Chad Gaudin didn’t record more than four wins in any of his first four seasons in the majors. This year, he’s earned that many in his last four outings alone.
Gaudin (6-1, 2.41 ERA), in his first year as a full-time starter, has rewarded Oakland (31-28) for giving him an opportunity. He has posted a 1.44 ERA during his four-start winning streak, and his overall ERA ranks second in the American League among qualifying starters.
The right-hander gave up two runs, eight hits and five walks in five innings as Oakland beat Minnesota 4-2 on Sunday.
Gaudin’s winning streak started against the Giants (28-31) on May 18 in the opener of a series that saw the A’s win two of three games. He allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings as Oakland won 15-3.
The Athletics, though, have struggled offensively since that rout, scoring three runs or less nine times in their last 18 games.
The A’s had a five-game winning streak end Thursday, coming within one out of being no-hit in a 1-0 loss to Boston. Shannon Stewart lined a single to right field with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
Despite the loss, Oakland took positives of winning a series against the team with the majors’ best record.
“We won three of four against a good team,” A’s manager Bob Geren told the team’s official Web site. “So we’re feeling good about the series overall.”
Oakland’s struggling lineup could get a boost Friday with center fielder Milton Bradley (right calf) close to returning, according to Geren. Bradley is batting .306 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 18 games.
After getting just two runners on base Thursday, the A’s will try to bounce back against Giants rookie Tim Lincecum (2-0, 4.05).
Lincecum is coming off the worst start of his brief career, allowing six runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings as San Francisco lost 9-8 to Philadelphia on Sunday. The right-hander went 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his previous four starts, and will make his first appearance against Oakland.
Barry Bonds went 2-for-5 after missing the previous two games to rest his sore shins. He has just one homer in 66 at-bats since May 9, hitting his 746th on May 27 at home against Colorado.
“I’m feeling a lot better,” Bonds said before Thursday’s game.
Bonds is batting .331 (48-for-145) with 18 home runs, seven doubles and 32 RBIs in 49 games against Oakland.