The light-hitting Oakland Athletics have seemed to find the cure for their struggles this season against NL opponents - playing in San Diego.
After a pair of productive performances at the plate, Oakland will try to end its nine-game interleague road trip on a positive note Sunday with a sweep of the Padres.
With Saturday night’s 6-3 victory, the A’s improved to 3-5 on a trek that began with them getting swept in San Francisco and dropping two of three to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After scoring 14 runs in its previous six games, Oakland (30-37) has totaled 13 in consecutive victories against the Padres, who are hitting a major league-low .234.
Batting an AL-worst .237, the A’s recorded double digits in hits for the second straight night with 10 on Saturday.
Kurt Suzuki(notes) put Oakland ahead for good with an RBI single in the seventh after scoring the tying run the previous inning on Ryan Sweeney’s(notes) base hit. In the eighth, Adam Kennedy’s(notes) two-out solo homer capped a four-hit night, and Jack Cust(notes) followed with his team-high 13th homer and third in six games.
“It was just one night,” said Kennedy, who matched his career high for hits and scored three times. “I had some decent at-bats.”
While Oakland is 4-7 against NL opponents this season, San Diego (29-38) has fared worse in dropping 18 of 22 interleague games since the beginning of last season. The Padres’ 4-3 victory in 10 innings Thursday over Seattle snapped a major league record 13-game skid to AL teams, and they have lost seven of their last eight - all in interleague play.
In Sunday’s finale, Dallas Braden(notes) (5-5, 3.31 ERA) will try to help the A’s post their first three-game road sweep of San Diego. Braden, who has never faced the Padres, is searching for his seventh straight quality start and third win in that time.
Oakland won consecutive games at Qualcomm Stadium in 1997 during the first season of interleague play, and previously swept the Padres at home from June 5-7, 2000.
To avoid its 17th defeat in 23 games overall, San Diego will turn to right-hander Kevin Correia(notes) (3-5, 4.52), who is searching for his third win in four outings. He was 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA in two starts for San Francisco last season against Oakland.
Correia recorded his third consecutive quality start Tuesday against Seattle, giving up two runs over a season-high eight innings, but received no support in a 5-0 loss.
Eckstein nearly helped the Padres pull off a comeback win Saturday. His bases-loaded single with one out in third inning tied the game at 2, and Tony Gwynn(notes) Jr. drove in a go-ahead run in the fifth on another single that followed Everth Cabrera’s(notes) one-out triple.
Playing for the same club as his Hall of Fame father, Gwynn is batting .341 (30 for 88) in 26 games since being acquired from Milwaukee on May 21.
Cabrera has three hits in his two games since returning from a broken bone in his left hand, and the infielder is 6 for 15 during a four-game hitting streak, which began April 16 before he was injured three days later.
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