The A's hope to provide more support to rookie right-hander Daniel Mengden on Wednesday in the finale of a two-game series with the Brewers at the Coliseum, something they struggled to do in his first two starts.
Mengden's 0-2 with a 2.25 ERA. He was working on a shutout on Thursday against the Rangers before allowing two runs (one earned) in the seventh inning. He was upstaged by Texas righty Colby Lewis, who no-hit the A's for eight innings.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin said his team "wasted" Mengden's start. He's only the fifth pitcher in A's history to take the loss in each of his first two career games, as the club has scored two runs in his two outings. The righty, who features an old-fashioned windup to go along with his Rollie Fingers-esque mustache, has 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.
Milwaukee counters with Junior Guerra, who is 3-1 with a 3.81 ERA. The righty earned a no-decision in his last start, an 8-6 Brewers win over the Dodgers on Thursday, giving up five runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Unlike Mengden, Guerra has received significant support from his offense. Milwaukee is 7-2 in his nine starts this season and has scored at least five runs in five of those nine games. The 31-year-old has been a mainstay in the Brewers rotation since being recalled from Triple-A on May 1.
Things to know about this game
• Guerra has struggled on the road at times this season, allowing four homers in four starts while posting a 4.84 ERA.
• Guerra has never faced Oakland, and opponents are batting .231 off him this season. Mengden, likewise, has never faced Milwaukee in his brief career, and opponents are hitting .222 against him.
• The A's called up utility man Arismendy Alcantara on Tuesday, and Melvin said he hopes to give the switch-hitter a start "over the next couple of days."