The Oakland Athletics have relied on a team-first approach to vault 16 games above .500 despite a limited payroll.
Now, the A's own a franchise record to show for it.
Oakland has 10 players with 10-plus home runs after Stephen Piscotty joined the double-digit club by going deep in an 11-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night. That broke a franchise record of nine players with 10 or more home runs in a season, which the A's reached during the 2000 and 2017 campaigns.
Host Chicago will try to quiet Oakland's bats when the teams meet in the rubber match of a three-game series on Wednesday afternoon.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he already has moved on from the previous night's drubbing, which included three-run shots by Piscotty and Dustin Garneau.
"That was a pretty fast butt-kicking right there," Maddon told reporters. "Stuff happens and you just can't overanalyze anything."
Instead, the Cubs will hope for better results behind left-hander Jose Quintana (9-7, 4.40 ERA), who is scheduled to make his 22nd start. Quintana has earned a victory in five of his past six outings and is coming off a quality start against the Milwaukee Brewers in which he allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings.
In five career starts against Oakland, Quintana is 1-0 with a 3.31 ERA. He has walked five and struck out 25 in 32 2/3 innings.
The A's will counter with right-hander Homer Bailey (9-7, 5.20), who will make his 23rd start of the season and his fifth since the A's acquired him from the Kansas City Royals. Bailey is 2-1 with a 6.97 ERA in his first four starts with the A's, but his lofty ERA was inflated by one disastrous performance in which he gave up nine runs in two innings on July 22 at Houston. He has recovered to post back-to-back quality starts.
The 33-year-old Bailey knows the Cubs well from his days in the National League Central while pitching for the Cincinnati Reds. He has started 20 career games against Chicago, posting an 8-5 record with a 4.86 ERA. His eight wins mark the second-most victories for Bailey against any other team.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will look to maintain his success against Bailey. He is hitting .393 (11-for-28) with four doubles, two homers and seven RBI against the veteran hurler.
The opposite end of the spectrum features Cubs shortstop Javier Baez, who is 0-for-10 lifetime against Bailey with five strikeouts.
For Oakland, Piscotty is showing positive signs for the A's since returning from a sprained right knee that sidelined him for more than a month. He is hitting .333 (5-for-15) since coming back and offered a glimpse of his power potential with a three-run homer Tuesday.
"It's not a finished product yet, but I'm in a better place now than I was going into that injury," he told the San Francisco Chronicle.
--Field Level Media
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