When the A's and Reds take the field at O.co Coliseum on Tuesday, it will be after each team enjoys a much needed day of rest.
Oakland's game against Seattle on Sunday was its 30th in the last 31 days. Meanwhile, Cincinnati's win over Arizona on Sunday afternoon capped a stretch of 17 straight days of play.
For the A's, the busy schedule has mostly taken a toll on the bullpen. On Saturday, Jerry Blevins and Ryan Cook combined to give up five runs in a 7-5 loss to the Mariners. In the series finale Sunday, Grant Balfour surrendered two hits, including a three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th.
Four of Oakland's five losses on its recent seven-game road trip were charged to the bullpen. Manager Bob Melvin said a lot of those struggles could be attributed to fatigue.
"It's difficult, and I think they might be a little bit tired right now, which probably is natural," Melvin said. "We've had some close games, and these guys have been in a lot of games. It taxes you. So this is going to be a good little opportunity to get some rest."
With their 4-2 win against the D-backs, the Reds finished their 17-game stretch without an off-day at 9-8. Five of those wins came at home as the Reds head out for an Interleague series in Oakland, where they have not had much success in limited opportunities.
In nine regular-season games on the road against the A's, the Reds are 4-5, with three of those wins coming in a sweep in 2010, the last time the teams met. However, one player who has done well against Oakland is Tuesday starter Bronson Arroyo. In six career starts against the A's -- five of which came while he was with Boston -- Arroyo is 3-1 with a 3.96 ERA.
This season, Arroyo has gone 6-5 while building a 3.13 ERA. Most recently, he took a no-decision against the Pirates despite allowing just one earned run and seven hits in seven innings of work.
Athletics: Milone looks to rebound
If Tommy Milone hopes to get back to .500 on Tuesday against the Reds, he will most likely have to improve upon his last time out, when he allowed a season-high six runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Rangers.
In three starts before that, Milone allowed five combined runs. As far as manager Bob Melvin was concerned, Milone's struggles against Texas were not cause for concern.
"A little out of the ordinary for Tommy," Melvin aid. "Chris [Young] hits a big home run, and that's a big momentum shift, because it didn't look like Tommy had his best stuff. Then you try to go out and shut it down. Tommy has done that for us a bunch of times. It just didn't happen tonight."
Reds: Bruce powering the Reds
Jay Bruce enters Tuesday's game coming off a productive week.
Since June 16, the Reds right fielder has hit seven home runs in eight games, driving in eight runs. Before going 2-for-4 with two doubles Sunday, those seven homers accounted for each of Bruce's last seven hits. He heads into the series opener against the A's having reached base safely in 10 of his last 11 contests.
• The Reds have used two designated hitters in Interleague Play this season. Jack Hannahan went 0-for-4 on May 29 against the Indians, while Devin Mesoraco went 1-for-4 the next day in Cleveland.
• Cincinnati is 19-8 on the road this season, while Oakland is 22-12 at home.
• The A's have lost four of their last five and six of their last nine games.
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.