Los Angeles (36-30) at Oakland (35-31)

Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 54° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Fri Jun 16, 2006
  • TV: KCAL, KICU
Preview | Box Score | Recap

While the Oakland Athletics have been cruising through June, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been struggling.

The Athletics look to extend their longest winning streak of the season when they meet the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game interleague series at McAfee Coliseum on Friday.

Oakland (35-31) went just 12-17 in May, but has won a season-high seven straight games to move four games above .500 for the first time. They have not won eight straight games since June 23-July 1 of last season.

The Athletics are 11-2 in June, and hold a half-game lead over Texas for first place in the AL West after trailing the Rangers by four games when the month began.

Oakland beat Seattle 9-6 on Thursday as first baseman Dan Johnson matched career highs with four hits and four RBIs.

Johnson is batting .519 (14-for-27) with four doubles and 11 RBIs during his eight-game hitting streak.

“I’m a long way from where I started,” said Johnson, who went hitless in his first 27 at-bats this season. “I was leaving a lot of guys on base in the first two months and we were losing a lot of close games. Fortunately, they stuck with me.”

Barry Zito (7-3, 3.53 ERA) looks to win his sixth straight decision when he takes the hill Friday.

Zito struggled but still managed to earn the win on Sunday. The 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner allowed five runs, four hits and matched a career-high seven walks in seven innings in a 6-5 win over the New York Yankees.

The left-hander is 7-6 with a 3.81 ERA in 17 career interleague games.

He allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings but did not receive a decision in his only meeting with the Dodgers (36-30) on July 14, 2001.

Meanwhile, after going 18-10 in May the Dodgers are just 6-7 in June. Los Angeles defeated San Diego 7-3 on Thursday to avoid its first three-game sweep of the season.

Leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal is batting just .212 (11-for-52) in 13 games this month, while first baseman Nomar Garciaparra is 3-for-16 (.188) in his last four games after batting .370 (20-for-54) during a 13-game hitting streak that ended Saturday.

Garciaparra is 7-for-19 (.368) with a double and a homer in his career against Zito.

While Zito looks to continue his winning streak, Dodgers starter Brett Tomko (5-5, 5.20) looks to avoid losing five straight starts for the first time in his 10-year career.

After going 5-1 with a 3.21 ERA in his first nine outings, Tomko has allowed 24 runs in 16 2-3 innings to lose his last four starts.

The right-hander allowed seven runs and six hits in 3 2-3 innings in a 12-9 loss to Colorado on Saturday, the second time in three starts he failed to last four innings.

“I want to scream a little bit and take out some of my frustration,” Tomko said. “It hasn’t been a good stretch for me.”

Tomko has not pitched well against the Athletics in his career either, going 1-1 with a 11.74 ERA in two starts.

The A’s are 9-7 all-time against Los Angeles in interleague play.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Tomko Col vs. B. Zito Oak
8-7 Record 16-10
4.73 ERA 3.83
76 K 151
29 BB 99
1.35 WHIP 1.40