Athletics-Giants Preview

Off to another solid start after a breakthrough 2010 season,

Trevor Cahill is firmly established as the Oakland Athletics’

ace.

Very few ever thought Ryan Vogelsong would be pitching like one

after a five-year layoff.

The latest installment of the Bay Bridge Series gets going

Friday night, when Cahill will try to halt the Athletics’ long skid

in San Francisco against Vogelsong and the Giants.

Oakland (22-22) won seven straight in San Francisco between 2006

and 2008, but have come away empty in each of six visits after

that. The A’s starting staff has posted a 6.21 ERA during the

losing streak compared to 3.68 from the bullpen.

An 18-game winner in 2010, Cahill (6-1, 1.82 ERA) will try again

to become the first in the majors with seven victories this

year.

The right-hander suffered his first loss since Sept. 26 on

Sunday, when he allowed four runs and a season-high 10 hits in

seven innings of a 4-3 defeat to the Chicago White Sox.

Cahill had allowed one run or less in seven of eight games

coming in, and could rebound nicely when facing the Giants (24-19).

He’s won both career starts against them, allowing two runs and 10

hits in 13 2-3 innings.

He also told the Athletics’ official website that he’s looking

forward to stepping in the batter’s box.

“It should be fun, facing an NL team. It’s a different kind of

ballgame, getting to hit and everything,” said Cahill, who’s 1 for

5 lifetime as a hitter, and 5-2 with a 3.10 ERA in eight

interleague starts.

Oakland will need a long outing from Cahill after dropping back

to .500 with an 11-1 loss to AL-worst Minnesota, which swept the

two-game set Thursday. The A’s were forced to use their bullpen

when Tyson Ross exited after seven pitches with a strained

oblique.

“You just try to get through 27 outs with your bullpen,” Oakland

manager Bob Geren said. “It was a rough day, but we’ll bounce

back.”

Bouncing back is a theme for Vogelsong (3-0, 2.36) as he

continues to author perhaps the best comeback story in any sport in

recent memory.

The right-hander began his career with San Francisco in 2000,

missed all of 2002 after Tommy John surgery and was out of the

majors once the 2006 campaign ended.

With former A’s star Barry Zito out since mid-April with a foot

injury, Vogelsong has flourished as the fifth starter. The

33-year-old hasn’t surrendered a run over his last 13 1-3 innings,

and is coming off his first big league shutout.

He scattered seven hits over six innings Saturday in a

rain-shortened 3-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs. With three wins,

Vogelsong is tied with two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim

Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez for second on the team

behind closer Brian Wilson (four).

Vogelsong will be making his first start against the A’s since

yielding six runs, eight hits and four walks in Pittsburgh’s 12-11

loss on June 12, 2004.

The Giants return home after completing a two-game sweep of the

Dodgers with a 3-1 win in Los Angeles. Madison Bumgarner came

within one out of a shutout to get his first win in seven decisions

this year.

“It feels like a playoff win, it’s been so long,” Bumgarner

said. “I’m just glad to finally get that first win out of the

way.”

San Francisco shortstop Miguel Tejada, who won the 2002 AL MVP

with Oakland, has gone 7 for 16 over his last four games and is

batting .221.

Tejada leads all current Giants with 33 homers and 129 RBIs

while batting .273 in interleague play.