In the chase for the AL's second wild card playoff berth, Oakland is leading Cleveland by 2 1/2 games, the Orioles by three and New York by 3 1/2.
Another important series has arrived for the Orioles, who are 68-58 to Oakland's 71-55. The A's have lost their last two games and are 15-16 since the All-Star break.
Oakland has solid pitching with a team ERA that ranks third in the AL and they've issued the second-fewest walks in the majors.
But when the O's took three of four at Oakland from April 25-28, they had 47 hits in those four games and scored 28 runs on a team batting average of .315. The O's hit .349 (15-for-43) with runners in scoring position in that series.
Manny Machado went 8-for-19 then with three doubles. Chris Davis was 4-for-13 with two homers and six RBIs. Adam Jones went 7-for-18 with two doubles, a homer and four RBIs. Nate McLouth had a tremendous series, going 9-for-16 with two doubles, a homer and five RBIs.
Because they went 3-1 in that series in Oakland - a place where the O's went just 3-16 the previous five seasons - the Orioles can win the season series if they take just one game this weekend.
That would be news since the Orioles have lost 13 and tied one season series with Oakland since going 8-3 in 1998.
A few other O's and A's notes:
* Oakland has had a winning record in eight straight months, but is 8-10 in August so far.
* O's starters have nine quality starts over the last 15 games, pitching to an ERA of 3.46 in that stretch.
* Davis is 8-for-16 during a five-game hitting streak with two homers and four RBIs. He has hit six homers his last 13 games and nine in the last 20.
* Brian Roberts is 1-for-13 the last three games after going 11-for-23 during his previous seven games.
* The A's are 15-16 since the All-Star break while the Orioles are 15-15.
* The A's have made 18 errors the last 20 games while the Orioles have made 38 in 126 games on the year.