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Indians Seek To Avoid Second Consecutive Sweep Tonight

(Sports Network) - Vin Mazzaro hopes to continue one of the best strings of starting pitching in Oakland Athletics history this evening, when the team goes for a sweep of its three-game series with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.

Athletics starters have allowed three runs or less and have gone at least six innings in each of the last 17 games, the longest such streak in Oakland history. It's the longest such streak by the franchise since the 1927 Philadelphia Athletics did it 18 times in a row.

That trend continued on Wednesday, when Trevor Cahill continued his sensational season by turning in yet another quality start in Oakland's 6-1 win. Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a three-run double to punctuate a five-run first inning that helped the A's win for the sixth time in eight games, though they remained 8 1/2 games back of first-place Texas in the American League West. The Rangers beat Minnesota on Wednesday.

Cahill (14-5) went seven innings, allowing seven hits -- which tied a season- high -- and one unearned run with two walks and two strikeouts. In his last six starts, he has a 5-1 record and a 0.77 earned run average.

"He didn't really have the command that he's had lately, but he had real good movement and got a lot of ground balls," A's manager Bob Geren said of Cahill. "Seven innings and one run? That's pretty good."

Asdrubal Cabrera drove in the lone run for the Indians, who have lost five straight. Mitch Talbot (8-11) extended his winless skid to eight starts after allowing six runs, six hits and three walks in six innings.

Mazzaro comes into tonight's matchup winless in his last five starts (0-3) and 6-5 with a 3.56 ERA on the year. He pitched well without getting a decision Friday against Tampa Bay, which reached him for three runs (one earned) and three hits in 6 1/3 frames of a 5-4 A's win.

He beat the Tribe back on July 4 and is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA in two starts versus them.

Cleveland will counter with righty Justin Masterson, who is 4-12 with a 5.33 ERA on the year. Masterson absorbed another loss Friday in Detroit, as he was hammered for five runs and 11 hits in six innings.

Masterson is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in six games (two starts) against the A's. He is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in four starts against AL West opponents this year, including an 11-0 rout at the hands of the A's on April 25 in which he gave up seven runs in four innings.

The A's are 6-2 against Cleveland this season and have won 11 of the past 15 matchups between the two teams.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.