Coming off a brutal outing in his first start of the year, Harang will try to impress manager Ken Macha when the A’s play the middle game of their interleague series with the Montreal Expos at Network Associates Coliseum.
Harang, recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on May 24, tossed four innings of scorless relief against Minnesota on May 28. Given the ball in the second game of a doubleheader Sunday at Philadelphia, the right-hander was pounded for five runs and four hits over three innings, walking two and striking out five.
“Not a very good start for Aaron to have a chance at the No. 5 spot,” said Macha, who is flirting with bringing up top prospect Rich Harden from Sacramento if Harang falters again.
“Aaron will start Saturday, and we’ll see what happens.”
Harang, who replaced lefty John Halama in the rotation, was disappointed with his performance.
“I was just trying to go out and pitch the way I had been pitching,” he said. “It’s just one of those days when it just didn’t happen.”
The A’s took the series opener with the Expos 8-4 on Friday, as Ramon Hernandez homered and drove in a career high-tying four runs. Oakland had lost four of five, and has yet to win consecutive games this month.
“We’re the kind of club who picks it up as the season goes along,” Hernandez said. “Things are starting to go our way.”
STANDINGS: Expos - 2nd place, 6 GB, NL East. Athletics - 2nd place, 8 GB, AL West.
EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: T.J. Tucker (0-1, 5.82 ERA). Tucker will be making his first start after 23 relief appearances. The right-hander has not pitched since giving up four runs and four hits in one inning of the Expos’ 13-10 win over Texas last Friday. Tucker has not started since going 0-1 with an 11.57 ERA in two outings during his rookie campaign in 2000.
ATHLETICS PROBABLE STARTER: Harang (0-1, 6.43 ERA). Harang has made eight career appearances, including seven starts, at Network Associates Coliseum, going 2-3 with a 3.05 ERA.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Expos - Vidro, .330 avg.; Cabrera, 10 HRs, 37 RBIs and 42 runs; Endy Chavez, 11 SBs. Athletics - Byrnes, .326 avg. and 6 SBs.; Eric Chavez, 12 HRs; Erubiel Durazo, 39 RBIs and 37 runs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Expos - 6-4. Athletics - 4-6.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Expos - The Expos have used seven different leadoff hitters this year, including OF Brad Wilkerson on Friday. … RHP Tucker yielded six runs and 10 hits over four innings in his last two relief outings. … The Expos are 2-2 on a nine-game road trip. Athletics - C Hernandez is hitting .305 at night compared to .206 during the day this year. His eight homers this season are one more than he had all of last year. … INF Frank Menechino has missed the last two games with a deep bruise in his right calf. … The A’s are 2-2 on a 12-game homestand.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Expos - 16-17 on the road; Athletics - 21-10 at home.
INJURIES: Expos - OF Vladimir Guerrero (back), 15-day DL; RHP Tony Armas Jr. (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Zach Day (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Orlando Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL. Athletics - LHP Micah Bowie (elbow), 15-day DL; INF Menechino (calf), 15-day DL.
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