Zito went 23-5 with a 2.75 ERA during his Cy Young Award winning season of 2002, but has since struggled to rediscover that form. He did, however, show flashes of brilliance during his last three starts before the All-Star break.
The 27-year-old left-hander won all three outings, allowing a combined four runs and 14 hits over 22 innings to climb within two wins of .500 for the season. Zito yielded a run and two hits over seven brilliant innings in Saturday’s 10-1 win over the major league-leading Chicago White Sox, marking the fourth straight outing he yielded two earned runs or fewer.
“The story tonight was Barry. That’s two in a row against the White Sox. He went out and gave us two hits. He was just outstanding with everything,” A’s manager Ken Macha said.
Zito has dominated the Rangers during his career, going 13-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 21 starts.
He’ll be hard-pressed to match rotation mate Rich Harden’s performance from Thursday’s series opener.
Harden took a perfect game into the eighth inning and settled for a two-hitter as Oakland beat Texas 6-0 for its fourth straight win and 14th in 17 games.
Alfonso Soriano’s one-out single in the eighth spoiled Harden’s bid for perfection, but the Rangers had their three-game win streak snapped.