OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics will be seeking to complete a season-series sweep over a second consecutive opponent when they face the Detroit Tigers for the seventh and final time Sunday afternoon.
One night after Ramon Laureano lashed a walk-off single in the 13th inning of his major league debut for a 1-0 victory, the A’s got home runs from Matt Chapman and Khris Davis to power a 2-1 win over the Tigers on Saturday.
The A’s capped a 7-0 run over the Toronto Blue Jays earlier in the week for only the third sweep of a season series of seven or more games in franchise history.
As opposed to the 51-18 blitzing of the Blue Jays that was capped by 10-1, 6-2 and 8-3 wins earlier this week, the A’s struggled to beat the Tigers on all six occasions. The run total has been 24-14, with the wins coming by 4-2, 3-0, 9-7 and 5-4 in Detroit before the 1-0 and 2-1 victories at home the past two days.
Oakland will send right-hander Trevor Cahill (3-2, 3.39 ERA) to the mound in search for the historic win.
The veteran has faced the Tigers seven times in his career (six starts), going 2-3 with a 4.82 ERA.
Cahill was the winner in Tuesday’s 6-2 victory over Toronto. It gave him two straight wins, a stretch during which he allowed seven runs and 12 hits in 11 innings.
The Tigers will counter with left-hander Francisco Liriano (3-5, 4.41), who hasn’t won since April.
He was demoted to the bullpen for his most recent appearance against Cleveland, after having failed to pitch five full innings in any of his previous three starts, during which he gave up 11 runs and 14 hits in 10 innings.
Liriano has a 6-4 record and 4.28 ERA in 20 career appearances (16 starts) against the A’s. He has gone 2-2 with a 5.57 ERA in nine games (eight starts) in Oakland.
Neither faced Sunday’s opponent when the A’s won four straight at Detroit in June.
Both teams have pitched brilliantly in the Oakland portion of the series.
One night after left-hander Blaine Hardy took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed six hits, including the two homers, in 6 1/3 innings.
The Detroit bullpen, which began play Saturday ranked 10th in the American League with a 4.41 ERA, has been nearly as good as the starters, with Louis Coleman, Alex Wilson, Victor Alcantara, Buck Farmer and Drew VerHagen allowing just one run in 7 1/3 innings.
If there’s good news for the Detroit offense Sunday, it’s that the Tigers are unlikely to see A’s closer Blake Treinen again. He has pitched in each of the first two games in the series, throwing three shutout innings while striking out six.