Kansas City (46-61) at Oakland (53-53)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 57° F
  • Game info: 3:35 pm EDT Wed Aug 4, 2010
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The Oakland Athletics can head into a pivotal series with some momentum, but they’ll likely need an improved effort from left-hander Brett Anderson(notes).

In his second start since coming off the disabled list, Anderson will try to put a difficult outing behind him in Wednesday’s finale of a three-game series against the visiting Kansas City Royals.

The A’s (53-53) had a three-game home win streak - their longest in five weeks - snapped with Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss, their first in five matchups this season with the Royals.

Kansas City’s Alex Gordon(notes) homered for the third time in five games and scored the go-ahead run following a leadoff double in the ninth inning. The win was the Royals’ second in nine road contests since July 8.

“I’m not really trying to (hit home runs),” said Gordon, who was recalled from the minors July 23. “(Hitting coach Kevin) Seitzer’s just got my approach right and has me doing the things I need to be doing, and it’s showing. I was hitting the ball hard but I wasn’t as comfortable as I am now.”

Despite that loss, Oakland has a chance to match a season high by winning its fourth consecutive home series before welcoming AL West-leading Texas to town for three games this weekend.

The A’s, who also won four straight series at home April 23-May 18, enter Wednesday eight games back of the Rangers and tied with the Angels for second place.

An improved outing from Anderson (2-2, 3.25 ERA) could give Oakland the boost it needs heading into that matchup. The left-hander, though, didn’t have an inspiring return from inflammation in his pitching elbow Friday against the White Sox.

During a 6-1 loss, he gave up five runs and a career high-tying 10 hits over 5 1-3 innings. The start was only his third since April 24.

“I felt a little rusty,” he said. “It’s a little different ammo being up here rather than facing the Tacoma Rainiers or whoever I was facing before. It’s good to get back, get my feet wet again under these circumstances.”

Anderson won his only start against the Royals on Aug. 9, allowing three runs and six hits over six innings of a 6-3 road victory.

Having won four of five, the Royals (46-61) will counter with Sean O’Sullivan(notes) (1-1, 4.13), who is 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA since being acquired from the Angels on July 22.

The right-hander gave up three runs and four hits over six innings Friday against visiting Baltimore but did not get a decision in a 7-5 victory. In his Royals debut on July 25, he allowed five runs and seven hits over five innings of a 12-6 loss at Yankee Stadium.

O’Sullivan has never started against Oakland but pitched three scoreless innings against them in two relief appearances last season.

The A’s have won 10 of 13 against the Royals since the beginning of last season.

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Starting Pitchers

S. O'Sullivan Phi vs. B. Anderson Col
4-6 Record 7-6
5.49 ERA 2.80
43 K 75
31 BB 22
1.45 WHIP 1.19

Scoreboard

Wednesday, Aug 4