The A's and Giants no longer own the two best records in baseball, but there will still be plenty of buzz surrounding this year's Bay Bridge Series beginning Monday.
Oakland, the best team in the Majors to this point, will play host to the first two games of the home-and-home series, welcoming in a San Francisco squad that has squandered a 9 1/2-game lead in the National League West over the last month. In spite of the Giants' recent slide, they are still right behind the first-place Dodgers in the division.
It was 25 years ago that the A's defeated the Giants in an earthquake-interrupted World Series, and this week the Giants will look to revive the conversation about a potential Bay Bridge World Series redux.
"We have a bit of a rivalry going here, so it always seems like it's a different atmosphere," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "I'm on record saying that I've been caught up in it the last several years. Something that I look forward to."
The A's took three of four from the Giants in 2013, which was the first time since 1998 that the teams employed a two-games-each, home-and-home format. Oakland leads the all-time regular-season series, 50-46.
Melvin said he is more familiar with the Giants than any other NL team.
"It seems like we played them 10 times in spring, and then we have the Bay Bridge Series, and how well they've done in recent years and this year again -- so it's spirited to begin with," he said. "I think with both teams doing well to this point, it kind of adds to it."
San Francisco will send right-hander Ryan Vogelsong to the hill for Monday's opener at O.co Coliseum. Vogelsong has had back-to-back strong starts after a bit of a rough patch, allowing just three runs over 13 innings. But he took losses both times, receiving almost no support from his offense. The Giants are averaging 3.24 runs in his starts.
Oakland will counter with Jesse Chavez, who is going through his first real rough patch of 2014. The righty has been rock solid through most of his first season as a starter, but he's surrendered nine runs in his last 10 innings.
Some have speculated that Chavez could ultimately return to the bullpen with the arrival of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, but he remains in the rotation for now after left-hander Tommy Milone was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Samardzija.
Giants: Sandoval sits with sore elbow
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval sat out Sunday's game in San Diego after getting hit by a pitch on his left elbow Saturday.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy is hopeful that Sandoval will be ready to return Monday.
Batting left-handed against righty Odrisamer Despaigne in the first inning, Sandoval swung at an 0-1 slider that ended up hitting him on the left forearm, near the elbow. He left the game.
Joaquin Arias got the start at third Sunday.
A's: Moss has MRI on ankle
Brandon Moss was out of the A's lineup for a second consecutive day Sunday when the A's completed their four-game series with the Blue Jays. He received an MRI on his sprained left ankle, which has not responded as well as he expected after rolling it over Friday.
"It's just to the point where we're a little bit concerned and want to be precise about what we see," said Melvin.
The MRI showed no structural damage, and he could potentially return to the A's lineup Monday. Moss spent much of the last week in right field in place of the injured Josh Reddick. Stephen Vogt has since taken over those duties.
Moss is tied with Josh Donaldson for the team lead in home runs (19) and RBIs (62).
• The Giants are 23-12 in day games and 26-27 in night games.
• Samardzija on Sunday became the fourth A's pitcher age 29 or older to start a game this season. Oakland had just three such pitchers in the previous three years.
Aaron Leibowitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.