Oakland (44-46) at Kansas City (39-50)

Cloudy Currently: Kansas City, MO
Temp: 59° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Sat Jul 17, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Strong pitching has helped the Oakland Athletics get back on track, and they have every reason to expect another strong performance with Trevor Cahill(notes) set to take the mound.

Cahill looks to match his win total from last season as the Athletics seek their fourth straight victory in a matchup with the struggling Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.

Oakland (44-46) opened this three-games series with a 5-1 victory Friday night, getting an outstanding start from Gio Gonzalez(notes).

The A’s have given up three earned runs in winning their last three games. They lost their previous four, surrendering 18 runs in the final three contests.

“For the second half, we should be better and healthier,” manager Bob Geren told the A’s official website. “We’ll be right in there fighting every step of the way.”

Oakland, which has won eight of 10 on the road, will now send Cahill (9-3, 2.94 ERA) to face Kansas City (39-50). After winning 10 games as a rookie last year, Cahill’s strong first half of this season earned him a spot on the American League All-Star team.

Cahill, though, couldn’t play in that game Tuesday night because of a new rule that keeps pitchers from participating if they start Sunday. In that outing, the 22-year-old right-hander gave up an unearned run in seven innings to earn a win in Oakland’s 5-2 victory over the Angels.

“I wanted to end the first half on a positive note, especially going to the All-Star game,” Cahill said.

Cahill has surrendered two runs or fewer in four of his last five starts. He has won both of his career starts against the Royals, posting a 4.09 ERA.

Though Cahill has needed little run support, he certainly wouldn’t mind another productive game at the plate from his offense. The A’s have scored 30 runs over their last four games after being held to two or fewer in each of their previous three contests.

Designated hitter Jack Cust(notes) has two homers and five RBIs over his last four games. He has seven RBIs in his last eight games at Kansas City.

Oakland now faces Kansas City starter Bruce Chen(notes) (5-3, 3.81), who is coming off his shortest start of the season, surrendering three runs and six hits in 3 1-3 innings of an 8-2 loss to the White Sox on July 9. He went 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA over his previous four starts.

The veteran left-hander is 1-2 with a 3.28 ERA in four starts versus Oakland, but this will be his first against the A’s since Aug. 26, 2005.

The Royals desperately need a strong outing from Chen with a 7.91 ERA during a four-game losing streak.

Kansas City’s lineup hasn’t been much help during that stretch, scoring two runs or fewer three times.

Royals cleanup hitter Billy Butler(notes) is 3 for 15 (.200) over his last four games. He went 1 for 4 Friday after hitting .441 with 11 RBIs in his previous nine home games versus Oakland.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Cahill ChC vs. B. Chen Cle
18-8 Record 12-7
2.97 ERA 4.17
118 K 98
63 BB 57
1.11 WHIP 1.38


Saturday, Jul 17