for this game

Graveman, A's try to sweep Padres out of Oakland

Jun 18, 2015 - 12:19 PM ( - The Oakland Athletics turn to streaking right-hander Kendall Graveman on Thursday afternoon as they try to sweep their four-game, home-and-home series with the San Diego Padres.

Graveman has lost just once since returning to the Athletics' rotation on May 23 and even that setback was a tough-luck 1-0 setback to the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday. He is 2-1 over his last five outings with a 2.20 earned run average and struck out seven batters around eight hits versus the Angels.

Graveman was credited with a complete-game loss in that outing, with his lone mistake a solo homer allowed to Albert Pujols in the first inning.

"His pitch to Pujols was down and Albert went down and got it," said A's manager Bob Melvin.

The 24-year-old is 3-3 with a 4.22 earned run average this season and faces the Padres for the first time in his career looking to get on track at home, where he is 0-2 with a 10.54 ERA in three starts this season.

Unbeaten over his last three starts, Ian Kennedy starts for San Diego this afternoon and will face the Athletics for the second time.

Kennedy snapped a four-start losing streak with a win over the New York Mets on June 2, giving up two runs over six innings. He has posted a pair of no- decisions since, yielding three runs over five frames in Atlanta before getting charged with just one run over seven frames on Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The right-hander gave up the lone run on a solo homer and just four hits in all, but the offense came too late in the Padres' 2-1 win.

Kennedy is 3-5 with a 5.84 ERA and struggled in his lone previous meeting with the A's, giving up seven runs on 10 hits and two homers over 5 2/3 innings.

After taking the first two games of this set in San Diego, the Athletics pushed their winning streak to four games in a row with last night's 16-2 rout of the Padres.

Ben Zobrist went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBI, while Billy Butler smacked a three-run homer among his four hits.

"We had 20 hits," Butler said. "That doesn't happen too many times, and it was a real good win for us at home."

Jesse Chavez recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts over seven stellar innings, allowing just one run and three hits to help Oakland to a sixth victory in eight games.

Alexi Amarista and Will Middlebrooks hit solo homers in the sixth and eighth innings, respectively, in the Padres' fourth straight loss. Amarista also shifted from shortstop to the mound and threw two pitches to record the final out of the eighth inning.

Omar Despaigne was tagged for six runs on eight hits over six-plus innings and fell in an early hole. Oakland jumped on him for four runs in the first and tacked on another in the third.

"I felt good, but it just happened so fast I couldn't do much about it," Despaigne said of the slow start.

The A's won two of three meetings with the Padres in 2012 and are 8-2 in the last 10 encounters between the teams.