The Oakland Athletics will host the Kansas City Royals at O.co Coliseum on Monday night, April 9, as they try to get things back on track after losing their first series of the season to the Seattle Mariners, 3-1. So far their lone win has come across the Pacific in Tokyo in the second game of 2012.
The Kansas City Royals, on the other hand, have already got a good start to the new season, winning two of their last three games.
It will be up to A’s starting pitcher, lefty Tom Milone, to keep the Royals from gaining ground. He was part of a trade with the Washington Nationals over the winter where in his five starts with the team he went 1-0 with a 3.81 ERA. In the spring he was 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA. During the exhibition game against Triple-A Sacramento he was impressive, with six perfect innings before the game was ultimately rained out.
A victory tonight will bode well for the fans who’ve been disappointed in their two games at Oakland. The highlight of those games, of course, was Yoenis Cespedes who managed to knock one out of the park on both Friday and Saturday night. Can he make it three in a row? That may be a lot to expect from the 26-year-old Cuban defector but he’s already proved to be quite the star in the making. He helped the A’s to a potential comeback Saturday, when they were down 8-4, and his three-run homer made it an 8-7 ball game, but close doesn’t equal a win, unfortunately.
Let’s hope tonight we see Oakland get some momentum going with a good night for Milone and perhaps even some more drama from Cespedes who is batting is 308 (4-for-13), with seven RBI and seven strikeouts over the past four games.
The A’s will have to go up against Kansas City’s right-handed pitcher Luis Mendoza, the 2011 Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year. He was brilliant this spring with a major league-best 0.47 ERA. He also won all four decisions in six starts with 21 strikeouts and five walks in 19 1/3 innings.
Mendoza could be a tough challenge for the struggling green and gold, fans we’ll have to hope they’ll fight hard enough to come out on top and give the fans their first win at home tonight in Oakland. The game begins at 7:05 pm PDT.
K.C. Dermody grew up in the Bay Area of California, following the Oakland Athletics since the days of Billy Ball, and attending hundreds of games over the past three decades. Follow her at www.facebook.com/KCDermodyWriter, Twitter @kcdermody, or www.kcdermodywriter.com.
More from this contributor:
Oakland Athletics’ Yoenis Cespedes Steals the Show in the Series Against the Mariners: Fan Reaction
Yoenis Cespedes Helps Oakland A’s Get First Win of the Season: Fan’s Take
Jose Canseco Still Waiting or that Call from Billy Beane
Three Players from the 1989 World Champion Oakland Athletics: Where Are They Now