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OAKLAND http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-paul-konerko-jersey , Calif. — Two guys thrust into the middle of a playoff race will go head-to-head in a high-stakes matchup when the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics continue a three-game series on Tuesday night.The A’s (83-56) tightened up the American League wild-card race with a 6-3 win in the series opener on Monday, moving within 3 1/2 games of the Yankees (86-52) for the right to host the single-elimination contest.Yankees left-hander J.A. Happ (15-6, 4.00 ERA), acquired from Toronto at the trade deadline, will get the ball in Tuesday’s rematch, with the A’s calling upon right-hander Liam Hendriks (0-1, 7.82) in what figures to be a parade of relievers from Oakland’s deep bullpen.Article continues below ...That’s no mismatch, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after watching his club lose for the fifth time in their last eight games Monday.“They have some dynamic guys down there that make it tough,” Boone said of the Oakland bullpen, which has allowed a 3.29 ERA and .226 opponents’ batting average this season. “It’s that time of year. If you want to be great, it’s hard. We have to keep grinding away here and do a better job of rallying back.”Hendriks will be starting his second game in four days. The first did not go well.He allowed two hits and a walk to the first eight Seattle Mariners he faced, leaving a scoreless game with two on and two outs in the second inning.A’s manager Bob Melvin chose that point to switch to a left-hander, and the move backfired when left-handed-hitting Ben Gamel smacked a two-run double off Danny Coulombe, giving Seattle a lead it never relinquished.Suffice it to say, the Yankees will not be seeing Coulombe. He was designated for assignment Monday so that the A’s could add yet another arm, right-hander Aaron Brooks, to their reliever corps.Tuesday’s start will be just Hendriks” second since 2014, and his first against the Yankees since 2012, when as the starter for the Minnesota Twins he allowed a two-run home run to Nick Swisher in the first inning of a 6-3 loss.Hendriks, who has spent most of this season at Triple-A Nashville Miguel Gonzalez Jersey , has faced the Yankees a total of eight times, seven times in relief, with a 2-2 record and 6.75 ERA.He will be complemented not only by a seemingly endless supply of quality arms in the Oakland bullpen, but by a team that left the stadium Monday feeling good about itself.Asked if the three-run win had sent a message to the Yankees, A’s catcher Jonathan Lucroy said, “Not only send a message to them, but send a message to the league that we’re coming after it and we want it.”The road to a second consecutive win over the team with the second-best record in the majors will have to go through Happ, one of the majors’ nine 15-game winners.The 35-year-old hasn’t seen the A’s this season, but he has had success against them in the past, going 4-1 with a 3.69 ERA in 10 meetings, including eight starts.The A’s knocked out Happ, pitching then for Toronto, in the sixth inning of their most recent head-to-head last June, although it was Ryon Healy, now a member of the Mariners, who did all the damage, driving in five runs with two homers in a 5-3 win. TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani tossed his water bottle toward a clubhouse garbage can and missed, instead landing it in a laundry bin. He laughed out loud, smiled big as he so often does Tim Anderson Jersey , then retrieved the trash and put it in the proper place.That’s about as close to throwing as the Japanese two-way star is right now.Ohtani wouldn’t change how he handled his elbow injury late last year, continuing to hit for the Angels until season’s end even if it meant delaying reconstructive surgery and his ability to pitch again until 2020.“I have no regrets about what happened last year. That’s what the team thought about me, the plan,” Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. “In the end it didn’t work out but I still have no regrets.”The reigning AL Rookie of the Year is recovering from an Oct. 1 Tommy John surgery with the hope he will be able to bat in the Los Angeles lineup as early as May if all stays on schedule.“There’s a lot of variables. That’s the goal I’m shooting for but there might be some setbacks here and there,” Ohtani said. “If not, that’s what I’m trying to go for.”At Tempe Diablo Stadium, the scene Wednesday was a far cry from a year ago when Ohtani showed up at spring training with fanfare and faced a huge media contingent following his every move. For now, the two-way star isn’t even on the field as he works out inside.Even the second time around, “I feel just as nervous as last year, my first year.”Ohtani acknowledged that’s partly because he’s behind schedule with the extensive rehab and will have to “catch up to everybody.”“It’s going to be a slow process,” new manager Brad Ausmus said ahead of his club’s first on-field session for pitchers and catchers. “He gets his workouts in. Right now he’ll be mostly inside. We need to protect this guy long term, so we’re hoping for May but if it goes longer it goes longer.”The 24-year-old Ohtani spent time back home in Japan this offseason working through his rehabilitation, which right now includes dry swings only in terms of his hitting preparation.Ohtani said everything is going smoothly at this stage.“So far there’s nothing in my elbow, I don’t feel anything there. It’s been great,” he said. “I just need to watch my effort level, try to keep it down and listen to the trainers.”Ohtani went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 10 starts as a pitcher. He played 104 games overall as a rookie, hitting .285 with 22 homers and 61 RBIs.While the Angels can’t wait to get Ohtani healthy to hit, they won’t rush him. He and Albert Pujols are expected to share designated hitter duties, with Pujols playing first on days Ohtani hits — that is, if Pujols is physically fine and performing http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-paul-konerko-jersey , otherwise Justin Bour becomes an option. The free agent first baseman signed a $2.5 million, one-year deal in December.“That’s why we’re saying we’re going to be extremely cautious because we don’t want the fact that he might be able to DH affect him being able to pitch in 2020,” Ausmus said of Ohtani.Ohtani has accepted this year will be about what he can do behind the plate.“This season I’m obviously going to be prioritizing my hitting. That’s what I’m going to focus on right now,” he said. “We can push back the pitching because I’m not going to be pitching this season. So the plan is to get back hitting first and take it easy on the pitching side.”Notes: RHP Daniel Hudson is in camp after signing a minor league deal and getting an invite to big league spring training. If added to the 40-man roster, he would get a $1.5 million salary in the major leagues and would have the chance to earn $1.5 million in performance bonuses for games: $100,000 each for 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40, and $200,000 apiece for 45, 50, 55, 60 and 65. … 1B/DH Albert Pujols, who had season-ending knee surgery in August followed by the elbow procedure in September to remove bone spurs, will be worked in slowly. “Right now he’s capable of doing everything but we are going to monitor the workload,” Ausmus said. “We’re going to manage the workload to try and avoid any issues with most specifically the knee.” The 39-year-old slugger batted .245 with 19 homers and 64 RBIs playing 117 games in his 18th season. He has 633 career home runs.