April 14, 2011
DETROIT (5-7) vs.
Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California
OAKLAND (AP) -- The Oakland Athletics are starting to score runs more consistently, and that could provide an even bigger boost for Gio Gonzalez, who hasn't needed much offensive help from his teammates.
The left-hander will attempt to win a third straight start to open this season and beat the Detroit Tigers for the first time Thursday night.
Oakland pushed across at least five runs for the third time in four games Wednesday during a 7-4 comeback win in 10 innings over the Chicago White Sox. The A's (6-6) tied the game with three runs in the ninth, then scored three more in the 10th.
REWIND: Stunning late rally lifts A's over White Sox
In their first eight games, they scored two runs or fewer five times.
"I just loved the attitude. The guys kept fighting right to the end," manager Bob Geren said. "We were down and it was going to take putting some hits together, drawing some walks, and we did it."
Having won four of five, Geren's club will try to add another victory with help from Gonzalez (2-0, 0.69 ERA), who has continued to pitch well after breaking out with 15 wins last season.
In 2010, Gonzalez because the first Oakland pitcher in 21 years with at least eight scoreless starts. He produced his first one this season Saturday in a 1-0 victory in Minnesota, allowing four hits and two walks over six innings.
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"It's actually a stress reliever if you don't have to get a lot of runs," Geren said.
Gonzalez, though, could use a few more against Detroit.
He's 0-3 with a 10.22 ERA in three career matchups but has allowed just three runs in each of the past two - both at home. The left-hander has received a combined two runs of support in those games.
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The Tigers (5-7) are coming off their first back-to-back wins this season, thanks largely to Brandon Inge.
The third baseman homered in the ninth inning Wednesday to give his team a 3-2 victory over visiting Texas. The previous day, Inge scored on Miguel Cabrera's ninth-inning single in a 5-4 win against the Rangers.
"Maybe this can jump-start us and get us going," Inge said.
Detroit might gain even more momentum if Magglio Ordonez can return soon from an ailing right ankle. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said his veteran slugger might play sometime during this seven-game West Coast trip, which begins with four in Oakland.
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"If he's right, maybe (he'll play on) the coast," Leyland told the team's website. "I just want to get him right."
Phil Coke (0-2, 4.00) is trying to get on the right side of the ledger after a 3-1 loss to Kansas City on Saturday.
In his second career start, Coke gave up two runs, two hits and two walks in the second inning. He recovered to throw 4 2-3 scoreless frames after that, finishing with seven strikeouts.
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"I'm thrilled. You have to be with the way he pitched," Leyland said. "That was exactly what we needed from him."
Coke has allowed four runs in 4 2-3 innings in his last five outings against Oakland, all out of the bullpen.
The A's lost both of their home games against the Tigers last season after winning 11 of the previous 14 meetings there.