Bolstered by a resurgent lineup, the Oakland Athletics are a win away from a rare road sweep.
The Athletics look to sweep a series away from the Coliseum for the first time this season and win a season-best fifth straight contest overall Sunday against the struggling Kansas City Royals.
Oakland (45-46) has had a productive five-game stretch at the plate, scoring 36 runs after being held to two or fewer in its previous three contests.
That success has put the A’s in position to sweep a series on the road for the first time since a three-game set at Texas in September. A victory over Kansas City (39-51) would also give Oakland five straight wins for the first time this year.
It took a rally for Oakland to continue its streak. With two outs in the ninth inning, Adam Rosales(notes) drove in the tiebreaking run against All-Star closer Joakim Soria(notes) as the A’s won 6-5 on Saturday night.
Rosales had three of Oakland’s 14 hits, one short of the team’s season high. The second baseman is 11 for 22 with a homer and six RBIs over his last six games.
“He does a great job, getting in there and playing different positions all the time,” A’s pitcher Trevor Cahill(notes) said of Rosales, who has started at five different positions this year. “I think everybody likes to see him in the lineup.”
The right-hander gave up three runs in seven innings of a 6-5, 10-inning loss to Los Angeles in his last outing July 9.
Mazzaro won his only start against the Royals, surrendering three runs and eight hits in five innings of a 9-4 Athletics victory Aug. 7.
Bannister, though, may not be able to offer much help. He is 1-4 with an 8.10 ERA over his last six outings.
The right-hander allowed five runs in six innings of a 5-1 loss to Chicago on July 10. He gave up three homers, running his total to 18 in 18 starts this season.
Bannister is 1-4 with a 5.02 ERA in eight starts versus Oakland. If Bannister falters again, Kansas City will need a strong performance at the plate.
The Royals have gotten little production from Billy Butler(notes) of late. The cleanup hitter is 3 for 18 (.167) during Kansas City’s skid, including 1 for 7 in this series after hitting .441 (15 for 35) with 11 RBIs in his previous nine games home games versus Oakland.