Dodgers-Athletics Preview


The Los Angeles Dodgers may possess the best record in the majors, but it's the Oakland Athletics who are currently on a tear.

With Tommy Milone on the mound at home, they seemingly have a good chance to stay hot.

Oakland seeks a seventh victory in its last eight games overall Wednesday night while trying to continue its home dominance of Los Angeles, which looks to finally give promising starter Nathan Eovaldi some run support.

The Dodgers (42-26) are clinging to baseball's best record after going 3-4 over their last seven. They dropped the series opener 3-0 on Tuesday, mustering only two hits.

"We just couldn't get anything going," manager Don Mattingly said.

Since Matt Kemp went on the disabled list after re-injuring his left hamstring May 30, Los Angeles has five homers in 18 games, with every other MLB team hitting at least 10 in that stretch.

Oakland (32-36), meanwhile, is on a roll. Coco Crisp had two hits and stole three bases Tuesday, extending his franchise-record streak of consecutive successful attempts to 36 dating back to last season.

After Brandon McCarthy's gem Tuesday, Athletics pitchers have a 2.00 ERA over the team's last five contests.

The latest victory seemed particularly sweet for manager Bob Melvin as it came against Oakland's intrastate rival. The A's have won 12 of the last 16 meetings, including nine of 10 at home while outscoring Los Angeles 65-33.

"This is a team anybody in Northern California doesn't particularly care for," Melvin said, referring to the Dodgers.

Milone (6-5, 4.48 ERA) will look to give the A's another solid performance on the mound, though he's coming off one of the worst outings of his brief career.

He allowed eight runs in four innings last Wednesday at Colorado before Oakland rallied for a 10-8 victory, and he's 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA over his last four starts.

The last three, however, came on the road. The left-hander has a major league-best home ERA of 0.98 while going 4-1, compared to 2-4 with a 7.42 ERA away from Oakland.

The Athletics' 2.95 ERA at home ranks fourth in the majors.

"I'm trying to compare the home starts and the road starts," Milone told the team's official website. "I feel like when I'm on the road, I get behind a lot and am forced to throw the ball over the plate a lot."

Milone's stinginess at home may not bode well for Eovaldi, who has received a total of two runs of support in 24 2-3 innings over his four starts this season.

Eovaldi (0-2, 1.82) had yet another solid outing last Wednesday, allowing one run in six innings of the Dodgers' 2-1 loss to the Angels. Los Angeles has dropped each of his starts despite him not allowing more than two earned runs in any of them.

"Wins will come," Eovaldi told the Dodgers' official website. "I just have to keep battling out there to keep us in the game."

The young right-hander is one reason the Dodgers rank second in the majors with a 3.13 ERA.

"Nate has been great," Mattingly said. "He's got a chance to be really good. He's going to be something to deal with."

Eovaldi will have to deal with an Oakland offense that has outscored the opposition 46-23 over its last seven games.

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