Series up for grabs, as Cubs, A's close set at Coliseum

Dan Straily gets a spot start on Thursday when the Oakland Athletics play the rubber match of their three-game series with the Chicago Cubs at Coliseum.

After going 4-2 with a 5.00 ERA, Straily was sent to the minors back on June 23, despite going 3-0 over his last seven starts. However, he was unable to get past the fifth inning his last two times out with the A's and surrendered a combined eight runs and 14 hits in eight frames of those two outings.

Still, he gets the call in Thursday's finale, as scheduled starter Jarrod Parker was pushed back to Saturday because of a tight hamstring.

Chicago, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Travis Wood, who is 0-3 over his last five starts and is 5-6 on the year with a 2.85 ERA. Wood did not get a decision in Seattle on Friday, but pitched well, as he allowed two runs and three hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 5-4 loss.

The Cubs have lost his last five starts and are just 1-7 in his last eight trips to the hill.

Chicago evened this interleague set at a game apiece on Wednesday, as Matt Garza continued to pitch well and tossed eight strong innings of one-run ball in the Cubs' 3-1 win.

It was the fourth consecutive excellent outing from Garza (4-1), who may be the top available arm come the trade deadline. He allowed just four hits and three walks while striking out five. He has been charged with only three runs over his last 30 innings of work.

"It's as good as I've seen him I think in two years really," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum.

Kevin Gregg finished off his outing with a scoreless ninth for his 14th save.

Luis Valbuena hit a solo homer, Alfonso Soriano knocked in a run and Brian Bogusevic contributed an RBI double among his two hits to help Chicago bounce back from a tough 8-7 loss in this series opener.

Bartolo Colon (11-3) was an unlucky loser as he saw his eight-game winning streak come to an end. He yielded just two runs, but served up nine hits over seven full frames.

Brandon Moss provided the only offense with a solo homer for Oakland, which lost for only the second time in its last seven games.

Chicago took two of three from the A's the last time these teams met back in 2010.