Oakland (25-25) boasts the AL’s top pitching staff with a 3.54 ERA. DiNardo (1-1, 1.83 ERA) will become the Athletics’ eighth starter this season when he makes his first career start against the Rangers.
DiNardo has been steady out of Oakland’s bullpen all year, holding opponents to a .214 batting average in 11 appearances spanning 19 2-3 innings. DiNardo, though, has never shown that form as a starter in the past, going 1-3 with a 7.28 ERA in seven career outings.
The left-hander was moved into the rotation after Colby Lewis was demoted to the bullpen.
DiNardo pitched an inning of relief against Texas on April 20, giving up one run and two hits as Oakland won 16-4. He has a 2.84 ERA in three career relief appearances against the Rangers.
The Athletics got back to .500 with a 5-3 win over Texas (18-33) on Monday night. The Rangers own the worst record in the majors and have lost a season-high six straight games—their longest skid since they dropped eight in a row from Aug. 8-16, 2005.
Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez hit a three-run homer in his third straight game after missing three with tendinitis in his triceps.
“Things feel like they’re getting a little better,” said Chavez, who also doubled after coming into the game 1-for-21 in his previous five contests. “We’ll figure it out.”
The A’s haven’t scored more than five runs in nine straight games, losing five of them and hitting .235 in that span.
Rangers slugger Sammy Sosa is expected to be back in the lineup after not starting Monday, although he struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning.
“He’s not a spring chicken,” Texas manager Ron Washington said.
Sosa is two home runs shy of becoming the fifth player in history to reach 600.
Washington made his return to Oakland, where he was a popular third-base coach with the Athletics before joining the Rangers this season.
“I just miss the guys,” he said. “It’s a great bunch of guys. I miss the fun they have with each other. It’s a great atmosphere here.”
He will send Mike Wood (0-1, 7.02), who was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma before Monday’s game, to the mound. Wood, who will be making his fourth start of 2007, is in his third stint with Texas this season.
The right-hander’s first appearance this season was out of the bullpen on April 2 before he was sent to the minors, and he was recalled on May 1 and went 0-1 with a 7.53 ERA in three starts before being sent down again.
Wood is 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA in two starts and one relief appearance in his career against Oakland. He’s part of a pitching shakeup that includes Monday’s signing of 2006 AL All-Star Mark Redman, who will begin at Oklahoma.
Texas is a major league-worst 7-18 on the road.