The Oakland Athletics have won four in a row and seven of their last nine, and they’ll look to Dan Straily to maintain the consistently solid production on the mound that the team has become accustomed to as the offense tries to stay hot against the Toronto Blue Jays and the formidable Mark Buehrle Tuesday night.
Straily is looking to bounce back after a disappointing outing against the Angels in which he gave up five runs on seven hits and was knocked out of he game in the fifth inning. That brought the right-hander’s record to 6-4 on the year with a 4.43 ERA, and he’ll try to get back on track against the club he faced in his Major League debut.
Buehrle will try to build off his last start, a tw0-hit shutout over the Astros. He struck out nine and walked two in that contest, and it has been another workman-like year for the veteran left-hander, who has averaged 6.2 strikeouts per nine innings, which would be the sec0nd-highest rate of his career if he kept it up through the end of the season.
He’ll need to be sharp from the start against an Oakland offense that’s scored 19 runs in the past two games. Yoenis Cespedes drove in seven of them, and the emergence of the Cuban slugger could be key as the A’s try to build on their six game lead over the struggling Texas Rangers in the AL West.
Straily has to be careful as well, and he can ask A.J. Griffin what happens when you make a mistake against the Blue Jays. Griffin gave up three home runs to Toronto Monday night, and Toronto is second only to the Orioles for the most homers in all of baseball.
It’s not easy to hit them in the expansive O.co Coliseum, however, and Straily has only given up eight on the year, and he seemed to be on the precipice of declaring himself as a regular in the rotation before consecutive losses to the Angels. He’ll go into tonight’s game with the comfort of knowing his team has the best home record in the American League at 34-16.
Game time is at 7:05 PST.
1. C. Crisp DH
2. C. Young CF
3. J. Lowrie 2B
4. Y. Cespedes LF
5. J. Donaldson 3B
6. N. Freiman 1B
7. D. Norris C
8. J. Reddick RF
9. A. Rosales SS