Harden tosses rubber game for A's

Harden tosses rubber game for A's

The A's will close out their series with the Yankees on Sunday with Rich Harden getting his third start of the season against Andy Pettitte and the Yankees.

The matchup will feature one of the better veteran southpaws in the big leagues against the hard-throwing Harden, who is off to a hot start.

"I am looking forward to the matchup because it is two good pitchers," manager Bob Geren said. "It's always entertaining with two of the best guys going head-to-head."

Harden had his six-game winning streak, which stretched into last year, come to an end on Monday against the White Sox. The right-hander held Chicago to two runs over five innings, but was bettered by Jose Contreras in a 4-1 loss. Harden's two mistakes ended up being homers to Jim Thome and Scott Podsednik.

Before Monday, the A's won 11 consecutive regular-season games in which Harden started.

Harden is 1-2 against New York with a 5.40 ERA in five career starts. In one start last year, he went 5 2/3 innings and gave up three runs on seven hits for a no-decision.

Pitching matchup
OAK: RHP Rich Harden (1-1, 1.38 ERA)
Harden, who dominated the Mariners in his first start of the year, wobbled through a 28-pitch first inning against the White Sox before settling down and finishing with a line of five hits over six innings.

NYY: LHP Andy Pettitte (1-0, 1.64 ERA)
Pettitte will make his third start and fourth appearance -- following a one-inning relief stint against the Orioles -- of the season. Pettitte is 8-4 with a 3.18 ERA in 15 career starts against the Athletics, although he's had mixed results pitching at McAfee Coliseum. Pettitte is just 3-3 with a 4.31 ERA in eight starts by the Bay.

Player to watch
Shannon Stewart is 24-for-54 (.444) against Pettitte with eight RBIs and a homer.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• 106.9 FREE FM/KYCY 1550 AM

Up next
• Tuesday: Los Angeles (LHP Joe Saunders, 1-0, 2.92) at Oakland (RHP Chad Gaudin, 0-0, 2.53), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Wednesday: Los Angeles (RHP John Lackey, 2-1, 2.04) at Oakland (RHP Dan Haren, 0-2, 2.00) 12:35 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Off-day

Ryan Quinn is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.