Like many of his St. Louis Cardinals teammates, pitcher Miles Mikolas is mystified by his uneven performance this season
"Sometimes, you sit around and late at night you look in the mirror and wonder, ‘Is this what I really look like? Is this really what happened?' " the right-hander told MLB.com
"Sometimes, you look inward and you look up at the board, and those aren't numbers that I like," Mikolas said. "There's some season (left) to make the numbers look good on the surface, but when you get off to a slow start ...
The Cardinals, who had a rare Sunday as an off day, have won three of their last four games after sinking to 16 below .500
"I feel like part of this is my fault," Mikolas said. "I didn't pitch to my abilities early in the season. Bad breaks? Maybe. But did I pitch as well as I could have? I didn't have a good early part of the season, and you're counting on a guy to anchor the rotation. I'm eating up innings, but not always in a great way.
Mikolas gained better traction in his last two starts while allowing five runs (four earned) on 14 hits in 14 innings. He struck out 12 batters in that span and walked just one
He lost his only career start against the A's back in 2014 while pitching for the Texas Rangers. Mikolas allowed eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings
The A's lost five of their last six games coming into this series. Most notably, they built a 7-1 seventh-inning lead over the Washington Nationals on Sunday but endured an 8-7 loss after allowing six runs in the bottom of the ninth inning
"I think all we can do is show back up tomorrow and keep getting after it, because that's the only option," said A's rookie second baseman Zack Gelof, who extended his on-base streak to 11 games while going 4-for-5 with two homers
Oakland will start left-hander JP Sears (2-9, 4.23) in the series opener. This will be his first career start against the Cardinals
Sears took a 6-1 loss to the Texas Rangers in his previous start after allowing four runs on nine hits in four innings. Before that start, he had surrendered two runs or fewer in four of his previous six outings
"He was frustrated in his performance," A's manager Mark Kotsay said of Sears. "The message from me in the dugout was, ‘Keep your head up. Keep battling. Keep fighting.' You're going to have starts like this throughout the course of a season. He's on pace to make the most starts he's ever made in a year. He battled.
The A's made one roster move involving a pair of left-handed relievers ahead of this series, summoning Francisco Perez from Triple-A Las Vegas and demoting Sam Long
"Francisco's thrown the ball really well," Kotsay said. "Got off to a rough start early but over the last month and a half, he's really earned this opportunity to come here and be a part of this bullpen.
--Field Level Medi