The Oakland Athletics will look to remain hot at the plate when they try for their first four-game sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore.
Oakland, which owns a half-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels atop the AL West, has won five straight games, including a 10-3 victory on Sunday.
“It’s not important at all. It’s really insignificant,” third baseman Eric Chavez said of his team leapfrogging the Angels. “Just a week ago we couldn’t find a hit. Hitting is really going to dictate how well we do the next month.”
Prior to their winning streak, the A’s had scored a total of just 19 runs in losing seven of eight, including three straight to the Orioles at home. However, they are averaging 9.2 runs over their last five games.
Dan Haren pitched seven strong innings for Oakland, which has won 17 of its last 20 on the road.
The Orioles, who have lost eight of nine, issued a season-high 11 walks and made their sixth error in three games.
When asked if a closed-door meeting was necessary to get the team jump-started, interim manager Sam Perlozzo said otherwise.
“What would I yell at them for? For not getting a hit?” he said. “They’re trying. When they quit trying, when they get lazy, I’ll yell at them.”
Kirk Saarloos will take the ball Monday for Oakland in search of his fifth straight win. He pitched seven scoreless innings in the A’s 9-2 win over Detroit on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old right-hander is 8-2 with a 3.39 ERA in his last 12 starts.