(OAKLAND) -- The 2014 Oakland Athletics have rebounded from a losing streak quite well this week at the O.co Coliseum. After losing the first three contests of a ten-game stretch at home, the A's have now won five straight and look to make it six tonight, against the Chicago White Sox.
Oakland lost those three straight last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to the Seattle Mariners, but since taking the second game Wednesday of that doubleheader, the A's have been on a roll, winning five straight by a combined score of 28-8.
If the White Sox hadn't rallied for three runs in the ninth inning last night, that margin would be even worse for the Oakland opponents. But the A's held on to win, 5-4, on Monday night, and now they send the man to the mound who started this victory streak last Wednesday: lefty Drew Pomeranz.
He was the fifth overall pick of the 2010 draft, but after Cleveland sent him to Colorado in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal, the A's acquired him this past offseason for Brett Anderson. Most of his career 4.75 ERA came with the Rockies, where he had control issues -- Pomeranz gave up 70 free passes in just 136.2 innings over the 2011-13 seasons in Colorado.
But the 25-year-old has been pretty solid for Oakland in 2014, albeit with the small sample size of just 18.2 innings: Pomeranz has given up just 13 hits and six walks in those innings, while striking out 16 hitters, mostly in relief. His one start came against the Mariners, where he posted five shutout innings on a strict pitch count as the A's are trying to lengthen his capabilities for the rotation with the demotion of Dan Straily last week.
Obviously, he has talent, and this wouldn't be the first time the Oakland organization has traded for a pitcher that a few other teams had given up on too soon. Pomeranz (2-1, 1.45 ERA) has the chance tonight to make an impact on his future and that of this A's team, desperately in need of a boost from the back end of the starting rotation.
Jesse Chavez was the first boost the team got this season, as he has stepped right into Jarrod Parker's spot in the group and posted fantastic numbers, including the nice win last night where he held the American League's highest-scoring team to just one run through the first eight innings.
He struck out seven in those eight innings, and even though he gave up a leadoff home run in the ninth to White Sox "rookie" Jose Abreu, Chavez was still quite impressive as he improved his record to 3-1 this year with a 2.44 ERA. Along with Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir, the A's have a top trio of starters to matchup with anyone so far this year.
Pomeranz would love to make that a foursome, of course. He will still be on a pitch count tonight at the O.co against the ChiSox, but if he can keep his control intact, he should still get through five or six innings. He'll be facing Chicago's Scott Carroll (1-2, 3.63) tonight. The righty has just five strikeouts in his 17.1 innings this year.
Of course, the A's have the AL's second-highest scoring offense this year, so the matchup would seem to favor Pomeranz and his Oakland teammates as they go for their sixth straight win and a winning home stand.
Game time is 7:05 p.m.