A's open home series vs. Red Sox

Zito, A's hope to impress against Red Sox

Ten days after Oakland scorched one of baseball's best pitchers on the road, the A's are optimistic about another opportunity at home.

One wouldn't guess that Josh Beckett is a 12-game winner after Oakland roasted the Red Sox starter for eight hits and seven earned runs over 4 1/3 innings on July 14.

"Most teams would probably agree, when you face a pitcher and you hit him well, it means most of the hitters are going to have confidence going into the game," Oakland's Bobby Kielty said.

"I think we'll have a mental edge in that fact, but anything can happen in baseball."

July 14 was Beckett's third-shortest outing of the season and the most runs he had surrendered since his start against the Yankees on June 5, when New York knocked him out with seven earned runs after slightly more than one inning.

Oakland knows Beckett's most recent start is a more accurate indication of what to expect on Monday. Beckett shut out the Royals for eight innings on July 19 as the Red Sox won, 1-0.

"Beckett's a great pitcher," Kielty said. "He knows how to pitch. He throws really hard and he's got great stuff."

It should be quite a duel with A's starter Barry Zito coming off possibly his best start of the season on Wednesday in Baltimore.

"[Zito] threw a great game in Baltimore," Kielty said. "It will be a good game."

Another day like the one Mark Ellis had against Beckett would certainly help.

Ellis homered and finished the day tying his career high with five RBIs. But looking back, Ellis would not necessarily call it the best day he's ever had and said he will certainly be ready for the next round.

"Career day?" Ellis said. "[Beckett's] got good stuff and I'm sure he's going to be ready to come after us. We're expecting a tough matchup for sure."

Pitching matchup
OAK: LHP Barry Zito (10-6, 3.20 ERA)
Zito was brilliant in his Wednesday start against the Orioles. Oakland's ace faced three batters over the minimum in the first six innings. Zito gave up the lone O's run on former A's catcher Ramon Hernandez's full-count RBI single in the seventh inning.

BOS: RHP Josh Beckett (12-5, 4.78 ERA)
After his best outing in a Red Sox uniform -- and with a new three-year contract extension in tow -- Beckett will look for revenge against the only team to beat him at Fenway this season.

Player to watch
Milton Bradley is 3-for-7 with two doubles and two RBIs in his career against Beckett.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• KYCY 1550 AM, KNTS 1220 AM

Up next
• Tuesday: Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling 12-3, 3.50) at A's (RHP Jason Windsor, 0-0, 1.80), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Wednesday: Red Sox (RHP Kyle Snyder, 2-1, 7.02) at A's (RHP Dan Haren, 6-9, 4.02), 12:35 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Blue Jays (LHP Ted Lilly, 9-8, 3.89) at A's (RHP Joe Blanton, 10-8, 4.90), 7:05 p.m. PT

Sam Miller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.