Giants-Athletics Preview


With an injury disrupting the San Francisco Giants' rotation, they'll have to rely on a rookie left-hander in his first big league start.

It's a matchup Oakland Athletics slugger Josh Donaldson - who has excelled against southpaws during a breakout season - is likely looking forward to.

San Francisco hopes starter Mike Kickham can help it rebound Tuesday night after a 4-1 loss in Oakland on Monday.

Ryan Vogelsong was set up to be Tuesday's starter, but a fractured right hand forced him to the disabled list last week, changing plans for the Giants (28-23). Now they'll start the 24-year-old Kickham, who will be recalled from Triple-A Fresno prior to the game.

"He's been throwing the ball as well as anybody down there - better, really," manager Bruce Bochy told the team's official website. "He's a young kid that just settled in at Triple-A. We need some help here."

One of the organization's top young arms, Kickham posted a 3-4 record and 4.33 ERA over 10 starts in Triple-A with 54 strikeouts in as many innings. He had really begun to settle in lately, going 3-1 with a 1.72 ERA over his last five starts for the Grizzlies.

"His stuff is good," San Francisco catcher Guillermo Quiroz, who caught Kickham during spring training, told the team's official website. "He was working on a changeup in spring and has a good fastball and slider."

Donaldson's penchant for hitting left-handers continued Monday as he connected for his eighth home run of the season off of Madison Bumgarner. Donaldson is 23 for 58 (.397) against lefties this year with an OPS of 1.220.

Manager Bob Melvin told the team's official website he thinks Donaldson, batting a team-best .324 with 33 RBIs, is deserving of an All-Star selection. He would be the first Oakland position player since catcher Ramon Hernandez was an All-Star in 2003. Eleven Athletics pitchers have been named All-Stars since 2004.

Five of Donaldson's homers have come in the last 17 games as he's slugging .726 during that stretch.

"He continues to swing the bat well, and his confidence continues to grow," Melvin said.

Oakland (29-23) will send Jarrod Parker (2-6, 5.76) to the mound. Though the right-hander has disappointed after a strong rookie season, he showed good resolve his last time out. After spotting Texas three runs on two homers in the first inning Wednesday, he retired 11 of the next 12 batters he faced. He allowed no more runs while giving up six hits over seven innings, but wasn't able to avoid his sixth loss.

"He threw a couple of early-count heaters that they squared up," Melvin said. "In the past, early in the season, that game gets away from him. It looks like he's more comfortable now."

Parker saw mixed results in two starts versus San Francisco last season. He yielded six runs and walked four in two innings of an 8-6 loss May 18, then held the Giants to one run over six innings June 22 before leaving without a decision in a 5-4 loss.

Buster Posey, whose hitting streak ended at 10 games Monday, is 0 for 3 against Parker.

Yoenis Cespedes doubled Monday to extend his streak to nine games, during which he has seven RBIs.