fister (2-0) struck out five and surrendered a run on eight hits and a walk over eight innings in the win.
Detroit won four of its seven regular season matchups versus the A's last season.