The Oakland Athletics look to close the gap in the AL West some more when they target a fifth straight win Tuesday versus the San Francisco Giants from the Coliseum.
The Athletics handed the Giants a 4-1 loss in Monday's series opener and have won four straight and nine of 10 games. Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer and Yoenis Cespedes drove in a pair of runs with a double, as the A's pulled within three games of the Texas Rangers for the division lead.
Texas has dropped three in a row and is idle Tuesday.
A's starter Dan Straily scattered just four hits and a run while tossing 52 of his 78 pitches for strikes over six innings. Sean Doolittle faced the minimum in two innings of relief before Grant Balfour shut the door for his 11th save of the season in as many tries.
"I wasn't here last year for the playoffs but I'm sure that's exactly what it felt like," said Straily. "Great energy coming from the crowd and I'm glad we were able to perform in front of them."
Oakland will visit San Francisco for two more games Wednesday and Thursday.
Jarrod Parker draws the start for the A's Tuesday and he has struggled through his first 10 starts, going 2-6 with a 5.76 earned run average. Parker lost his previous start last Wednesday in a 3-1 loss at the Rangers and yielded all three runs and six hits in seven innings.
The right-hander, who is 1-3 in five home starts, owns an 0-1 mark and a 7.88 ERA in two career starts against the Giants.
Prior to Parker's start against San Francisco, the A's will have a special guest tossing out the ceremonial first pitch. Aaron Hern, 12, is a survivor of the horrific Boston Marathon bombings on April 15 and is a resident of Martinez, Calif. Hern was injured in the bombings and was released from Boston Children���s Hospital on April 24. Hern was watching his mother in the race.
Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick, first baseman Brandon Moss and first base coach Tye Waller visited Hern in the hospital on April 22, when they were in town to play the Red Sox.
The defending World Series champion Giants had won two straight and four of six games until Monday's loss in the Bay Bridge Series opener.
Madison Bumgarner was roughed up again to the tune of four runs in 6 2/3 innings and has lost three of his last four decisions. Giants manager Bruce Bochy didn't seem too concerned with the left-hander.
"It doesn't go down as a quality start, but he left the game with a really good start and that's what we're going to need playing these clubs," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "He did all he could."
San Francisco scored its only run of the game when Gregor Blanco came home on a Buster Posey groundout in the top of the sixth inning.
The Giants are 1 1/2 games behind Arizona for the NL West lead and will have an unknown taking the mound Tuesday. Left-hander Mike Kickham will make his major league debut and the Missouri State product is taking the place of Ryan Vogelsong, who is out with a fractured hand.
Kickham made 10 starts for Triple-A Fresno and was 3-4 with a 4.33 ERA.
"His stuff is good," Giants catcher Guillermo Quiroz told the club's website. "He was working on a change-up in Spring Training and has a good fastball and slider."
In other pitching news for the Giants, right-handed reliever Santiago Casilla is slated to undergo surgery Tuesday at Stanford Hospital to remove a cyst in his right tibia. The Giants hope he can return after the All-Star break.
The Giants took four of six meetings with the A's in 2012.