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OAK@MIN: Griffin tosses seven innings of two-hit ball

On the heels of Tuesday's 2-1 walk-off victory, the A's will send A.J. Griffin to the mound Wednesday as they attempt to whittle down their magic number of six just a little bit more.

While Griffin's main focus is helping the A's come closer to winning the American League West for the second consecutive year, the right-hander will also be trying to extend his four-game winning streak.

Griffin has a 3.60 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP over his last 25 innings and is coming off an eight-strikeout performance against the Twins.

"I was working quick," Griffin said. "I had a good rhythm. I felt like me again. It was fun. I feel like I can throw any pitch in any count and throw it effectively, and it's a lot more fun when that's going on."

As Griffin is looking to continue his recent string of success, Angels left-hander Jason Vargas will try to get back on track.

Vargas, who has a 5.54 ERA in seven starts since he returned from the DL, was roughed up his last time out, as he allowed eight runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Astros, though only one of the hits went for extra bases.

"There's really not a whole lot you can do about that, especially when they're just finding a way through the infield or right in front of the outfield," Vargas said. "Obviously it's frustrating, but at the same time, you're making good pitches."

Vargas allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings in his only meeting with the A's this season. On Wednesday, he's hoping to improve on that.

Angels: Nelson activated
When Chris Nelson strained his hamstring on Aug. 28, several assumed his season was over.

However, Nelson was activated from the DL on Tuesday.

"He's worked really hard," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Definitely available to play defense, and ran well enough that hopefully he's day to day before he can get out there and start playing and get some at-bats."

Athletics: Cespedes to play through tendinitis
An MRI exam on Yoenis Cespedes' right shoulder revealed some tendinitis, but there was no tear, so the outfielder will continue to play.

"It's tendinitis, which is a good outcome," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. "We'll probably DH him for a bit here, and then when he feels good, as far as throwing the ball, get him back out in the outfield. At least we feel better about the fact that we know what it is, and it is tendinitis."

Cespedes has started as the DH for four of the past five games, but the Athletics have plenty of outfielders so there is no need to rush him into the field before he is ready.

Worth noting
• The A's are 33-23 since the All-Star break.

• The Angels are 18-7 since Aug. 23.

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