The Oakland Athletics have been getting some outstanding starting pitching performances lately. Trevor Cahill(notes) has been struggling, but he might be able to continue the pitching staff’s success given the way the Seattle Mariners look lost at the plate.
Oakland will try to win four straight for the first time since June in Sunday’s series finale with the visiting Mariners as Cahill looks to rebound from another rough start.
While the A’s (63-76) have made a nice improvement at the plate during the last three games - scoring 19 runs and hitting .275 after batting .193 and totaling nine runs during their five-game losing streak that preceded it - Oakland’s starters have made an even bigger impact, yielding one earned run in the last three contests after Brandon McCarthy(notes) tossed a three-hitter in Saturday’s 3-0 victory.
“The story for me was our offense, or lack of,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said after his team’s 13th shutout loss of 2011. “A ton of swing and misses today.”
Wedge’s Mariners have failed to score in the last 16 innings this weekend and have four hits - all singles - in the last 15.
Now, they’ll try to get back on track against Cahill (9-13, 4.26 ERA), who is 1-8 with a 6.07 ERA in his last 12 outings. The 2010 All-Star hasn’t won since July 27.
“Even in innings I didn’t give up runs, I was fighting myself,” Cahill said after yielding five runs in Tuesday’s 6-2 loss at Cleveland to fall to 0-4 with a 7.15 ERA in six August starts. “When you’re doing that the whole game, it’s tough to get big league hitters out.”
While Cahill will try to help the A’s win four straight for the first time since a season-best six-game winning streak June 15-21, the Mariners (58-80) give the ball to Blake Beavan(notes) (3-4, 4.11) in their quest to avoid a seventh loss in nine games.
The 22-year-old rookie right-hander is 0-2 in his last four outings but pitched respectably Monday, limiting the Los Angeles Angels to three runs in seven innings of a contest the Mariners went on to win 5-3.
Beavan threw 6 2-3 innings of three-run ball in an 8-4 home win over Oakland and Cahill on Aug. 1. Cahill lasted four innings in that contest - his third-shortest start of the season - giving up seven runs and a career high-tying 12 hits.
The two middle infielders robbed Dustin Ackley(notes) of a single in the ninth inning Saturday with a beautiful backhand flip by Weeks to Pennington, but the Mariners rookie is still batting .400 (10 for 25) during a season-best seven-game hitting streak.
Ackley is 4 for 6 with a homer off Cahill.