Athletics hit the road

Athletics hit the road

The A's embark on their first road trip of the season -- an eight-game, three-city trip to Toronto, Cleveland and Chicago -- starting with a three-game series against the Blue Jays on Tuesday.

Manager Bob Geren said there will be no easy series this season, and so far, the A's have faced the defending World Series champion Red Sox and the Indians, last year's American League Central Champions. Now, they face the Jays, who won two out of three against the Red Sox over the weekend and are 4-2 on the season.

"We have an outstanding league in the American League, and there really isn't a weak team on the schedule," Geren said. "We have a solid schedule this year, and that's good."

In addition to playing three tough teams on the road trip, the A's will have to face some colder weather in Cleveland and Chicago, where it has been in the low 50s all week. A's strength and conditioning coach Clarence Cockrell said these early trips to cold-weather cities are a concern for the staff.

"Anytime you're playing in cold weather, there is going to be a concern for pulled muscles and muscle strains," Cockrell said. "My job is to make sure these guys warm up right and stretch."

For third basemen Jack Hannahan, a Minnesota native, the cooler temps are a welcoming change. Hannahan said in high school and college he was used to playing in the snow for the first month of the season.

"I actually prefer playing in cold weather rather than really hot weather," Hannahan said. "The main thing is you have to warm up a little a more and make sure you're loose. It might hurt a little more if you get jammed, but it's not that big of a deal."

Pitching matchup
OAK: RHP Chad Gaudin (11-13, 4.42 ERA in 2007)
Gaudin is 0-0 with a 2.30 ERA in nine career games against the Blue Jays.

TOR: RHP A.J. Burnett (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
Burnett was sharp in his 2008 debut, fashioning six strong innings in a win over the Yankees on Wednesday. The hard-throwing right-hander allowed two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and one walk in the 93-pitch outing. Burnett mixed a handful of changeups -- a pitch he worked extensively on this spring. In his career against the A's, Burnett is 1-1 with a 2.18 ERA in three starts. Burnett is 12-5 with a 3.26 ERA in 22 career outings at Rogers Centre.

Infielder Donnie Murphy, who sprained his left middle finger in a collision with Jack Cust in Saturday's game, was unavailable to play Sunday. Murphy had his middle and ring finger taped together before the game and said he would need a few days off before he could start hitting again. ... Cust, who was not in the lineup Sunday, is a .370 (17-for-46) career hitter against the Tribe, with seven homers and 21 RBIs. ... With two hits in Sunday's game, catcher Kurt Suzuki is the only A's player to hit safely in all seven games. ... Outfielder Ryan Sweeney, who went 4-for-4 on Friday, was back in the starting lineup Sunday and had one hit.

 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• KFRC 106.9

Up next
• Wednesday: Athletics (Rich Harden, 1-0, 0.82 ERA) at Jays (Dustin McGowan, 0-0, 3.00), 4:07 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Athletics (Dana Eveland, 1-0, 1.29) at Jays (Shaun Marcum, 1-0, 3.86), 4:07 p.m. PT
• Friday: Athletics (TBD) at Indians (C.C. Sabathia, 0-1, 7.59), 4:05 p.m. PT

Jayson Addcox is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.