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Athletics-White Sox Preview

AP - Sports

The AL West-leading Oakland Athletics are the hottest team in baseball, and the last-place Chicago White Sox have been a frequent victim of late.

The A's look to continue their staggering stretch behind superb pitching and timely hitting and beat the White Sox for a sixth straight meeting Saturday.

Oakland (38-25) has won 18 of 21 games, moving past Texas to regain the division lead for the first time since April 20.

That tremendous surge has been spurred by a 2.47 ERA, with the starters posting a 1.60 mark in that span.

Five of the Athletics' last seven victories have come against the White Sox (25-34), who have dropped 10 of 11 while batting .213 and averaging 2.6 runs.

Oakland has won all five meetings this season, the last four decided by two runs or one.

Adam Rosales' solo homer in the top of the 10th lifted the A's to a 5-4 win Thursday and Josh Donaldson erased a three-run deficit in the sixth with his first career grand slam in Friday's 4-3 victory. Josh Reddick's homer-saving catch in the ninth may have sealed the win.

"It's a fun run," said Jarrod Parker, Friday's winning pitcher. "I think right now we're putting together complete games and we're playing well in all facets of the game."

Donaldson is batting .400 with 13 RBIs over the past 14 games, increasing his season average to a team-leading .329. He hit .241 in 75 games last year.

"He keeps coming up with bigger and bigger hits and his approach is great every time, especially with runners in scoring position," manager Bob Melvin said. "He's pretty impressive."

Tommy Milone (6-5, 3.91 ERA) starts for the A's seeking to win four straight decisions for the first time.

The offense has played a big part in the left-hander's winning streak, backing him with an average of 7.7 runs while he's gone 3-0 with a 4.32 ERA.

Milone got plenty of help Monday, when he allowed two runs in seven innings as the offense pounded out a season-high 19 hits in a 10-2 win at Milwaukee. He even took part in the offensive onslaught, getting two hits and an RBI.

The White Sox have totaled 10 runs and batted .195 with one homer against the A's this season.

John Danks (0-2, 5.63) tries a fourth time for his first win after starting the season on the disabled list following shoulder surgery.

The left-hander was a 4-2 loser at Seattle on Monday, giving up four runs - three earned - in six innings. He tossed a season-high 104 pitches, but continued to struggle with the velocity of his fastball - a byproduct of surgery.

"I've kind of taken the mindset that I'm going to go out there with what I have, try to stay within myself and throw the ball down in the zone," Danks told the team's official website.

He's 5-1 with a 2.26 ERA in eight starts against the A's, but hasn't faced them since a win at U.S. Cellular Field on June 11, 2011.

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