Brandon McCarthy has proven himself to be a very capable starter this season for Oakland when his bulky right shoulder isn't getting in the way.
McCarthy returns from his latest bout with injury this evening to start the Athletics' opener of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The right-hander has gone 5-3 with a 2.79 earned run average in 11 starts this year while battling issues with his throwing shoulder. He spent time on the disabled list between May 20-June 2 due to a strained right shoulder and made two starts before getting shut down again for two starts.
McCarthy, though, has gone 5-0 with a 2.31 ERA over his last six starts while dropping in and out of the rotation, posting the longest winning streak of his career. He won both of his outings after getting activated from the DL, besting Texas on June 7 with seven innings of one-run, three-hit ball. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.
The 28-year-old is 2-2 with a 1.85 ERA in six starts at home this season and will face the Dodgers for the first time in his career. In his only interleague appearance in the past five years, he tossed a nine-hit shutout at the Astros on May 24, 2009 while with the Rangers.
Oakland will try to return to the win column tonight after having a five-game win streak snapped with Sunday's 2-1 loss to San Diego.
Bartolo Colon absorbed the loss and was charged with one run on one hit in two-plus innings before leaving with a right oblique strain. Jonny Gomes registered three hits and Coco Crisp knocked in the A's lone run.
Crisp ripped a two-out single to plate a run in the ninth inning, but Jemile Weeks went down swinging against San Diego's Huston Street to log the final out of the game.
"Just looking for something up that I can hit good," said Weeks about his final at-bat. "He gave me pitches to do something with, but I just swung through them."
The Dodgers, meanwhile, were able to shake off some controversy and edge out a 2-1 win over the White Sox on Sunday to secure a series victory.
Los Angeles looked to have tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Elian Herrera that brought home Matt Treanor. However, Treanor was called out on an appeal for leaving third early. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was ejected by third-base umpire Jerry Meals for arguing the play that ended the frame.
"I was frustrated with the call," Mattingly said. "The videos don't lie. (Meals) said 'I'm right 100 percent of the time.' It seems I've heard that three times this year and they were all wrong."
Los Angeles, though, did manage to tie the game in the ninth inning on Juan Rivera's sac fly and Tony Gwynn Jr. then scored in extra innings on Dee Gordon's single after tripling earlier in the frame.
The Dodgers hand the ball tonight to Aaron Harang, who pitched well enough to win a third straight start on Tuesday but ultimately did not factor into a 5-2 win over the Angels. The right-hander was charged with two unearned runs on six hits and four walks over seven frames that saw him throw a career-high 118 pitches.
Harang, 34, is 5-3 with a 3.59 ERA in 13 starts this season and will face the A's for the first time in his career. He is, however, 10-10 with a 3.17 ERA in 27 career interleague starts.
These two clubs are meeting in Oakland for the first time since the A's recorded a three-game sweep from June 16-18, 2006. Oakland holds a 9-2 edge in the series at home in interleague play.
The Dodgers did win two of three in Los Angeles in the most recent encounter during the 2009 season.