Oakland (16-15) at Toronto (17-14)

Clear Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 46° F
  • Game info: 7:07 pm EDT Tue May 9, 2006
  • TV: FSBA, RSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Oakland Athletics look to get back on track offensively and take advantage of the winless Josh Towers when they visit the Toronto Blue Jays in the opener of a three-game set on Tuesday.

After scoring 12 runs against Cleveland on Thursday, the A’s (16-15) scored only six runs in their three-game series against Tampa Bay over the weekend. Oakland went 2-for-23 with runners in scoring position and left 33 runners on base in losing two of three to the Devil Rays, who scored just eight runs in the series.

“We got enough pitching again and we got guys in scoring position,” A’s manager Ken Macha said. “We’re just lacking the big hit.”

Oakland is batting .239 on the season, but opponents are hitting .392 against Towers, who has lost all six of his starts this season.

Towers (0-6, 10.59 ERA) won a career-high 13 games last season, but also lost six straight from May 22-June 24. The right-hander has never lost seven straight decisions.

One of the biggest problems for Towers has been allowing runs early. He’s given up 31 earned runs in 26 1-3 innings this season, with 28 coming in the first three innings.

Towers allowed seven runs and 11 hits in a 7-4 loss at Boston last Thursday, including five runs in the first inning.

“He’s about as low as he can go right now. He’s got to go up,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “You feel for him. You love everything about the way the guy goes about his business. He’s just in a rut.”

Towers has had success against the A’s since signing with the Blue Jays (17-14) in 2003, though, going 4-1 with a 4.46 ERA in six starts.

Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez is 28-for-95 (.295) at Rogers Centre, and is 11-for-21 (.524) with three home runs and seven RBIs in his career against Towers.

Nick Swisher had a single and two walks in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay to extend his streak of getting on base safely to 26 games.

Dan Haren (1-3, 5.27) gets the start on Tuesday for Oakland. He allowed five runs and a season-high 11 hits in his last start, a 14-3 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA in three starts against the Blue Jays.

Oakland has won five of its last eight games against Toronto, but has lost three of its last four at Rogers Centre.

The Blue Jays have won seven of their last 10 home games, including a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.

Alex Rios hit a two-run homer against Los Angeles, and is batting 17-for-42 (.405) with five doubles during a season-high 10-game hitting streak.

First baseman Shea Hillenbrand had his 10-game home hitting streak snapped by going 0-for-4 on Monday, but is still batting .383 at Rogers Centre this season.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Haren Mia vs. J. Towers LAD
14-13 Record 2-10
4.12 ERA 8.42
176 K 35
45 BB 17
1.21 WHIP 1.77