Padres-Athletics Preview

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.