A's Go For Sweep

Dan Haren looks to help the Oakland Athletics complete another three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox at McAfee Coliseum on Thursday.

Haren (13-4, 2.53 ERA) is enjoying the best season of his career while leading the AL in ERA. He's been outstanding at home, going 8-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 13 outings while not yielding more than three earned runs in any of them.

The right-hander won 14 games in each of his two previous seasons, but is 0-1 with a 3.65 ERA in two outings since winning his 13th game this year. He gave up three runs over 6 1-3 innings on Saturday in a 5-2 loss at Detroit.

Haren is 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA in two career starts against the White Sox, though he has not faced them this season.

Oakland (59-62) has won 26 of its last 32 home meetings with Chicago, losing only one series in that span - dropping two of three from April 9-11. The A's have recorded four three-game sweeps in that stretch.

The White Sox (54-65) have scored more than four runs just once in their last nine games in Oakland after a 3-2 loss on Wednesday.

Oddsmakers from Bodog.com have made Oakland -155 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 8 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 55% of bets for this game have been placed on Oakland -155 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

"Another day in the Coliseum," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Every time we come here I feel like we're facing Cy Young, (Johan) Santana, (Roger) Clemens and Nolan Ryan all together. Every time we come here our offense struggles to get big hits and get going."

Haren will have a difficult act to follow after Joe Blanton pitched the A's to Wednesday's victory. Blanton yielded five hits over seven scoreless innings to join Haren as the only Oakland starters to reach double figures in victories.

Oakland's Huston Street recorded his first save since May 6 by striking out the side in the ninth inning. Street, who was on the disabled list from May 15 to July 23 with nerve irritation in his right elbow, was pitching for the third straight day.

"A one-run game and three days in a row, that's pretty much the ultimate test after 2 1/2 months," Street said. "It's been a long time. I've been waiting for it. There's still going to be a little bit of a transition period."

Chicago closer Bobby Jenks didn't get into the game, although he was available one day after he was ruled out due to a right ankle problem. Jenks has matched a major league record by retiring 41 straight batters, tying the mark set by Jim Barr in 1972 for San Francisco.

"I talked to him and asked him for sure he was ready to go and he said yes," Guillen said.

Javier Vazquez (10-6, 3.65) takes the mound looking to provide Chicago with another solid performance, having gone 7-1 with a 2.97 ERA in his last nine starts. He won his second straight outing Friday when he gave up three runs over seven innings in a 5-3 win over Seattle.

It marked the eighth straight season Vazquez has won at least 10 games. He's on pace to record his lowest ERA since he went 13-12 with a 3.24 ERA for Montreal in 2003.

Vazquez is 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA in three career starts at Oakland, as he's walked 10 and given up four homers in 18 innings.

by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us

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