Chad Gaudin looks to overcome some recent control problems and continue his surprising start for the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night when they try to remain perfect in interleague play against the Cincinnati Reds.
Gaudin (6-1, 2.95 ERA) is unbeaten in his last nine outings, going 5-0 with a 3.02 ERA. He has issued 13 walks over his last three starts, however, walking four while allowing five runs and a season-high nine hits over 4 1-3 innings in Thursday’s 6-5, 11-inning win at Houston.
The right-hander is enjoying the best year of his career, and Oakland (38-31) has won his last eight starts. Thursday’s outing was the first one of his last six in which he yielded more than two runs.
Gaudin, who has never faced Cincinnati (27-44), has been very effective at night, going 5-1 with a 2.03 ERA compared to his 5.40 ERA in day outings.
He’ll be on the mound one night after Joe Blanton stifled the Reds in the opener of the three-game series. Blanton allowed one run and seven hits over eight innings and didn’t walk a batter in a 6-1 victory over baseball’s worst team.
Blanton helped the Athletics bounce back after allowing 25 runs in two straight losses to St. Louis—the most they have conceded over consecutive games. The A’s lead the AL with a 3.34 ERA.
“Where we were the last couple of days, what we needed was a well-pitched game from our starter,” manager Bob Geren said. “Tremendous performance from Joe.”
Third baseman Eric Chavez returned to the lineup for the A’s and went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly. Chavez missed the last two games with soreness on the left side of his ribcage.
“It was just cold and hard to stay loose,” Chavez said. “It’s fine and I’m not going to have any problem with it.”
Oakland has won 12 of its last 14 games with Chavez in the lineup.
Cincinnati fell to 0-7 against Oakland since the Reds swept the A’s in the 1990 World Series. This year’s Reds have lost five out of their last six games, allowing opponents to bat .321 in that span.
Ken Griffey Jr. served as the designated hitter Monday and had a single in four at-bats. He’s already got seven homers in June after connecting 10 times in May.
Rookie Homer Bailey (1-0, 5.73) will make his first career road start for Cincinnati in his third outing. Bailey, considered one of the top young pitching prospects in baseball, won his major league debut on June 8 before failing to receive a decision his last time out.
The 21-year-old right-hander was in line for a victory when he exited with a 5-3 lead Thursday, but the Reds fell 9-7 to the Los Angeles Angels. Bailey was charged for five runs over six-plus innings after he walked the only two hitters he faced in the seventh.
“It was a hot day, but that had nothing to do with it,” Bailey said. “I just backed off. I was trying to do too much.”