CC Sabathia hasn't suffered three consecutive losses over his three-plus seasons with the New York Yankees. A return home might help him avoid that dubious streak.
The Bay Area native will try to snap out of his slump while leading the Yankees to their eighth consecutive road win over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday afternoon.
Sabathia (5-2, 3.78 ERA) is 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA since winning five starts in a row, and he walked a combined nine batters over those two outings. He issued three of his season-high five free passes and gave up a pair of homers in his final inning, the seventh, during a 5-2 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday.
"It's baseball," Sabathia told the team's official website. "It's a long season, you've got some ups and downs. When it's down, it's time for the pitching to step up and make pitches. I didn't do that."
Sabathia hasn't lost three straight decisions since May 20-June 5, 2008, while with Cleveland and hasn't lost three consecutive starts since April 5-16 that same year.
He'll try to avoid that while improving on his 2-0 record and 1.57 ERA over the past three matchups with Oakland (22-24). The left-hander yielded one run over 7 2-3 innings during his most recent game at O.co Coliseum on July 6, 2010, and gave up three runs over 7 1-3 in the Bronx on Aug. 24 during his only outing in last season's series.
In this start, the native of nearby Vallejo, Calif., will pitch opposite former teammate Bartolo Colon (4-4, 4.09), who is coming off his first win since April 18. The right-hander earned that by giving up two runs over five innings in San Francisco on Sunday.
Colon, 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA for the Yankees in 2011, was 0-3 with a 5.52 ERA over the five starts before that 6-2 victory.
Colon hasn't faced New York (24-21) since July 6, 2007, and he's probably thankful for that. He hasn't made it past the third inning in his past two matchups against the Yankees and has given up a combined 15 runs in those games.
This time, he'll face a team that's produced 17 runs during a three-game win streak - one shy of matching a season high - after scoring a combined 15 during a 1-6 stretch.
Mark Teixeira hit just his third home run since April 21 in a 6-3 win Friday while Nick Swisher had his first since May 6. Robinson Cano also went deep as his team finished with 12 hits, its most since 14 in a 6-2 win over Seattle on May 11.
"We're used to scoring that many runs. It's kind of more normal for us," Teixeira said. "We're a team that's used to hitting a lot of (homers) and we'd like to hit a little bit more.''
Alex Rodriguez, who had two hits Friday, is 22 for 47 with eight home runs against Colon. Derek Jeter, who is three hits shy of passing George Brett for 14th on the all-time list, is 13 for 36 with two homers versus Colon but has also struck out 10 times.