A’s need strong start from McCarthy; Barton has torn labrum in shoulder

The A’s are looking for a strong pitching performance to support the impressive hitting they’ve been getting. … Wait, did I just write that? It’s true. Oakland suddenly is a team swinging the bats well, while the starting pitchers have struggled a bit. The starters have tossed fewer than six innings in each of the last six games and are 1-3 with an 11.13 ERA over that time. Overall, the pitching staff has a 5.30 ERA over the last 14 games. Brandon McCarthy takes the hill tonight trying to turn things around. The bullpen could certainly use some rest …

–First baseman Daric Barton confirmed to me that he has a torn labrum in his right (throwing) shoulder, and that he’s visiting Dr. Lewis Yocum in Southern California on Wednesday. Surgery is a definite possibility, and that would all but certainly end Barton’s season. Shortstop Cliff Pennington had a 5-6 month recovery period when he had a labrum tear repaired on his left (non-throwing) shoulder last offseason.

Barton said he originally hurt his shoulder diving back into second base during the A’s series at Minnesota in early April, so it’s something that he’s been dealing with all season and perhaps is partly to blame for his struggles. He hit .212 with no homers and 21 RBIs with the A’s and got demoted to the minors June 22. Since then, he’d hit just .197 in 17 games with Triple-A Sacramento.

The lineups:

A’s – Weeks 2B, Crisp CF, Matsui LF, Willingham DH, Jackson 1B, DeJesus RF, Sizemore 3B, Suzuki C, Pennington SS; McCarthy RHP.

Rays – Jennings LF, Damon DH, Zobrist 2B, Longoria 3B, Kotchman 1B, Upton CF, Joyce RF, Chirinos C, Rodriguez SS; Price LHP.

Joe Stiglich