Melvin calls on rookie to beat Sox, halt A's skid

Melvin calls on rookie to beat Sox, halt A's skid
June 10, 2011, 2:27 pm
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June 10, 2011
A's (27-37) vs.
WHITE SOX (31-34)

Coverage starts at 4:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

CHICAGO (AP) -- A change in managers didn't prevent the Oakland Athletics' losing streak from reaching double digits.

The Athletics will try again to give Bob Melvin his first win and halt a 10-game skid Friday night against the Chicago White Sox.

Oakland (27-37) made the majors' first managerial change of 2011 by firing Bob Geren after four-plus seasons Thursday. Melvin, a Bay Area native and former skipper with Arizona and Seattle, will guide the A's for the remainder of the season.

RATTO: Something amiss in dismissal of Geren

He's got quite a challenge trying to wake up a sluggish offense. Heading into the opener of its four-game set with the White Sox (31-34), Oakland was last in the AL with 223 runs and 34 homers, and second to last with a .238 batting average.

Melvin does inherit a pitching staff, led by Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill, that still has the AL's lowest ERA at 3.32 even after being hit hard later Thursday. Cahill yielded six runs in a season-low 2 2-3 innings and spoiled the debut of his new bench boss with a 9-4 loss.

"It's always about winning," said Melvin, who's seven victories short of 500. "It would have been nice to go home tonight and get some sleep knowing that we won a game, but we'll come back out and battle (Friday)."

REWIND: A's fall to White Sox in Melvin's debut

Hideki Matsui had a two-run homer among two hits for last-place Oakland, which looks to avoid losing 11 straight for the first time since a 12-game slide April 19-30, 1994.

To do that, Melvin will go with Graham Godfrey, making his major league debut with Brett Anderson sidelined by elbow soreness.

Godfrey was 7-1 with a 2.50 ERA in nine starts with Triple-A Sacramento, and he also led the River Cats with 45 strikeouts while walking 14 in 50 1-3 innings. Oakland acquired the right-hander in 2007 from Toronto in a trade involving Marco Scutaro.

Athletics starters have a 5.99 ERA over the last 10 games, and Godfrey will be facing a lineup that features the surging Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko. Quentin is batting .359 in an 11-game hitting streak while Konerko has a 10-game run with homers in five of his last eight contests.

After sitting out for two games to try and clear his head, Adam Dunn went deep at home Thursday for the first time since May 1 - a span of 15 games.

"That felt good. You're out there after having a series off. You're eager to get back in there and be able to contribute," said Dunn, who's hitting .178 and has struck out 11 times in 22 at-bats versus the Athletics this year.

The White Sox, who are looking to win three straight in one season over Oakland for the first time since May 22-24, 2006, will send Edwin Jackson (4-5, 4.50 ERA) to the hill.

The right-hander threw a season high 124 pitches in six innings, but didn't get a decision Saturday against Detroit after yielding two runs and seven hits with four walks in Chicago's 4-2 loss.

He is 2-1 with a 3.48 ERA against Oakland, but has failed to get a win or loss in two starts since joining the White Sox in a trade from Arizona in July. Jackson's shortest outing of the season at U.S. Cellular Field came against the A's on April 12, when he lasted 4 2-3 innings while allowing three runs and seven hits in the White Sox's 6-5 win in 10 innings.