American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, August 16th
(All times eastern)
Oakland Athletics (61-55) at Kansas City Royals (51-65), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Daniel Straily (0-0, 5.06)
Kansas City - Luke Hochevar (7-10, 5.32)
(Sports Network) - Luke Hochevar tries to pitch the Kansas City Royals to a
three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium.
But, if the Royals are to break out the brooms they will need Hochevar to
better against the A's than he has been in his career. The former first
overall pick is 0-7 lifetime versus Oakland with a 6.96 ERA in eight starts.
Hochevar lost to Baltimore on Friday, surrendering seven runs and seven hits -
three home runs - in 5 1/3 innings of work to drop him to 7-10 on the year to
go along with a 5.32 ERA.
"Hitters usually don't miss mistakes at this level," Hochevar said after his
last start. "Three unexecuted pitches and that's what cost me. That's all on
me. I've got to execute better in big situations."
Kansas City continued to stymie the playoff hopeful A's on Wednesday, as it
rallied for two runs in the seventh inning to win, 3-2, sending Brandon
McCarthy to his first loss since April 21.
Will Smith (4-4) outdueled McCarthy, holding the A's to a pair of runs on five
hits in seven innings to pick up his second straight win.
Chris Getz knocked in the winning run with his two-out double for the Royals,
who will be eyeing their first sweep of the A's since turning the trick from
July 28-30, 2008.
"It's a bad loss for us across the board," McCarthy said. "These are games we
expected to win and we've been winning. To give that up late like that, we
need to be better than this. I'm not happy with myself. There were a lot of
things we've done bad and need to be better."
McCarthy (6-4) had won his previous six decisions, spanning eight starts, but
the right-hander took the loss after giving up three runs -- two earned -- and
seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"He was really tough tonight," Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain said. "He was
sinking and cutting from us away all night. I'd say he was very, very dominant
Josh Donaldson hit his second home run for Oakland, which has lost four of its
last five games and is now 1 1/2-games back in the wild card race.
Getting the call for the A's tonight will be young right-hander Daniel
Straily, who has yet to win in his first two major league starts. After giving
up a run in six innings in his debut, the 23-year-old was hit hard his last
time out on Aug. 8 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as he allowed
five runs in 4 2/3 innings.
"I don't think he's that comfortable yet," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
"He certainly has the stuff to be successful. It's just being comfortable and
getting in a rhythm and not thinking about a lot of the outside distractions
that come with getting to the big leagues for the first time."
The Royals have taken five of the eight meetings between these two teams this
08/16 10:52:13 ET