The surging Oakland Athletics have used stellar pitching to put together their season-high 10-game winning streak. It’ll be put to the test in a visit to the high altitude of Coors Field.
The Athletics seek to extend the longest winning streak in the major leagues this season on Monday night when they begin a three-game set against the Colorado Rockies.
Oakland (38-31) has posted a 2.57 ERA during the winning streak—its longest since a 10-game run from Aug. 23-Sept. 2, 2003. Every Athletics starter has pitched into the sixth inning during the streak and the staff has issued only 31 walks over 98 innings in that span.
This is Oakland’s first visit to Colorado (34-35) since 2000. The Athletics are 2-6 at Coors Field, surrendering 81 runs in those meetings.
Dan Haren (6-5, 3.44 ERA) will make his first start at Coors Field for Oakland. Haren has faced Colorado once and gave up four runs and three hits over three innings in an 8-1 loss on Sept. 9, 2003 with St. Louis.
The right-hander is 7-0 with a 2.45 ERA in nine June starts over the last two years. He improved to 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA in three starts this June after giving up one run and four hits over seven innings in a 7-2 win over Seattle on Wednesday.
“He didn’t have his best stuff when he went out there but he gave us seven innings,” A’s catcher Jason Kendall said. “That says it all.”
Jay Payton and Marco Scutaro each had three hits as Oakland completed a 6-0 homestand with a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. Joe Blanton became the latest starter to shine for the A’s, pitching eight effective innings.
“Right now, we’re riding this thing out,” Payton said. “It would be nice to start hot and see what happens. It’s no fun starting off slow. We’ve put ourselves into a position that we can start to do what we’ve done in the past.”
Colorado manager Clint Hurdle is no fan of interleague play despite his team’s 3-0 record this year. He’s especially unhappy about having to face the two top teams in the AL West—Oakland and Texas.
“It happens in a hurry, and you hope you do well,” Hurdle said. “I look and see Oakland’s playing well. And the Rangers are rolling, too, so it’ll be exciting.”
The Rockies are probably happy to be home after being swept in a weekend series at St. Louis. Colorado was outscored 18-7 and went just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Center fielder Cory Sullivan injured his left wrist while hitting a single in the third inning Sunday and had to leave the game. He is listed as day-to-day.
First baseman Todd Helton is heating up, going 12-for-26 with eight runs scored over his last seven games. Helton is hitting .350 (14-for-40) in 13 career games against Oakland.
Colorado’s Byung-Hyun Kim (3-4, 5.40) will make his first career start against the A’s, although he has a 4.50 ERA in seven relief appearances against them.
The eight-year veteran right-hander is 0-2 with an 8.40 ERA over his last three starts.