Athletics-Red Sox Preview
The Oakland Athletics surpassed the run total of their previous
three games combined in their most recent contest, yet it still
wasn’t enough to end their skid.
Facing AL ERA leader Josh Beckett may not be a cure for their
Oakland visits the Boston Red Sox on Saturday looking to avoid a
fifth consecutive loss.
The A’s (27-31) lost their fourth straight Friday, 8-6 against
Boston, after scoring only five runs total in their last three.
Their four-run first inning staked them to an early lead, but the
Red Sox (31-26) overcame the deficit by the third inning.
”It’s good to get some runs early,” said Josh Willingham, who
doubled twice. ”But you have to give them credit, they came
Oakland ranks near the bottom of the league in batting average,
runs and home runs, which may be tough to overcome facing the Red
Beckett (4-2, 1.80 ERA) has won his last three starts against
the A’s, striking out 21 in 19 2-3 innings with a 3.66 ERA during
However, the right-hander is coming off his first loss since
April 5 after allowing two runs through six innings Sunday in a 3-0
defeat at Detroit. It marked the most runs he’s allowed in six
Beckett will attempt to shut down the Oakland offense, something
most opposing pitchers have had success accomplishing. However,
strong pitching has kept the A’s competitive.
The staff’s 3.08 ERA is among the league leaders.
”With the pitching that we have, we’re a tough team to beat
when the offense is there,” manager Bob Geren said.
Trevor Cahill (6-3, 2.31) is the team’s ace and will oppose
Beckett, though he hasn’t been pitching as well of late.
The right-hander is 0-3 with a 3.51 ERA over his last four
starts. Prior to that stretch, Cahill was 6-0 with a 1.72 ERA in
eight starts while allowing 10 earned runs over 52 1-3 innings.
He’s allowed 10 earned runs in 25 2-3 innings since.
Cahill surrendered four runs through 6 2-3 innings of a 5-0 loss
to the New York Yankees on Monday. He and Beckett have faced each
other once before, with Beckett earning an 8-3 victory July 27,
Cahill beat the Red Sox with seven scoreless innings in his most
recent start against them Sept. 10.
Boston will try to ride the momentum from ending a four-game
losing streak, its longest since beginning the season 0-6.
Carl Crawford hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the seventh to
complete the comeback Friday. The Red Sox had lost four of their
previous five games at Fenway Park.
Reliever Bobby Jenks earned the victory.
”The type of ball we were playing (early in the season)
compared to now is just two different teams,” Jenks said. ”Going
out of spring training, this is what we were all expecting to start
the year. It just showed up a little late but it’s here now.”
Crawford has a six-game hitting streak against the A’s dating
back to last season when he was with Tampa Bay.
Despite Oakland’s anemic offense this season, the A’s have
outscored Boston 14-13 in three meetings but have lost two of
The Red Sox have won four of the last five matchups at