Athletics-Pirates Preview

The Associated Press

After unseating the Pittsburgh Pirates for baseball's best interleague record Monday, the Oakland Athletics hope to improve upon that mark Tuesday night.

Dan Straily hopes his success against National League foes continues, too.

Straily takes the mound for Oakland following a brilliant performance as its three-game series in Pittsburgh continues.

The Athletics (53-37) opened the set with a 2-1 victory Monday. Their ninth win in 12 games improved their interleague record to an MLB-best 12-4 while Pittsburgh fell to 11-4 after winning its last eight against AL competition.

Josh Donaldson remained one of baseball's best hitters in interleague play this year, going 1 for 3 with a sacrifice fly. He's hit safely in 14 of 16 games against the NL, going 24 for 58 (.414) with five homers and 15 RBIs.

Straily (5-2, 4.52 ERA) has been dominant in his first two tastes of interleague action, yielding one run and five hits over 13 innings in victories against San Francisco and the Cubs. He threw seven innings of one-hit ball in a 1-0 win over Chicago on Thursday.

The right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento for the third time this season earlier that day as the Athletics chose to give Jarrod Parker extra rest before his next start.

"Even if I didn't have my best stuff, I was going to give it everything I had," said Straily, who went a career-low 3 1-3 innings in his previous start June 22 at Seattle. "My slider was not as sharp as it's been but it was good enough."

Pittsburgh (53-35) will call on Gerrit Cole (4-1, 3.94), who tries to bounce back from his first career loss. The right-hander was the first Pitchers pitcher to win his first four career starts in more than 100 years, but gave up three runs and eight hits over a season-low 5 1-3 innings in a 6-4 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday.

"I thought he pitched well," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's a 22-year-old young man. He's still learning, continuing to grow. He's fun to watch."

Cole's best performance came in his lone outing against an AL opponent, holding the Angels to two runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-2 road win June 21.

Fellow rookie Grant Green was 0 for 3 Monday and struck out twice as he started at second base for Oakland in his big league debut, but he'll remain a regular in the club's lineup, manager Bob Melvin said.

Andrew McCutchen was 1 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, during which he's 16 for 38 (.421) with a .605 slugging percentage.

Neil Walker, who owns a .347 on-base percentage, sat out for the second game in a row but worked out in batting practice. He's experienced discomfort in his right side, which forced him to leave Saturday's contest.

Oakland is 10-0 all-time against Pittsburgh.

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