Interleague Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, August 19 (All times Eastern)
New York Mets (59-67) at Oakland Athletics (73-51), 10:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: NY Mets - Dillon Gee (4-5, 3.69) Oakland - Scott Kazmir (13-5, 2.78)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oakland Athletics try to put the brakes on a five- game losing streak on Tuesday when they welcome the New York Mets to O.co Coliseum for a quick two-game series.
Oakland's slide has dropped it out of first place in the American League West and it starts play tonight a half game back of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
"Every team goes through a stretch like this," Stephen Vogt said. "I don't think there's any team in the big leagues that's ever not had a stretch like this. I think for us, it's good it's happening now with this much time left."
The A's are just 7-10 in the month of August after a three-game sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves over the weekend that culminated with a 4-3 loss on Sunday.
Of course, Oakland has a winning record in a franchise-record 14 straight months.
Jon Lester (13-8) suffered his first loss since joining the A's in that one, allowing four runs -- three earned -- on six hits over six innings. The southpaw hadn't lost since June 7 in Detroit when he was pitching for the Red Sox.
"It was tough, but good teams go through tough stretches," said Nate Freiman, who hit a pair of sole home runs in the loss, "162 games. I'm confident that this is a tough enough group that's going to respond well."
Hoping to turn things around on Tuesday will be lefty Scott Kazmir, who has lost two of his last three starts. Kazmir fell to red-hot Kansas City on Wednesday, as he allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings to drop to 13-5 on the year with a 2.78 ERA.
"I felt good. I was able to add and subtract from my fastball, but the important thing was I was getting my changeup back," said Kazmir. "That's positive going forward, definitely."
Kazmir, who at one time was a top pitching prospect of the Mets, is 1-1 with a 7.00 ERA versus the team that made him their No. 1 pick back in 2002.
As bad as Oakland has been of late, the Mets have been worse, producing fewer than five hits in five straight games, including a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Monday.
"Maybe they're swinging too much," manager Terry Collins said. "It's trying not to do too much, just try to put the barrel on the baseball."
Dillon Gee will hope for a little more support on Tuesday, as he tries for his first win since July 9. Gee lost his fourth straight decision on Thursday against Washington, surrendering four runs and four hits in six innings to fall to 4-5 on the year to go along with a 3.69 ERA.
"The command's been on and off and I just keep working on it," said Gee, who lost his only other start against the A's. "There's nothing really I can pinpoint that's making that a problem."
New York split a two-game set with Oakland at Citi Field back in June.
08/19 10:53:20 ET