Miami (34-45) at Oakland (36-44)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 69° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Wed Jun 29, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Oakland Athletics’ pitching staff is among the best in baseball. The offense has been another matter.

Nearly every facet of the game has been a problem for the Florida Marlins this month.

The A’s look to take advantage of the lowly Marlins again and win their seventh straight home game Wednesday night.

Oakland (36-44) may be at the bottom of the AL West, but the team’s staff ranks near the top of the majors with a 3.13 ERA.

The pitchers have been even better over the last 12 games, leading the A’s to eight wins while compiling a 1.56 ERA and a .196 opponent batting average.

Generating offense, however, remains an issue. The A’s are hitting .220 with only four homers during that 12-game span.

Oakland has been held to two runs or fewer in five of the last six games, going 5 for 42 with runners in scoring position.

The A’s are 28th in baseball with a .235 average and last with 41 homers.

They didn’t need to do much at the plate Tuesday, beating Florida 1-0 as Gio Gonzalez(notes) and Andrew Bailey(notes) combined on a one-hitter.

Guillermo Moscoso(notes) (2-3, 2.68 ERA) is rather familiar with the A’s offensive shortcomings.

The right-hander is 0-2 despite a 2.35 ERA in his last four starts. He’s been backed by three total runs of support in that stretch with all that scoring coming in one game.

Moscoso was superb Friday, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth before allowing two hits and exiting in the seventh as the A’s wasted the effort in a 1-0 loss at Philadelphia.

He’s replacing rookie Graham Godfrey(notes) in the rotation as manager Bob Melvin prepares for Rich Harden’s(notes) season debut Friday versus Arizona. Harden is on the disabled list with a strained right lat muscle.

“I’m trying to push myself into the rotation to stay all year,” Moscoso told the team’s official website. “The guys on the (disabled list) are coming very soon, and that’s going to be a tough decision. I wish I can stay here, so we’ll see what happens.”

Moscoso may be in for another strong effort in his first appearance against Florida (34-45).

The Marlins are hitting .225 with a 4.38 ERA during a 3-23 stretch, which has dropped them into the NL East cellar.

“It’s just been a tough month, man, that’s all I’ve got to say really,” said Javier Vazquez(notes), Tuesday’s hard-luck loser. “It’s unexplainable. We were playing such good baseball the first couple of months and now it seems like we’re doing something that costs us the game.”

Ricky Nolasco(notes) (4-4, 4.44) is in the midst of his own swoon, going 0-4 with a 7.29 ERA in six starts after posting a 4-0 record and 3.04 ERA in his first 10 of the season.

The right-hander’s difficulties continued Friday, but he did his part in allowing three runs in seven innings, while the offense was two-hit in a 5-1 loss to Seattle.

“I told myself I can’t give up a run if I want to win,” Nolasco said. “Obviously, that’s not the way it went.”

He didn’t get a decision in his only meeting with Oakland on June 21, 2008, yielding three runs in seven innings of a Marlins’ road victory.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Nolasco Min vs. G. Moscoso SF
10-12 Record 8-10
4.67 ERA 3.38
148 K 74
44 BB 38
1.40 WHIP 1.09


Wednesday, Jun 29