Kenny Rogers hasn’t lost in Oakland in more than 10 years.
The resurgent Texas Rangers will be counting on their ace left-hander to continue his amazing streak at Network Associates Coliseum when they wrap up a four-game series with the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics.
Rogers, who leads Texas with 16 wins and 110 strikeouts, has gone 18-0 with a 3.12 ERA in 35 outings in Oakland since his last road loss to the A’s on Aug. 7, 1994. Rogers, who pitched for the A’s in 1998 and part of ’99, has gone 1-0 in two starts at Oakland this year, including an 8-3 victory on July 23.
“I don’t think these guys care who’s on the mound against them,” Rogers said after his most recent victory in Oakland. “I think they know I’m going to give them a pretty good chance to win.”
While Rogers will try to pick up where he left off in Oakland, Rich Harden will take his third shot at becoming the fifth A’s pitcher to win 10 games this season.
Harden, stuck on nine wins since a 7-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 31, has gone 0-1 in his last two outings. The 22-year-old right-hander surrendered four runs and seven hits over six innings in the A’s 5-4 victory over Cleveland on Saturday.
He struck out seven and walked two, remaining one victory shy of joining Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson, Barry Zito and Mark Redman in Oakland’s 10-win club. The A’s have never had five 10-game winners since moving to Oakland from Kansas City in 1968.
Despite his recent winless drought, Harden has been one of Oakland’s most effective starters since the All-Star break, winning six straight decisions over 10 starts from July 15-Aug. 31.
The Rangers moved within four games of the first-place A’s with Wednesday’s 10-3 victory.
The A’s have dropped seven of 10, but hold a two-game lead over second-place Anaheim in the West. The Angels lost to Seattle 1-0 on Wednesday.