Entering their 18th game of the season, the Oakland Athletics have yet to see one of their starting pitchers pick up a win
Left-hander Ken Waldichuk (0-2, 10.20 ERA) will try to become the first when he opposes right-hander Marcus Stroman (2-1, 1.00) and the visiting Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night
Waldichuk actually came close to picking up the victory in his latest start on Wednesday at Baltimore when he allowed three runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings in an 8-4 Oakland win, the only victory for the A's in the past 12 games.
The Orioles scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie it 4-4 before Oakland answered with three runs in the eighth and added another insurance run in the ninth to win it.
Waldichuk, who has never faced the Cubs in his 10 career starts, became the first A's pitcher to complete six innings this year
"I felt like I had pretty good command of my (fastball), was able to put it where I wanted it and spin when I needed to," he said. "I was just trying to stay competitive ... and then our offense kinda pulled through."
Oakland has dropped five in a row since that contest including a 10-1 decision against Chicago in the series opener on Monday.
The Cubs pounded out 20 hits, including two home runs by Patrick Wisdom, who homered for the fourth straight game. Cody Bellinger went 5-for-5 with a double and a run. It was the fifth win in the past seven games for Chicago, which has eight victories in the past 11 contests
Wisdom moved into a tie for the major league lead in homers with eight, matching the New York Mets' Pete Alonso. He became the fourth Cub ever to hit at least eight home runs in the first 15 games of a season during the modern era (since 1901), joining Gabby Hartnett (1925), Hank Sauer (1954) and Lee Walls (1958).
"It means a lot because the Cubs have such a historic franchise," Wisdom said. "To be along with some of the greats is pretty cool.
Chicago manager David Ross said, "I mean, Wis is locked in. You know homers come in bunches. Right now he's feeling good. (Using the) big part of the field, the ball's jumping, his bat is in the zone a really long time, he's deep into counts, taking really aggressive swings. He's got a lot of confidence in himself right now and that's a good thing for us."
Bellinger, the 2019 National League MVP, also on a hot streak. He is hitting .464 with two home runs and three doubles during a seven-game hit streak. While compiling the first five-hit game of his career on Monday, he socked a line-drive double off the fence in center.
"That's a nice night," Ross said. "Five-for-five is really hard to do."
Seven players finished with multi-hit games for the Cubs, including Seiya Suzuki, who had three hits
Now Stroman will try and pitch Chicago to its fourth straight series win.
The veteran right-hander is 1-1 with a 4.21 ERA in six career starts against the A's, including 1-1 with a 5.11 ERA in four starts at the Oakland. He hasn't faced them since April 2019, when he opposed them twice in a row for the Toronto Blue Jays and threw a combined 15 innings of one-run ball.
--Field Level Media