A sweep of a first-place team gave the Cincinnati Reds a much-needed boost, as might a better performance from Bronson Arroyo on Friday night.
Arroyo looks to bounce back from a miserable outing by taking advantage of a matchup with a San Diego Padres lineup which is struggling and short-handed.
Cincinnati (63-51) had dropped seven of nine before sweeping two games from AL West-leading Oakland this week.
Jay Bruce homered in both wins and drove in three runs in Wednesday's 6-5 victory. The pair of wins kept Cincinnati 4 1/2 games in front of Arizona for the NL's final wild card spot.
"I think that we need every win from this point out," Bruce told the team's website. "And I think that's something we expect out of ourselves. (The A's) have been playing good baseball all year, and we played a little better these two days. I think that's hopefully a sign of what's to come."
The Reds are also hoping Arroyo (9-9, 3.62 ERA) can get back on track after giving up seven runs over 3 2-3 ...