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Athletics’ JP Sears faces former Yankees teammates

The New York Yankees will oppose one of the pitchers they dealt at the trade deadline when they face left-hander JP Sears and the host Oakland Athletics on Friday night in the continuation of a four-game series.

The Yankees opened a 10-game trip with a cakewalk on Thursday, scoring 10 times in the first four innings en route to a 13-4 romp over the A’s.

Sears (5-0, 1.93 ERA) never experienced anything close to that level of support while he was running up a 3-0 record in seven appearances for the Yankees this season. He won both of his starts for New York but did so with little backing in 2-0 and 2-1 wins.

The latter game came against the A’s on June 28, a little more than a month before he was dealt to Oakland as part of a package for Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino.

The 26-year-old has made three starts for the A’s, going 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA. He has never faced the Yankees nor any current member of the team.

When the A’s visited New York in June, the hosts swept the three games, but Oakland was competitive, getting outscored just 16-9.

The opener of the Yankees’ visit to Oakland, though, was over early.

“Turn the page on this game,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “A lot of things happened tonight that were interesting, I’ll say it that way. Some weird things tonight. Show up (Friday) and turn the page.”

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Sears will face a Yankees lineup that was struggling before making the cross-country flight Wednesday. New York scored more than four runs just once in the previous 14 games and had failed to reach double figures in 23 straight.

However, with Giancarlo Stanton returning from a one-month absence, it took the visitors just two innings to put up four against the A’s, and just four innings to reach 10 runs for the first time since July 29.

Stanton, who had been out due to Achilles soreness, contributed a hit and three RBIs to the onslaught.

“Really excited to get him back,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, noting he’d like to get Thursday’s designated hitter in the field as early as possible. “He’ll continue to work in pregame to kind of build himself up from an outfield standpoint to hopefully have that in the mix sometime in the next … whenever that comes.”

Hoping for more of the same from his supporting cast, New York right-hander Gerrit Cole (9-6, 3.41 ERA) will seek to continue his career-long dominance of his home state of California on Friday.

A native of Newport Beach near Los Angeles and a UCLA alumnus, Cole has gone 5-1 with a 2.70 ERA in nine career starts against the A’s, including 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA in four visits to Oakland.

The 31-year-old also has never lost in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels (4-0) and in San Francisco against the Giants (2-0). Throw in his 2-2 mark in Los Angeles against the Dodgers and his 3-1 record in San Diego against the Padres, and Cole owns a 14-3 lifetime record in California.

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Cole won’t take the mound in top form, however, having gone 0-4 with a 4.62 ERA in his past six starts. Most recently, he lost to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday after giving up four runs on five hits in six innings.


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