Oakland (54-59) at Texas (48-64)

Fair Currently: Arlington, TX
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 8:35 pm EDT Tue Aug 7, 2007
  • TV: FSSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Chad Gaudin’s second half hasn’t been nearly as good as his first. That’s one reason why the Oakland Athletics are likely to be reduced to the role of spoilers in the final two months of the season.

Gaudin hopes to record his first win in more than a month Tuesday night as the Athletics continue a three-game series against the last-place Texas Rangers.

Gaudin (8-7, 3.88 ERA) spent the majority of his first four years in the majors as a reliever, but his success in the first three months of this season appeared to show he was more suited to starting.

One of the biggest surprises in the AL, Gaudin was 6-1 with a 2.43 ERA in his first 13 starts and 8-3 with a 2.88 ERA at the All-Star break.

Since then, however, he is 0-4 with a 7.81 ERA in five second-half starts, giving up at least four runs in each appearance. Gaudin allowed five runs and seven hits - including two home runs to Vladimir Guerrero - in six-plus innings Thursday in a 6-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

“It was a good pitch; the right pitch,” Gaudin said of Guerrero’s first homer. “It was just a freak. The second one was close to the first one. Just a couple of pitches, a couple of bad breaks. That’s what happens when you get into a rut. At some point it has to turn around.”

After giving up one earned run in his first two starts this season against the Rangers, Gaudin was reached for five runs and eight hits over six innings in an 11-4 loss on July 17. He is 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA in three career starts against Texas.

Michael Young is 6-for-11 (.545) with one homer against Gaudin.

Oakland (54-59) squandered a seven-run lead before recovering for a 9-7, 13-inning victory in Monday’s series opener.

“In this ballpark we have a history of games just like this,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “These high-scoring games, you can never get a big enough lead, and this was another one.”

Mike Piazza singled in the go-ahead run in the 13th and seven Athletics pitchers combined for 21 strikeouts.

“It became a war of attrition,” Piazza said. “It went back and forth and fortunately, we punched a couple of runs across. This was definitely a tough game.”

Marco Scutaro’s first career grand slam highlighted a six-run first for the A’s, who ended a three-game road skid and improved to 7-15 away from home since June 22. They have won five of seven overall.

Young went 3-for-4 and reached base five times, hitting a home run off Alan Embree in the ninth to force extra innings. It was his first homer in 77 games and 317 at-bats.

The Rangers (48-64) have lost five straight, one shy of their season high set from May 22-28.

Kason Gabbard (4-1, 3.86) makes his second start for his new team. The left-hander wasn’t particularly sharp in his Rangers debut Thursday, allowing three runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings in a 5-0 loss at Cleveland.

“I treated it like any other start,” he said. “The only thing that was different was I had a different name on my uniform.”

Gabbard, acquired from Boston on July 31 in the deal that sent Eric Gagne to the Red Sox, has seen his ERA jump nearly a full run in his past two starts.

He struggled in his only career start against the A’s, yielding five runs and six hits in 3 1-3 innings in a 9-0 loss on Aug. 28 with Boston.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Gaudin Phi vs. K. Gabbard Bos
11-13 Record 6-1
4.42 ERA 4.65
154 K 55
100 BB 41
1.53 WHIP 1.34

Scoreboard

Tuesday, Aug 7