June 25-June 27, Oakland A's Series

After facing their Southern California rivals, the Giants and A's meet for this season's first Battle of the Bay. The Giants go on the road for a short roadtrip across the Bay for this series, which will give them a test of playing outside of the comforts of their own ballpark.

The Giants are finally getting production from throughout their lineup. Edgardo Alfonzo has been an RBI machine, making teams pay for walking the struggling Barry Bonds. A.J. Pierzynski has also been hot, and Deivi Cruz has also played hard and produced, giving the Giants reason to make him their starting shortstop.

Opening the series for the Giants will be Jason Schmidt (9-2, 2.26), who has nine straight wins, going against former Cy Young winner, Barry Zito (4-4, 4.81). Schmidt has had decent success against the A's, but Eric Karros is 17-44 against him with two doubles and a homerun, but also has nine strikeouts. Scott Hatteberg is 3-7, but the rest of the A's have been quiet against Schmidt. Zito has no pitched well this season, but has always had success against the Giants. Aside from Cruz being 6-17 with three doubles and a jack, Neifi Perez being 8-16 with a jack, and Dustan Mohr going 4-11 with a double, one or two hits are scattered throughout the Giants' lineup against Zito.

In the second game, Kirk Rueter (3-6, 4.75) will take the mound against the young Rich Harden (3-5, 4.25). In limited experience against the A's, Rueter has not done well against them. Karros is 15-48 with two doubles and three homeruns, and Mark Kotsay is 9-27 with a double. Jermaine Dye has three hits in seven at-bats with a jack. Harden's only track record against San Francisco is against Tucker and Cruz, with Tucker going 0-3 against him and Cruz going 1-2.

For the series finale, San Francisco's Dustin Hermanson (2-2, 4.86) will pitch against Oakland's ace, Tim Hudson (7-3, 2.98). Hermanson will try to get a decision after getting eight no-decisions this season, against a team he hasn't had much experience with. Karros is 8- 26 with two jacks, and Kotsay is 5-21. Durazo has one hit in three at- bats, and the rest of Oakland are either hitless or haven't faced Hermanson before. Against Hudson, Bonds and Tucker have done well, both going 6-14. Bonds has one double and two homeruns, and Tucker has three doubles with one jack. Pierzynski is 4-15 and Cruz is 6-25.

Matt Herges (4-2, 4.86) hopes to continue his success in save situations, as he has gathered twenty so far this season. The only A's player who has a hit against him is Durazo, who is 1-4. The rest of the A's have either not faced Herges, or is hitless, including Kotsay's 0-7 and Damian Miller's 0-6. The A's Arthur Rhodes (3-3, 5.28) has not been doing well for the A's at all, with only nine saves for the season. However, he has been effective against the Giants, with only Snow, going 3-7 with a roundtripper, and Alfonzo, going 2-4 with a jack, who have success against him. Because of Rhodes' inability to produce as closer, the A's brought Houston's Octavio Dotel (0-4, 3.12) onboard, and he may pitch as early as Friday for Oakland. The only Giants who have hit Dotel well are Neifi Perez (3-6) and Durham (2-3).

Sara Kwan is a writer for SFDugout.com. Got a bone to pick? Just want to say hi? Hit me up: kwanchino@alpha-q.net.

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