Oakland pitchers have gone 20 straight innings without allowing a run, and the Athletics gave up a total of six hits in the final two games of their weekend sweep.
The left-hander tries to avoid a third straight loss following his perfect game, looking to help the A’s snap a five-game road losing streak Tuesday night as they begin a 10-game trip against the Baltimore Orioles.
The A’s (23-22) rose back above .500 thanks to a three-game sweep of interleague rival San Francisco, finishing the series with back-to-back shutouts following Friday night’s 6-1 victory.
“We’ve got that type of pitching staff that can do that,” right-hander Ben Sheets(notes) told the A’s official website. “We’ve been doing that for a majority of the year. We just got to stay with it.”
Oakland’s pitchers have a 2.79 ERA at home, in stark contrast to their 5.69 mark on the road, where the team has lost 12 of 14.
Braden’s results have followed that trend - he’s 3-2 with a 2.14 ERA at home and 1-2 with a 6.50 ERA on the road.
Braden (4-4, 3.45 ERA) pitched the 19th perfect game in major league history against Tampa Bay on May 9, but he’s since lost two straight and is 1-4 in his last five outings. Still, he overcame an illness to hold Detroit without a run for six innings Wednesday before allowing two runs in the seventh during the 5-1 loss.
The southpaw has won both of his career starts at Baltimore and is 5-1 with a 1.57 ERA overall against the Orioles, who managed three hits and two runs against Braden in seven innings of their 4-2 loss April 16 at Oakland.
“I don’t know that I’m that good against Baltimore,” Braden said. “It’s just the matchups I’ve had so far have worked out for me. That’s about it. I’ve never been a guy who’s tried to take anything for granted.”
Baltimore (14-31) lost three of four in Oakland last month and is 2-13 versus the A’s since the start of 2008.
The Orioles own the worst record in the majors and have dropped seven of nine, including the last two at Washington over the weekend.
Jeremy Guthrie(notes) (2-4, 3.86) has still managed to give Baltimore a good chance to win lately. He’s 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA in his last three starts, holding Texas to one run in six innings of a 4-3 defeat Wednesday.
The right-hander limited Oakland to two runs - one earned - in 6 2-3 innings on April 17, but the A’s scored two runs in the ninth inning to win 4-3.
Problems at the back of the bullpen continue to plague Baltimore, which is dealing with injuries to Alfredo Simon(notes) (hamstring) and Koji Uehara(notes) (elbow). Closer Michael Gonzalez(notes) (shoulder) remains on the disabled list.
“It takes its toll on your bullpen,” manager Dave Trembley said.