After the A’s (83-57) gained a game in the wild-card

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After the A’s (83-57) gained a game in the wild-card

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OAKLAND http://www.chicagocubsteamshop.com/authentic-john-lackey-jersey , Calif. — The New York Yankees look to take a giant step toward hosting the American League wild-card game when they go for a second straight win against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night. race with a 6-3 victory in the series opener Monday, the Yankees (87-52) rode the strong pitching of J.A. Happ and their Aroldis Chapman-less bullpen to a 5-1 victory Tuesday night that restored their 4 1/2-game lead.A Yankees win Wednesday would not only allow them to win the series 2-1 and the season series 4-2, but also put them 5 1/2 games up with 22 to play.Article continues below ...New York will send right-hander Luis Severino (17-6, 3.32 ERA) after the important win, while Oakland counters with righty Mike Fiers (10-6, 3.38) in what could be a preview of the pitching matchup should the clubs meet again in the single-elimination October affair.Severino dominated the A’s in an earlier matchup this season in New York, allowing one run and five hits in six innings. He struck out the heart of the Oakland order — Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, Matt Olson and Matt Chapman — in succession bridging the first and second innings.The 24-year-old has pitched once previously in Oakland and did not get a decision, giving up four runs in six innings in a 7-6 loss in June 2017.All told, he’s 1-0 with a 3.50 ERA in three career starts against the A’s.The A’s managed two hits off Happ on Tuesday, one being Stephen Piscotty’s 22nd home run of the season.Piscotty will take the field for the series finale riding a seven-game hitting streak, with four home runs and 11 RBIs over that stretch.He’s never faced Severino in his career.Fiers Ben Zobrist Jersey , meanwhile, will be looking to keep the A’s unbeaten in his starts since being acquired from Detroit last month. He’s 3-0, with Oakland having gone 5-0 with the new staff ace on the mound.The 33-year-old split a pair of decisions against the Yankees earlier this season while with the Tigers, allowing a total of seven earned runs in 11 1/3 innings. Aaron Hicks has homered twice off him this season and Giancarlo Stanton once.Fiers has started five times against the Yankees in his career, going 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA.The Yankees feel so good about their situation, much of their attention was focused on Tuesday’s pregame festivities.Aaron Judge, who suffered a broken right wrist July 26, put on a loud show in the underground batting cages in Oakland for the second straight day.“I really didn’t feel too much of anything,” Judge said of the pain. “It’s still broken, so there is some soreness that comes with that. But for the most part, I’m feeling great.”The Yankees hope to get Judge back by mid-month. Well before that, they expect shortstop Didi Gregorius to return from his bruised left heel.He took grounders and ran the bases Tuesday, with his sights set on a return Friday night in Seattle. MIAMI — Perhaps the Miami Marlins have signaled that they are not going to take it anymore. Entering Friday http://www.chicagocubsteamshop.com/authentic-anthony-rizzo-jersey , the last-place Marlins had lost seven straight games to the National League East-leading Atlanta Braves.But after beating the Braves 1-0 on Friday and 3-1 on Saturday, the Marlins need a win Sunday to take a series from Atlanta for the first time this season.Overall, the Braves (72-57) lead this year’s series 13-5, but you couldn’t tell that from the past two nights. The Marlins (53-78) got great starting pitching from Dan Straily and Wei-Yin Chen — they combined for 12 scoreless innings — and also received nearly impeccable relief work.Article continues below ...Only a ninth-inning homer by shortstop Dansby Swanson on Saturday got Atlanta on the board the past two nights.“It shows you that we’re capable of beating a first-place team,” Straily said. “It really does a lot of good for the morale of our clubhouse.”On Sunday, the Marlins will start 22-year-old rookie right-hander Pablo Lopez (2-3, 4.42 ERA). The native of Venezuela began the season at Double-A Jacksonville and received a promotion to Triple-A New Orleans before beating the New York Mets 5-2 on June 30 in his major-league debut.Lopez is 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA in his one appearance against the Braves on Aug. 13. He will face Braves right-hander Kevin Gausman (8-9, 3.99 ERA), a former LSU pitcher who was the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft by the Baltimore Orioles.Gausman is 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA in four starts since the Braves acquired him from the Orioles on July 31. He has allowed just three runs in his past 22 innings.Braves pitchers have gone at least eight innings just four times this season — twice by Gausman, who has the ability to be a staff ace.Gausman will face a Marlins lineup that lacks big names but can surprise pitchers on occasion.Case in point is rookie third baseman Brian Anderson, who has also played right field this year.Anderson hit his 10th homer of the season on Saturday and has been a standout despite being lost in the giant shadows cast by fellow rookies Ronald Acuna of the Atlanta Braves and Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals.Anderson’s home run was pulled 415 feet to left field. The exit velocity was clocked at 106 mph.Miami also got a triple and a run scored Saturday from Rafael Ortega, a 27-year-old from Venezuela who can best be described as a career minor-leaguer. He entered the month with just 68 games of major-league experience but now is starting for the Marlins in right field. Miami also starts a rookie in center field (Magneuris Sierra), a rookie in left field (Austin Dean) Kosuke Fukudome Jersey , rookie Anderson at third and rookie Lopez on the mound.In addition, the shortstop, JT Riddle, is in his second year in the majors and started this season in the minors.The Braves have a much better lineup on paper with Acuna (.930 OPS) in left field, Freddie Freeman (.920 OPS) at first base and Nick Markakis (.852 OPS) in right field. Right now, though, the Braves are slumping.“You hit a roadblock sometimes in baseball,” Braves pitcher Mike Foltynewicz told the ajc.com. “It’s unfortunate, but that’s why you play 162.”