Bay Area battle begins tonight as Giants host A's

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Bay Area battle begins tonight as Giants host A's

May 20, 2011

A's (22-22) vs.
GIANTS (24-19)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

(AP) -- Off to another solid start after a breakthrough 2010 season, Trevor Cahill is firmly established as the Oakland Athletics' ace.

Very few ever thought Ryan Vogelsong would be pitching like one after a five-year layoff.

The latest installment of the Bay Bridge Series gets going Friday night, when Cahill will try to halt the Athletics' long skid in San Francisco against Vogelsong and the Giants.

URBAN: Giants have momentum, A's have arms

Oakland (22-22) won seven straight in San Francisco between 2006 and 2008, but have come away empty in each of six visits after that. The A's starting staff has posted a 6.21 ERA during the losing streak compared to 3.68 from the bullpen.

An 18-game winner in 2010, Cahill (6-1, 1.82 ERA) will try again to become the first in the majors with seven victories this year.

The right-hander suffered his first loss since Sept. 26 on Sunday, when he allowed four runs and a season-high 10 hits in seven innings of a 4-3 defeat to the Chicago White Sox.

Cahill had allowed one run or less in seven of eight games coming in, and could rebound nicely when facing the Giants (24-19). He's won both career starts against them, allowing two runs and 10 hits in 13 2-3 innings.

He also told the Athletics' official website that he's looking forward to stepping in the batter's box.

"It should be fun, facing an NL team. It's a different kind of ballgame, getting to hit and everything," said Cahill, who's 1 for 5 lifetime as a hitter, and 5-2 with a 3.10 ERA in eight interleague starts.

OSTLER: Survival guide for bandwagon Giants fans

Oakland will need a long outing from Cahill after dropping back to .500 with an 11-1 loss to AL-worst Minnesota, which swept the two-game set Thursday. The A's were forced to use their bullpen when Tyson Ross exited after seven pitches with a strained oblique.

"You just try to get through 27 outs with your bullpen," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "It was a rough day, but we'll bounce back."

Bouncing back is a theme for Vogelsong (3-0, 2.36) as he continues to author perhaps the best comeback story in any sport in recent memory.

The right-hander began his career with San Francisco in 2000, missed all of 2002 after Tommy John surgery and was out of the majors once the 2006 campaign ended.

With former A's star Barry Zito out since mid-April with a foot injury, Vogelsong has flourished as the fifth starter. The 33-year-old hasn't surrendered a run over his last 13 1-3 innings, and is coming off his first big league shutout.

He scattered seven hits over six innings Saturday in a rain-shortened 3-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs. With three wins, Vogelsong is tied with two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez for second on the team behind closer Brian Wilson (four).

Vogelsong will be making his first start against the A's since yielding six runs, eight hits and four walks in Pittsburgh's 12-11 loss on June 12, 2004.

The Giants return home after completing a two-game sweep of the Dodgers with a 3-1 win in Los Angeles. Madison Bumgarner came within one out of a shutout to get his first win in seven decisions this year.

"It feels like a playoff win, it's been so long," Bumgarner said. "I'm just glad to finally get that first win out of the way."

San Francisco shortstop Miguel Tejada, who won the 2002 AL MVP with Oakland, has gone 7 for 16 over his last four games and is batting .221.

Tejada leads all current Giants with 33 homers and 129 RBIs while batting .273 in interleague play.

Dodgers designate Sergio Romo for assignment

Dodgers designate Sergio Romo for assignment

The Dodgers made a move on Thursday that will certainly interest Giants fans.

Los Angeles designated Sergio Romo for assignment.

Over 30 appearances this season, Romo is 1-1 with a 6.12 ERA.

[PAVLOVIC: Why are the Giants reportedly gambling on a Pablo Sandoval reunion?]

He hasn't taken the mound since July 8.

Against the Giants this year:

- April 24: Allowed one hit and one walk in one inning
- April 25: Allowed two earned runs in 0.1 innings 
- May 2: A perfect 1-2-3 inning
- May 17: Allowed one run in one inning

Romo spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Orange and Black.

From 2008 to 2016, he went 32-26 with a 2.58 ERA and 84 saves over 515 appearances.

He won three World Series rings with the Giants.

Lillard: If Blazers get Carmelo and then run into Warriors during playoffs...

Lillard: If Blazers get Carmelo and then run into Warriors during playoffs...

Who will Carmelo Anthony play for next season?

The Knicks? Rockets? Cavs? Blazers?

Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are hoping Carmelo ends up in Portland.

"I spoke to him," Lillard told Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. "Because, obviously, he makes us a better team. Obviously with that being out there and that being a real possibility, I don't see why I wouldn't reach out to him and let him know that the interest is mutual if he's interested in us."

[REWIND: McCollum's message to those who think Warriors are bad for the NBA]

What was his reaction?

"I ain't gonna share all that," Lillard said. "We had a conversation about it because it's something that we need to talk about, so he knew that it wasn't just the team -- but it was myself and C.J. -- would love to have him here. So I reached out to him."

How would he help the Blazers?

"He's Carmelo Anthony," Lillard responded. "You add another guy that can go out there and score 50 ... over the last decade, he's been one of the best players in the league. Playing against him, you know he's a cerebral player. He's smart...

"I can only imagine what it would be like having him iso'ing on one side, and C.J. in a corner, and me on the opposite wing and Nurk (Jusuf Nurkic) ... I can only imagine how hard it would be to guard us when it's already hard to guard us.

"We can compete with anybody in the West, but I think when you get to those teams like Golden State, if we happen to run into them in a playoff situation now -- we getting in the paint, and if they want to help off someone like Melo ... good luck."

The Warriors beat the Blazers in five games in the 2016 Western Conference Semifinals and swept them in the opening round of the 2017 playoffs.

According to McCollum, the Blazers would definitely have homecourt in the first round of the playoffs should Carmelo head to the Pacific Northwest.

"Very talented player. And I think if we get him -- when we get him -- speak it into existence ... I think Top 3 in the West, easy," McCollum declared. "I think he's interested."

Carmelo is reportedly pushing for a trade to the Rockets...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller