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Manaea, Pomeranz set for battle of lefties

Special to MLB.com

Lefties Sean Manaea and Drew Pomeranz are set to take the mound on Saturday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum, for the third contest of a four-game set between the A's and the Red Sox.

Manaea will be making his second start for Oakland since returning from a stint on the 10-day disabled list with a shoulder strain. Pomeranz is slated to pitch against the A's for the first time since they shipped him to San Diego in a December 2015 trade that landed them first baseman Yonder Alonso.

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Lefties Sean Manaea and Drew Pomeranz are set to take the mound on Saturday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum, for the third contest of a four-game set between the A's and the Red Sox.

Manaea will be making his second start for Oakland since returning from a stint on the 10-day disabled list with a shoulder strain. Pomeranz is slated to pitch against the A's for the first time since they shipped him to San Diego in a December 2015 trade that landed them first baseman Yonder Alonso.

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The Red Sox will be sure to keep a close eye on Pomeranz, who exited his last outing after just three innings due to left triceps tightness.

"He really hasn't started an inning above 100 pitches in any of the starts he's had here," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "I would say we're ready for that to be the same tomorrow."

Pomeranz is 3-3 with a 5.29 ERA in seven starts, and he was gone before the fifth inning in three of them.

Manaea allowed only two hits and struck out seven Mariners in five innings on Monday in his return from the DL, but he walked five, gave up a Nelson Cruz homer and was charged with four runs in a loss. He's 1-3 with a 5.52 ERA this season.

Things to know about this game

• A's reliever John Axford (right shoulder) could be reinstated from the DL on Saturday and be available to make his season debut. Axford, 34, posted a 3.97 ERA in 68 contests as a key setup man for Oakland last season.

• Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts has put the ball in play on about 56 percent of his swings this season. Of the nearly 200 hitters who have taken at least 200 swings, he's the only one above 52 percent in that category.

• Oakland third baseman Trevor Plouffe enters Saturday's contest riding a 10-game hitting streak, the longest for any A's hitter this season.

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. He covered the Red Sox on Friday.

Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, Sean Manaea, Drew Pomeranz