Boston (68-51) at Oakland (69-50)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 58° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Wed Aug 13, 2003
  • TV: NESN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Mark Mulder is virtually unbeatable at Network Associates Coliseum.

That is bad news for the Boston Red Sox, who will try to avoid their third straight loss to the Oakland Athletics as the AL wild card contenders continue their four-game series.

Mulder is 10-1 with a 1.86 ERA in 12 home starts this year, tossing six of his major league-leading nine complete games at the Coliseum. He has dominated opponents in Oakland throughout his first four seasons in the majors, boasting a 34-9 mark with a 2.88 ERA—more than a run and a half better than his career ERA on the road (4.57).

Mulder had won three straight starts before Friday’s 3-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. The left-hander yielded three runs and 10 hits over eight innings, striking out two without a walk.

Tim Hudson outpitched Pedro Martinez to lead the A’s to a 4-0 win in Monday’s series opener. Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito helped Oakland to a 5-3 victory Tuesday, giving Mulder a chance to give the “Big Three” three straight wins over the Red Sox.

Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield and Oakland southpaw Ted Lilly are scheduled to pitch Thursday’s series finale.

Eric Chavez and Terrence Long homered Tuesday for the A’s, who are one game in front of the struggling Red Sox in the wild card race.

Oakland, which owns the majors’ best home record at 42-18, is 7-4 in August. Boston has gone 5-7 this month, dropping five of its last six, to slip four games back of first-place New York in the AL East.

The A’s have also won 11 of 13 at home.

STANDINGS: Red Sox - 2nd place, 4 GB, AL East. Athletics - 2nd place, 3 GB, AL West.

RED SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Derek Lowe (11-6, 5.07 ERA). Lowe has dropped consecutive starts, including Friday’s 10-4 loss to Baltimore at Fenway Park. The veteran right-hander, a 20-game winner last season, was pounded for six runs and eight hits in six innings, striking out three and walking one. Lowe, a full-time reliever before last season, is 7-2 with five saves and a 3.75 ERA in 21 career appearances, including four starts, against Oakland.

ATHLETICS PROBABLE STARTER: Mulder (15-8, 2.94 ERA). Mulder is 3-1 with a 2.62 ERA in five career starts against the Red Sox. He has not lost consecutive starts since June 3-8.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Red Sox - Bill Mueller, .326 avg.; Manny Ramirez, 26 HRs; Nomar Garciaparra, 82 RBIs and 92 runs; Johnny Damon, 22 SBs. Athletics - Eric Byrnes, .274 avg. and 9 SBs; Chavez, 23 HRs; Miguel Tejada, 72 RBIs and 66 runs.

SEASON SERIES: Athletics, 2-0.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Red Sox - OF Trot Nixon and manager Grady Little were ejected in the seventh inning Tuesday. Nixon was tossed for arguing a called third strike, and plate umpire Dan Iassogna ejected Little for arguing Nixon’s dismissal. … Boston has dropped six of its last seven on the road. … SS Garciaparra is 4-for-10 with a homer and two RBIs in his career against LHP Mulder. Athletics - RHP Keith Foulke got the final six outs Tuesday for his 29th save in 34 chances. … 3B Chavez is hitting .429 (6-for-14) with two doubles and three RBIs in his career against RHP Lowe. … Lowe is 4-4 with a 7.03 ERA in 12 road starts this year. He is 7-2 with a 3.53 ERA at home.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Sox - 29-32 on the road; Athletics - 42-18 at home.

INJURIES: Red Sox - 1B-DH Jeremy Giambi (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Brandon Lyon (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Ramiro Mendoza (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Robert Person (hip), 15-day DL. Athletics - OF Jermaine Dye (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Micah Bowie (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Jim Mecir (knee), 15-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Lowe Tex vs. M. Mulder LAA
17-7 Record 15-9
4.47 ERA 3.13
110 K 128
72 BB 40
1.42 WHIP 1.18