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Giants, A's clash in Oakland

Jul 7, 2014 - 2:47 PM ( - The Bay Bridge Series between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics resumes Monday night at Coliseum.

Oakland will host the first two games of the home-and-home series Monday and Tuesday before switching venues to across the bay to AT&T Park. At one point this season, the A's and Giants owned the two best records in baseball as both fan bases began dreaming of a potential rematch of the 1989 World Series that was interrupted by an earthquake.

"We have a bit of a rivalry going here, so it always seems like it's a different atmosphere," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I'm on record saying that I've been caught up in it the last several years. Something that I look forward to."

Oakland won three of four against the Giants last season.

"It seems like we played them 10 times in spring, and then we have the Bay Bridge Series, and how well they've done in recent years and this year again -- so it's spirited to begin with," Melvin added. "I think with both teams doing well to this point, it kind of adds to (the intrigue)."

Newly acquired Jeff Samardzija won his Oakland debut on Sunday as the A's completed a four-game sweep over Toronto with a 4-2 victory. Samardzija pitched seven innings of one-run ball while notching more strikeouts (five) than hits allowed (four).

Samardzija was acquired on Saturday along with starter Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs in a trade that centered around highly touted shortstop prospect Addison Russell. Oakland then sent left-hander Tommy Milone (6-0, 2.62 ERA over his last 11 starts) to Triple-A Sacramento to make room for the new additions on its active roster.

Oakland entered Monday with a 3 1/2-game lead over the Angels in the AL West division standings. The A's currently boast the best record in the majors at 55-33.

Meanwhile, the Giants won two straight at San Diego over the weekend to pull to within a half-game of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West lead. A month ago, the Giants led the division by as many as 9 1/2 games.

On Sunday, San Francisco rode another strong start from Tim Lincecum to a 5-3 victory. Lincecum ran his scoreless innings streak to 23 before Brooks Conrad broke it up in the seventh with a solo homer. However, All-Star Hunter Pence notched three hits and scored three times to help back the right-hander.

Taking the hill for San Francisco in Monday's series opener is Ryan Vogelsong, who has lost his last two starts despite allowing a combined three runs over 13 innings while striking out 15. Most recently, he pitched seven innings of two-run ball against St. Louis on Wednesday.

For Oakland, Jesse Chavez is looking to rebound from back-to-back sub par outings. The right-hander gave up five earned runs in five innings at Detroit last week, as he struck out five and issued four walks. With starters Samardzija and Hammel now in the fold, Chavez may be battling to keep a spot in the starting rotation.