Cahill can pitch the A’s into a first-place tie with the streaking Texas Rangers in the opener of a three-game series at Rangers Ballpark on Tuesday night.
Braden, Cahill’s teammate, threw the 19th perfect game in major league history in a 4-0 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday. The victory was Oakland’s fourth in five games, a stretch that followed a 1-6 slide which dropped the A’s out of first.
Cahill (1-1, 5.40 ERA) earned one of those wins, pitching five innings and giving up one run to beat Texas 4-1 on Wednesday. That gave the A’s a victory in the three-game series and improved the right-hander’s record against the Rangers to 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA in five starts.
“He’s got good stuff. When he’s on, he’s good,” Texas manager Ron Washington said after that game. “He had a good slider today and a sinker.”
The A’s (17-15) took two of three from Tampa Bay as they continued to be led by their pitching staff. Oakland posted a 2.40 ERA in the last five games to pull within one game of Texas (18-14).
Colby Lewis(notes) (3-1, 3.03) opposed Cahill last week, and he will try to extend the Rangers’ win streak to a season-high five Tuesday. Lewis gave up three runs in six innings and struck out six Wednesday, giving him 44 strikeouts in 38 2-3 innings versus Oakland.
The defeat was one of the few that the Rangers have suffered recently. Texas has won eight of 10 and 13 of 18 since a six-game skid.
Lewis will try to cool off Ryan Sweeney(notes), who has provided the offense for the A’s during their hot stretch. He batted .400 with eight RBIs in the previous five contests and went 4 for 12 with a home run and six RBIs in the Rangers series.
Texas brings a couple of hot hitters of its own into this series, as Elvis Andrus(notes) will be trying to extend a 10-game hitting streak. The shortstop went 4 for 8 in two games against Oakland last week and has batted .385 in the last 10 contests.
David Murphy(notes) had three hits and drove in two runs as the Rangers completed a four-game sweep of Kansas City with a 6-4 win Sunday. Murphy, playing right field while Nelson Cruz(notes) recovers from a strained left hamstring, batted .471 with four doubles and four RBIs in the last four games.
“He did what he does, which is swing the bat and drive in some big runs,” Washington said. “I’ve said all along that we’re going to need Murph.”
The Rangers scored 26 runs versus the Royals, piling up five homers and eight doubles while batting .317.