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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Preview: 2011 Regular Season Game 73 - A's at Mets

Oakland Athletics (33-40) at New York Mets (35-37), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Josh Outman (2-1, 3.14) New York Mets - Dillon Gee (7-0, 2.86)

Rain has been the only thing to slow down Dillon Gee since he was put into the New York Mets' rotation. The young starter looks to keep his undefeated record intact this evening, when he faces the Oakland Athletics in the first of three straight games between the clubs at Citi Field.

Gee is a perfect 7-0 with a 2.86 earned run average in 13 games, including 10 starts, this year. He had won five straight outings prior to Wednesday's game in Atlanta, when the 25-year-old was charged with just one hit and two walks while striking out five over four scoreless innings. However, a one hour and 11-minute rain delay cut his outing short and kept him without a decision.

Still, New York went on to notch a 4-0 victory, its eighth in row when Gee starts.

"It's almost unfortunate. He should have got the win," reliever D.J. Carrasco said about Gee. "He went out there and was carving those guys up."

Gee is 4-0 with a 1.77 ERA in seven games at home this season.

Oakland counters with a young arm of its own in Josh Outman, who turned in an excellent outing on Wednesday versus the Royals. The 26-year-old southpaw scattered four hits over seven shutout frames, while walking two in a 2-1 victory.

"To get out there and get into the seventh inning, so we can use that strong back end of the bullpen and give those other guys some well-deserved rest, it's always good for the team," Outman said about his performance.

In five starts this season, Outman is 2-1 with a 3.14 ERA. Both he and Gee will be facing their respective opponents for the first time in their careers.

Outman will be looking to pitch Oakland to its first six-game winning streak since a string of seven straight victories from Sept. 14-20, 2009 and is coming off a three-game sweep of Bay Area rival San Francisco over the weekend.

The A's captured Sunday's finale by a 2-1 margin, getting a go-ahead solo homer from Landon Powell in the eighth inning. Coco Crisp also drove in a run and Trevor Cahill posted eight innings of one-run ball before Brian Fuentes retired the Giants in order in the ninth for his 12th save of the season.

Oakland's winning streak comes on the heels of a 1-13 rut that included a manager change, and new skipper Bob Melvin hopes that Monday's off day won't slow down his club.

"I would prefer not to have an off day," Melvin said. "When you play games like this you just want to keep rolling out there every day."

The Mets were also off on Monday following a 7-3 setback to the Angels the previous day. Jon Niese struggled in New York's third loss in four games, allowing five runs -- four earned -- in four-plus innings.

"Just seemed like they were on every pitch I threw," Niese said. "They kind of got to me early."

Jose Reyes, Justin Turner and Carlos Beltran all drove in runs in the ninth inning for the Mets.

New York has won four straight over Oakland, including a three-game sweep at Shea Stadium in 2007.

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