Staff aces collide as A's open series in Texas

May 9, 2011, 2:10 pm
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May 9, 2011

A's (18-17) vs.
TEXAS (18-17)

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

TEXAS (AP) -- For the second time in less than two weeks, Oakland's Trevor Cahill and Texas' C.J. Wilson will square off in a matchup of staff aces and they're coming off dominating performances.

Cahill will try to become the second six-game winner in the majors and Wilson looks to avenge his lone loss of the year Monday night when the Athletics travel to begin a three-game set with the Rangers.

On April 29 in Oakland, Cahill (5-0, 1.79 ERA) outpitched Wilson (4-1, 2.92) in the Athletics' 3-1 win. That opened a four-game set with the A's taking three in the teams' only series so far this year.

REWIND: Cahill leads A's over Wilson, Rangers in series-opener

Each pitcher went seven innings, but while Cahill overcame three walks in the first and allowed only seven hits, Wilson was tagged for three runs and nine hits.

"Trevor Cahill's always tough on us," left fielder David Murphy said. "I don't even think he had his best stuff tonight."

Cahill has more career wins over Texas than any other opponent, going 7-2 with a 2.27 ERA in 10 starts.

The right-hander will try to join Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels with six wins, and reduce the second-lowest ERA in the majors behind Florida's Josh Johnson (1.68).

Oakland (18-17) and Texas (18-17) are tied for second in the AL West, two games behind Los Angeles. Last-place Seattle, with reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez and budding rookie Michael Pineda, is just four games back.

"Because there is so much pitching in the division, anyone can have an opportunity," Rangers manager Ron Washington told the team's official website.

Following the initial meeting, Cahill snapped Cleveland's seven-game winning streak by allowing a run and five hits over seven innings in a 3-1 victory Wednesday.

Later that night, Wilson tied a career high with 12 strikeouts in a six-hitter as Texas topped Seattle 5-2.

"For me it's more surgical. That's the way I try to pitch. That's the way I always try to pitch," the left-hander said.

Wilson is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in two career home starts against Oakland.

Texas, which is continuing a nine-game homestand, lost two of three to the New York Yankees, including a 12-5 defeat Sunday. The Rangers have gone 4-10 since sweeping the Royals from April 22-24.

"We're in a little grind right now, but we have to keep battling and get out there and make a change," first baseman Mike Napoli said. "We come out to win every series. We're not playing good ball right now. We know it. We need to get out there and have good energy and make plays."

Designated hitter Michael Young went 0 for 3 Sunday after a four-hit game in the Rangers' 7-5 win the previous night. Young still leads the AL with 47 hits and is batting .341.

He's also batting .360 (9 for 25) with two homers and nine RBIs in a six-game hitting streak against Oakland, and is 6 for 21 against Cahill.

The A's opened a six-game swing by taking two of three from Kansas City, winning 5-2 Sunday. Kevin Kouzmanoff and Kurt Suzuki each homered and Conor Jackson had three hits.