OAKLAND Russell Bodine Jersey , Calif. — Trevor Bauer will pursue a piece of Cleveland Indians history Friday night when he opens a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics.
Having recorded at least eight strikeouts in all five of his starts this month, Bauer needs 16 to match Hall of Famer Bob Feller’s franchise record of 70 for the month of June, set in 1946.
Bauer’s career high for strikeouts in a game is 14, set last May against the A’s in just seven innings.
More realistically, the California native needs 10 strikeouts to equal the second-best June total in Indians history, set by Sam McDowell in 1965.
Bauer (7-5, 2.44), who ranks third in the American League in strikeouts, has recorded 10 or more six times in his last eight starts, going 5-2 in the process.
The 27-year-old right-hander has never won in Oakland, going 0-2 with a 5.14 ERA in three starts. He’s 1-2 with a 4.44 ERA in five career starts against the A’s overall.
One A’s hitter Bauer has dominated in the past is hot-hitting Jed Lowrie, who has gone 1-for-9 in his career against him with five strikeouts in their all-time head-to-heads.
Lowrie had 15 hits in nine starts on Oakland’s just-completed road trip, raising his average to .294.
Bauer will be facing an A’s team that’s playing its best ball of the season. Oakland is coming off a four-game sweep at Detroit that capped a 7-2 trip.
The A’s have won nine of 11 overall.
The A’s have been even better against the Indians in recent years Phillip Gaines Jersey , winning seven of the last eight meetings in Oakland, including all three on Cleveland’s visit last July.
Right-hander Paul Blackburn (1-2, 8.83) will oppose Bauer.
The 24-year-old has alternated good and bad outings in his four appearances since returning from a strained right forearm that delayed the start of his season almost two full months.
He’s coming off one of the ugly ones, having allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings in a 10-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, but A’s pitching coach Scott Emerson noted he was impressed with the first four innings, during Blackburn pitched scoreless, one-hit ball.
“It was tough for him, one rehab stint and then thrown into the fire,” Emerson said of the abrupt start to Blackburn’s season. “We’re past that now, and I told him now is when we start putting our stuff together and getting the outs we’re supposed to get. We can’t use (the injury) as a crutch anymore. It’s go time; he understands that.”
Blackburn has made one career start against the Indians, compiling a 0-0 record and 4.50 ERA.
The Indians head west after having lost two of three in St. Louis. They had won their previous seven games.
The Indians actually beat the A’s into Oakland, having had Thursday off while the A’s were finishing up their trip in Detroit.
They are coming off a 5-1 win over the Cardinals in which rookie Shane Bieber not only recorded his third straight win but also his first major league hit, a double off fellow rookie Jack Flaherty.
The A’s won’t see Bieber in the series … except as a possible pinch hitter.
Shin-Soo Choo didn’t play Saturday night for the Texas Rangers because of a sore right quad Marshall Newhouse Jersey , putting on hold his majors-best 41-game streak of reaching base.
Choo said before the 13-4 win over the Chicago White Sox that he has been dealing with quad soreness for at least 10 days, and that it had really bothered him the last couple of days.
”I don’t want to make it worse,” Choo said. ”I don’t think it’s serious.”
The outfielder/designated hitter said he had an MRI earlier Saturday to find out for sure what he was feeling in his upper leg.
Choo had a leadoff walk in the first inning of an 11-3 win Friday night to extend his career-best on-base streak and match the longest in the majors this season. He later hit one of the Rangers’ five home runs for a 12-game hitting streak that is the longest active streak in the majors.
”He’s battled with a tight quad and I felt like it was just an opportunity to get him off his legs, give him a day,” manager Jeff Banister said. ”He’s played through it for a while, so we’ll see how he feels.”
Banister hadn’t ruled out using Choo in a pinch-hitting role, and Choo had said he was willing if needed. The three-game series wraps up Sunday before the Rangers have a day off Monday.
”I know I have the streak going on, but my body and staying healthy is more important,” Choo said. ”And winning games is more important than records.”
Choo’s on-base streak is the longest for the Rangers since Otis Nixon’s 44-gamer in 1995; Julio Franco set the team record by reaching in 46 consecutive games in 1993. Choo matched Philadelphia’s Odubel Herrera for the longest in the majors this season. Herrera, a former Rangers minor leaguer, reached base in the first 41 games for the Phillies this year.
In his 41-game streak, Choo has reached base 90 times. He has hit .333 (52 of 156) with 38 walks.