Brett Anderson’s(notes) sharp outing was a relief for an Oakland team that has lost Justin Duchscherer(notes) for the year. Now, the Athletics need Dallas Braden(notes) to put his ankle injury behind him.
Braden, who left his last start due to an ailment that has been lingering for the past month, takes the mound for the Athletics as they continue their four-game series with the slumping Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
Oakland (27-23) announced Saturday that Duchscherer will undergo season-ending surgery on his left hip. The two-time All-Star was limited to five starts this year after not pitching at all in 2009.
The loss of Duchscherer made Anderson’s performance that much more timely. In his first outing in a month, Anderson - who had been sidelined with elbow and forearm injuries - pitched 5 2-3 innings to lead Oakland to a 6-0 win over Detroit (25-23) on Saturday night in the second game of this series.
Braden (4-4, 3.23 ERA), meanwhile, says he has been bothered by a sore left ankle since spraining it in a 4-2 loss to Texas on May 3. He has made four starts since, including a perfect game against Tampa Bay on May 9, but discomfort forced him out of his last outing.
Braden allowed an unearned run in four innings before being lifted in a 5-1 loss to Baltimore on Tuesday night.
“I don’t ever want to come out,” he said. “If I have to throw 200 pitches, I’ll do it.”
The left-hander has struggled in four road starts, going 1-2 with a 5.32 ERA. Braden is 2-3 with a 6.63 ERA in seven career starts against the Tigers.
Oakland, which leads the AL West by one-half game over Texas, has posted a 1.90 ERA while winning seven of its last eight. The A’s have also been hitting well, scoring 24 runs during a four-game winning streak.
The A’s will now face Max Scherzer(notes) (1-4, 7.29), who is being called up from Triple-A Toledo to make his first start for the Tigers since May 14. To make room for Scherzer, Detroit designated struggling Dontrelle Willis(notes) for assignment.
If Willis clears waivers, the Tigers have 10 days to release him, trade him or assign him to the minors.
Scherzer went 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA in four starts before being sent down, but posted an 0.60 ERA while winning his two starts with Toledo.
“He’s obviously pitched well,” manager Jim Leyland told the Tigers’ official website. “You look at the numbers, but you have to take a lot of things into consideration.”
This is Scherzer’s first start against Oakland.
Detroit hopes to give Scherzer some support after being shut out for the fourth time this season. All four of the Tigers’ runs in this series came on Miguel Cabrera’s(notes) three homers in a 5-4 loss Friday night.
Detroit, which has lost four straight and six of seven overall, trails first-place Minnesota by 3 1/2 games in the AL Central.