Philadelphia Phillies (71-84) at Oakland Athletics (84-70)
Sunday, September 21 - 4:05 PM EST
O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California
The Oakland Athletics are showing little interest in holding onto their postseason spot, at least on offense. The stumbling Athletics will try to stay in the American League wild card race when they host the Philadelphia Phillies in the rubber match of a three-game series on Sunday. Oakland has dropped 16 of its last 22 games to fall from division contender in the AL West into a three-way battle for the two AL wild cards.
The Phillies needed only seven hits to earn a 3-0 victory Saturday, evening the series on the strength of Jerome Williams’ right arm and Freddy Galvis’ two-run homer. Philadelphia is enjoying its final road trip of the season and is just as offensively challenged as the Athletics have been recently, averaging fewer than three runs over the last 15 games. Oakland, which has to face the AL-best Los Angeles Angels on Monday before closing the regular season with a four-game set in Texas, is one game ahead of the third-place Seattle Mariners with the Kansas City Royals in between.
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, CSN California (Oakland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH A.J. Burnett (8-17, 4.40 ERA) vs. Athletics LH Scott Kazmir (14-9, 3.44)
Burnett is tied for the major-league lead in losses and dropped his last two starts while yielding a total of eight earned runs on 14 hits in 11 2/3 innings. The veteran issued four walks in 5 2/3 innings at San Diego on Tuesday while striking out four. The last time Burnett faced an AL West opponent came on Aug. 19, when he was reached for five runs in 7 2/3 innings to suffer a loss against the Seattle Mariners.
Kazmir is emblematic of the team’s late-season swoon and is 0-4 over his last five starts with an 8.22 ERA. The 30-year-old was reached for six runs – four earned – on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings to suffer a loss against Texas on Tuesday. Kazmir, who allowed one run in six innings to beat the New York Mets in his last start against an NL opponent Aug. 19, has seen his ERA rise over a run from 2.37 to 3.44 since July 27.
1. Phillies LF Domonic Brown (wrist) sat out Saturday and is day-to-day.
2. Athletics 3B Josh Donaldson and 1B Brandon Moss are a combined 0-for-14 in the series.
3. The home team has taken each of the previous four interleague series between Philadelphia and Oakland.
PREDICTION: Athletics 4, Phillies 3