Barry Zito can’t guarantee that he’ll continue his second-half turnaround. But he does know that he’ll never go to the mound hungry again.
Zito, who is 6-2 since a disappointing 4-7 start, took the hill against visiting Baltimore with an empty stomach on Thursday. The 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner struggled through 5 1-3 innings, surrendering four runs and four hits in a 9-4 win.
Zito said he ate a bagel before the game but just a protein shake for dinner Wednesday night. He munched on an energy bar in the middle innings. He called it “irresponsible” and said he’ll make sure to eat better before his next day start.
“It was weird. I was airy, a little bit manic,” Zito said. “I didn’t eat right. … I was just crazy. I couldn’t really focus on anything. Once I became aware I was wacked out, I tried to slow things down, like I was sleepwalking.”
The A’s have won eight straight games, including a 7-2 victory in Tuesday’s series opener.
Adam Melhuse went 3-for-4 with a home run and Mark Kotsay also had three hits for the A’s, who matched their longest winning streak of the season and won for the 13th time in their last 14 overall. Oakland also extended its lead in the AL West to three games after Boston defeated Anaheim 10-7.
Carlos Lee hit a solo homer and drove in both runs for the White Sox, who have gone 12-24 since climbing 10 games above .500 and owning a half-game lead atop the AL Central on July 24.