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Hammel makes A's debut in San Francisco

(SportsNetwork.com) - New Oakland starter Jason Hammel appears excited about getting thrown right into the mix of his club's interleague rivalry.

Hammel will make his Athletics debut on Wednesday night against the Giants and it comes as the Bay Bridge Series shifts to San Francisco for two straight games.

Already owners of the best record in baseball, Oakland made a big statement this past weekend by acquiring starters Hammel and Jeff Samardzija from the Chicago Cubs for top prospect Addison Russell, former first-round pick Billy McKinney and right-handed hurler Dan Straily.

Samardzija made his A's debut on Sunday and beat Toronto with seven innings of one-run ball. Hammel will try to follow suit against the rival Giants, who he is 0-2 against lifetime with a 3.02 earned run average in nine meetings and eight starts.

The right-hander doesn't seem put off by his lack of success against San Francisco and is looking to continue his solid 2014 that saw him go 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 17 starts with the Cubs.

"It's fun to get thrown right in the middle of the fire here with the Battle of the Bay," said Hammel on Oakland's website. "I've got a lot riding here in my first appearance, so I better make it good."

Matt Cain has been good for the Giants as of late, but the righty still brings a seven-start winless span into tonight's outing.

Cain is just 1-7 with a 4.27 ERA on the year and has lost each of his past four decisions, though he has pitched well enough to win his last two. That stretch began with seven scoreless frames in a no-decision versus Cincinnati on June 28 and he then gave up both runs of a 2-0 loss to San Diego on Friday.

"I mixed in a couple of pitches that I'd like to have back and they changed the game," said Cain following his 6 1/3-inning outing versus the Padres.

San Francisco has scored three runs or fewer in each of Cain's past five starts, but the 29-year-old is 3-5 with a 2.11 ERA in 10 previous starts versus Oakland.

The A's swept the two-game home portion of this extended series to begin the week, earning a shutout win on Monday before taking a 6-1 decision last night.

Sonny Gray logged eight strikeouts over a seven-inning performance, his lone blemish a seventh-inning homer to Tyler Colvin. Still, Oakland won its sixth in a row overall to match a season best and it won for the 11th time in its past 12 at home.

While the Athletics beat the Giants for the 11th time in the last 13 meetings at home, they have lost 12 of their last 14 in San Francisco.

"It's always been a rivalry. You can't help to feel a little extra something going on," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I do think the players feel it too. We have two good teams in the area."

Oakland's first four runs came in the third inning off Madison Bumgarner. Nick Punto stroked an RBI double, while Coco Crisp, Yoenis Cespedes and Derek Norris had run-scoring base hits.

Bumgarner, a 2014 All-Star, was charged with 10 hits and six runs over seven- plus frames and lost his third straight start. The lefty also had a five-game road winning streak broken.

"Overall I thought he threw well. Just the one inning got him. They got some key hits and we couldn't," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

The Giants have lost nine of their last 12 overall.