Gonzalez performing well for offense

Gonzalez performing well for offense

TORONTO -- As Oakland has been entrenched in a 10-game losing streak, the team's offense can shoulder some of the blame. Scoring an average of just 2.1 runs per game during the stretch has given the team very little chance to succeed.

During the recent series in Toronto, though, a few of Oakland's hitters have displayed signs of breaking out, one of which is Carlos Gonzalez.

The center fielder hit .400 (6-for-15) over the four-game series, with one double and three runs scored. Although the series has provided just a small sample size, A's manager Bob Geren has been extremely impressed with the play of his 22-year-old rookie.

"He has swung the bat real well," said Geren. "He had one of the best batting practices [on Tuesday] that I've seen. He's very talented and he's just going to keep improving over time.

"Incredible talent and beautiful swing."

The A's are hoping that Gonzalez, acquired in the December 2007 trade that sent pitcher Dan Haren to Arizona, will play a large part in the team's future.

Pitching matchup
OAK: LHP Dallas Braden (2-2, 5.10 ERA)
While battling sickness in his previous start against the Red Sox, Braden lasted just 3 1/3 innings, surrendering four runs on six hits while striking out one. It marked his third starting assignment of the season, a time span in which he has allowed nine runs on 16 hits through 15 innings. Braden owns an 0-1 record vs. Detroit in three career starts. His 12.34 ERA against the Tigers represents his highest mark against any team.

DET: LHP Kenny Rogers (8-8, 4.98 ERA)
Rogers had a bizarre outing on Saturday night, in which the southpaw tied a season-low 3 1/3 innings and garnered a season-high eight strikeouts. The veteran hurler threw 109 pitches in that short span, with only 63 of those for strikes. Afterward, Rogers said he had good stuff, and was disappointed that his pitch count went awry. He had 65 tosses in the first two innings alone. Still, the 19-year veteran should have no problem bouncing back from the loss for Friday's start. In 36 starts vs. Oakland, he is 21-7 with a 4.28 ERA.

Oakland outfielder Jack Cust was a late scratch from the lineup on Thursday, with an infected right thumb. "During batting practice, he had trouble swinging," said Geren, adding that the injury should not keep Cust out for long. "I don't think so. He's day-to-day." ... Geren said that right-hander Sean Gallagher is slated to start next Thursday 14 against Tampa Bay. Gallagher was originally scheduled to pitch this Saturday, but had his start pushed back because of irritation in his throwing shoulder. ... Geren also indicated that Mike Sweeney, who has been sidelined since May 30 with left knee inflammation, would begin to run the bases again on Thursday. Prior to that, Sweeney had just been performing running drills in a straight line. ... Recovering reliever Keith Foulke (right shoulder inflammation) continued his rehab assignment on Wednesday by throwing two innings for Triple-A Sacramento. The right-hander allowed three runs on three hits, while tossing 32 pitches. ... According to Geren, reliever Andrew Brown, who has been sidelined since July 26 with right shoulder soreness, is set to begin throwing again on Saturday.

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Up next
• Saturday: Athletics (Dan Meyer, 0-0, 0.00) at Tigers (Armando Galarraga, 9-4, 3.23), 4:05 p.m. PT
• Sunday: Athletics (Greg Smith, 5-10, 3.99) at Tigers (Nate Robertson, 6-8, 6.11), 10:05 a.m. PT
• Monday: Off-day

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