Padres-Athletics Preview

The Associated Press

Brandon Moss' staggering offensive production has the Oakland Athletics on the brink of their longest winning streak in a year.

The journeyman looks to keep crushing the ball as the A's go for a fifth straight victory Saturday against the visiting San Diego Padres.

Recalling Moss from Triple-A Sacramento after designating first baseman Kila Ka'aihue for assignment last week seemed like an innocuous move.

So far, it's been a great one.

Moss, a career .239 hitter over parts of six years with four teams, is batting .300 with six homers and 11 RBIs in nine games since being called up. Most of that damage has come during Oakland's four-game winning streak, as Moss has gone 7 for 17 with 10 RBIs and five homers, going deep at least once in each contest.

The A's (30-35) haven't enjoyed a longer winning streak since a six-game run June 15-21, 2011.

Moss, an outfielder throughout his career who's playing first base with Oakland, helped the club get closer to matching that run by hitting a two-run shot to spur a five-run opening inning in Friday's 10-2 win over the Padres (23-42).

"It's exciting and I'm enjoying it but I'm just going out and playing the best I can, get good at-bats, hit the ball hard and whatever happens happens," Moss said. "I've been locked in before but it's just one of those things where you go up, you have good pitches to hit and you don't miss them."

Moss isn't the only A's hitter who's thriving, as Cliff Pennington is batting .379 (11 for 29) with four doubles and a homer in his last seven games after going 3 for 3 in the opener.

Oakland is expected to recall Tyson Ross (2-6, 6.51 ERA) from Sacramento and give him his first start since a 4-0 loss at Minnesota on May 30. The right-hander gave up four runs and six hits in five innings.

Ross, who will face the Padres for the first time, went 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in a pair of starts with the River Cats.

San Diego tries to bounce back from its second loss in six games by giving Ross Ohlendorf (1-0, 3.38) his first start since signing him as a free agent earlier this month. His second of two relief appearances was impressive.

The right-hander allowed one run and five hits with four strikeouts in 4 1-3 innings to get credit for a 5-2 victory at Milwaukee last Saturday. He was needed in an extended role because of a strict pitch count for starter Andrew Cashner.

"We needed him to step up. He was ready," first baseman Yonder Alonso said. "You could see it in his eyes early in the game. He knew we were going to ride him. He knows what he's doing. He was pounding the zone and he was working quick. He had a routine and rhythm going early."

Ohlendorf recorded more than one victory only once in his first five major league seasons, winning 11 with Pittsburgh in 2009, and he posted an 8.40 ERA during seven second-half starts with the Pirates last season.

He gave up two hits, four walks and two unearned runs in his lone career start against the A's in Oakland on June 27, 2010.

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