Pettitte will try to help the Yankees finish 8-2 on their homestand while earning his 249th career win Sunday.
Oakland (17-14) had scored 38 runs while batting .272 in its six games before a 4-2 loss at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. After collecting 10 hits in a 2-0 win in Friday’s series opener, the A’s had four through eight scoreless innings Saturday before getting two in a two-run ninth.
The six hits were the fewest for Oakland since it had three in a 3-0 loss to Baltimore on April 26.
“That’s the name of the game, getting hot all together,” catcher John Jaso told the team’s website. “Get a walk or two in there and a hit. We didn’t really do that much.”
Lyle Overbay meanwhile, boosted the injury-plagued Yankees with his third home run in six games. The last three hitters for New York (18-11) were a combined 4 for 9 with two solo homers.
In his first start against the A’s in nearly four years, Pettitte (3-2, 3.86 ERA) will try to rebound from a 9-1 loss to Houston on Monday. After posting a 2.22 ERA in his first four starts, the veteran left-hander gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings against his former club.
Pettitte hadn’t allowed that many hits since giving up 10 to Boston in a 10-8 loss on Sept. 24, 2010. He also yielded seven runs for the first time since that game.
“All around just a sickening game for me, and a very frustrating game. I’m just looking forward to getting back out there,” he said.
Pettitte, who hasn’t faced Oakland since July 25, 2009, is 12-7 with a 3.32 ERA in 24 career matchups, including three in the playoffs. He earned his first major league win against the A’s on June 7, 1995, and is 7-4 with a 3.02 ERA in 12 home starts against them in his two stints with New York.
The 40-year-old Pettitte will pitch opposite 24-year-old Dan Straily, who is trying to rebound from a miserable effort of his own in his first start against the Yankees. After being called up from the minors for the second time this season, Straily (1-0, 6.35) gave up a career-high six runs over 4 2-3 innings to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, but he avoided the loss as Oakland rallied late in a 10-8 win in 19 innings.
Vernon Wells is the only Yankees player to have faced Straily, and he hit a two-run homer off the right-hander in a 6-5 loss for the Angels on Sept. 11. Jed Lowrie is the A’s only active player to have hit against Pettitte, going 4 for 10 with a home run.