Oakland suddenly had trouble scoring runs against the Kansas City Royals until the end of its last game. Perhaps facing Brian Bannister(notes) will help the Athletics’ lineup get off to a quicker start.
The Athletics look to bounce back from a rare poor performance at the plate versus the Royals as they match up with Bannister in the series’ decisive game Wednesday.
Oakland (58-74) averaged 8.0 runs while winning five of its first six meetings with Kansas City (51-81) this year, before losing the middle game of this series 4-3 on Tuesday night.
The Athletics were limited to one run through six innings before their comeback fell short. They have been having problems at the plate all season, ranking 21st in the majors with 586 runs scored, but a bad effort versus the Royals was surprising, nonetheless.
With Bannister (7-11, 4.60 ERA) set to take the mound for Kansas City, Oakland’s lineup appears to have a good chance to rebound. Bannister has been terrible in his last five starts, going 0-4 with an 8.80 ERA.
The right-hander allowed six runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings as Kansas City lost 6-3 to Seattle on Friday night.
Bannister hasn’t won since Aug. 2, at Tampa Bay, and he’s 1-3 with a 4.54 ERA in seven starts versus Oakland.
The 21-year-old right-hander didn’t need much help in his last outing, giving up two hits in seven innings to earn a win in Oakland’s 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.
Cahill has set an A’s rookie record with 25 home runs allowed, but hasn’t surrendered one in his last four starts spanning 27 innings.
“When he was giving up the homers, he was getting balls up over the middle of the plate,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “Now he’s just been more consistent down in the zone and he’s pounding the lefties in better than he had earlier in the year. So they can’t lean out over the plate and take the outer half away from him because he’s pitching better inside.”
Cahill won his only start against the Royals, yielding two runs in six innings as the A’s won 12-3 at home May 12.
He’ll face a Kansas City lineup that will likely have Jose Guillen(notes) back. The Royals activated Guillen from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday - more than a month after he injured his knee - and he is expected to be the designated hitter in this series’ finale.
Guillen is batting .245 with nine homers and 40 RBIs in 79 games this season, and .229 in 61 career contests versus the A’s.
It was the first baseman’s first triple since Aug. 30, 2007, a span of 1,030 at-bats. Butler is tied for third in the majors with 41 doubles.