Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 8/31/12
When Oakland and Boston last met in early July, the Athletics were a bit of an afterthought in the playoff picture while the Red Sox were just off the cut for the wild card. A three-game sweep by the Athletics essentially spurred their playoff push and initiated Boston's unraveling. The surging A's try to match last season's win total and also beat the Red Sox for a sixth straight time in Friday night's series opener in Oakland. The A's (73-57) return home after defeating Cleveland 12-7 on Thursday to win the final six contests of a seven-game road trip. They've won 12 of 14 overall to open a one-game lead over Baltimore for the AL's top wild-card spot. "No one expected us to do anything," outfielder Josh Reddick told the Athletics' official website. "Obviously we're opening a lot of eyes and surprising a lot of people, and that's what we enjoy." Oakland shouldn't be sneaking up on anyone anymore, having gone a major league-best 36-15 since July 1. A July 2-4 sweep of a Red Sox...
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