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Tomko to face another division leader

Tomko to face another division leader

ANAHEIM -- Signed to a Minor League deal on Aug. 3, A's right-hander Brett Tomko spent two weeks at Triple-A Sacramento before being called up to face the Yankees, who had released him a week before Oakland plucked him off the scrap heap.

Tomko responded to his promotion by firing five shutout innings to beat New York, the American League East leaders. Five days later, he gave up one run over six innings to beat the AL Central-leading Tigers.

"You can't do anything more than he's done," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "We can't ask for anything more."

More

Oh, but the A's are asking for more. On Friday, they'll be asking Tomko to try to complete a daunting division-leaders trifecta as he takes on the top dogs of the AL West in the second game of a four-game series at Angel Stadium.

A 36-year-old who has played for nine big league teams, Tomko doesn't exactly seem overwhelmed by the challenge. He's simply enjoying another opportunity to compete at the game's highest level after a less-than-harmonious parting with the Yankees, who used him exclusively in relief.

"It's been a long road for me, especially this year," he said. "I've basically gone from zero to 90 pitches in three weeks. It's been an accelerated Spring Training for me. I don't really feel 36 -- maybe a little younger."

Geren said Tomko will basically be without the training wheels of a strict pitch count on Friday, but it's unlikely Tomko will throw more than 100-110 pitches.

Pitching matchup
OAK: RHP Brett Tomko (3-2, 3.69 ERA)
Tomko continued his strong stint with the A's by giving up just one run through six innings in his last start, against Detroit. He has won both of his starts since being selected by Oakland on Aug. 17 and has a 0.75 ERA in that span. Against the Tigers, he scattered just three hits while walking three and striking out eight.

LAA: RHP Trevor Bell (1-1, 9.49 ERA)
After handling himself capably in his first two starts, Bell was rocked by the Blue Jays on Sunday in Toronto, surrendering six earned runs on six hits and four walks in 1 2/3 innings, striking out two men. The three-run double lobbed over first base by Randy Ruiz that ended his day wasn't a bad pitch, down and in, but his command overall wasn't close to what it had been against the Rays and Indians. Bell, 22, has jumped from Double-A Arkansas to Triple-A Salt Lake to the big time this season, and that's a lot of ground to cover for a guy who hadn't pitched beyond Class A in his first four professional seasons.

Dribblers ...
Asked about hot prospect Chris Carter, who was promoted from Double-A Midland to Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday and went 3-for-5 with four RBIs in his first game with the River Cats, Geren said he gets daily reports on all of the organization's Minor Leaguers. He also poked a little hole in the notion that Carter, who isn't on the 40-man roster, won't be called up when rosters expand in September. "I don't think the 40-man is an issue the way a lot of people think it is," said the skipper. ... Bobby Crosby (left calf) did some running on Thursday for the first time since being placed on the disabled list. He's eligible for activation on Sept. 2, but he might head out for some Minor League action if he's cleared to play prior to that. Said strength and conditioning coach Bob Alejo of Crosby, "He's not that far away." ... Geren said to expect the first wave of callups in September to feature pitching, pitching and more pitching. "That's all we expect," he said. ... Sacramento outfielder Matt Carson homered on Thursday for the second consecutive night, giving him 23 for the season. Travis Buck also went deep for the 'Cats on Thursday.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• CSNCA-HD

On radio
• KTRB 860, KDIA 1640 (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Athletics (Vin Mazzaro, 4-9, 5.32) at Angels (Jered Weaver, 13-5, 4.03), 6:05 p.m. PT
• Sunday: Athletics (Brett Anderson, 7-9, 4.35) at Angels (John Lackey, 8-7, 4.16), 12:35 p.m. PT
• Monday: Athletics (Gio Gonzalez, 4-5, 5.88) vs. Royals (Luke Hochevar, 6-7, 5.52), 7:05 p.m. PT

Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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