The Cleveland Indians hope to avoid their longest losing streak to the Oakland Athletics in more than 40 years, as the two are set to open a four-game series on Monday at Progressive Field.
Oakland is in search of a ninth straight win over the Indians, which would be its longest streak in the head-to-head series since winning 10 in a row during the 1971-72 seasons. The A's have won each of their last five visits to Cleveland.
While they have gone 13-3 against AL West foes, the A's are just 5-11 against the rest of the majors this season. Still, one of those victories came Sunday against the Yankees in a 5-4 final.
Luke Montz, Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Donaldson all went deep in Sunday's victory, as Yankees starter Andy Pettitte was chased after five innings.
The A's are in the midst of a 10-game road trip that will end in Seattle later this week.
Cleveland saw its six-game win streak come to a halt in Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Twins. Heading into the ninth inning, the Tribe had managed only four hits to go along with nine strikeouts. It marked the only time in their last seven games the Indians failed to score at least six runs and record at least 12 hits.
Monday's starter, Ubaldo Jimenez, is coming off his most promising start of the season for Cleveland. After giving up 18 runs over his previous three outings, Jimenez pitched seven shutout innings at Kansas City last week, as he scattered only three hits.
"He had life on his fastball. He had all of his offspeed pitches working," manager Terry Francona said. "Hitters, they had to respect everything he threw. You saw some rollover ground balls to first, some awkward swings, late on the fastball. There was just so much to like."
Similarly, Oakland starter Jarrod Parker is looking to build on a successful outing after a rough start to the season. Parker held the Angels to three runs in six innings on Tuesday to earn his first victory of 2013 while lowering his ERA to 7.36. He also avoided becoming the first A's pitcher to lose five games in April.
"I felt good," Parker said. "I was able to forget about what's done and focus in on each pitch. There's a reason for my success, and I didn't want to get away from who I am. I didn't want to fight myself."
The Sports Network