Pavano has never lost to the Athletics in his career heading into his third matchup against them this season in Sunday’s series finale for the Minnesota Twins.
Oakland (48-59) continues to produce with its bats after winning 8-3 on Saturday to even this three-game set. The Athletics lead the majors in on-base percentage (.388) and batting average (.315) since the break, with at least eight hits in every game.
That streak has matched the longest such run in Oakland history. The Athletics also had at least eight hits in 15 straight games from Sept. 12-27, 1980.
Hideki Matsui(notes) singled twice and reached five times Saturday for the A’s, who snapped a three-game losing streak to the Twins (50-57). Matsui is batting a major league-best .473 since the break with three homers and 17 RBIs.
The Japanese slugger is 6 for 14 against his former Yankees teammate Pavano (6-7, 4.60 ERA), who is 3-0 with a 2.31 ERA in five career starts against Oakland. Pavano has been even better in two this year, going 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA.
The veteran right-hander, however, comes off a terrible outing. He yielded a season-high eight earned runs over five innings, and did not receive a decision in Tuesday’s 9-8 win at Texas.
“I didn’t make it easy on us at all with a lot of bad pitches, a lot of runs I’ve given up,” Pavano said.
DeJesus was pulled in the third inning Saturday with what the A’s announced as right thumb soreness.
“One of the worst defensive nights,” Gardenhire said. “Balls can’t go rolling through the infield - it’s not acceptable around here, yet it happened. A terrible defensive game and there you have it.”
Minnesota has split the first six games of this 10-game trip. The Twins are in fourth place in the AL Central, although only six games behind first-place Detroit.
Oakland has won all three starts since the break by Brandon McCarthy(notes) (3-5, 3.52), who is 2-0 with a 3.44 ERA in that span. His best outing in that stretch was Tuesday’s 6-1 win over Tampa Bay as he yielded one run over eight innings.
“That’s as good as I’ve seen (McCarthy),” interim manager Bob Melvin said. “Ball down in the zone, good movement on everything. To be able to go that deep - obviously he was economical on top of that - it was a terrific performance.”