May 28, 2014

While Rich Hill continues to pile up victories for the Oakland Athletics, Mike Pelfrey will try for a 10th time to earn his first win with the Detroit Tigers.

Hill looks to win a career-high fifth straight start in Sunday's decisive series finale against Pelfrey and the visiting Tigers.

One of the early feel-good stories of 2016, Hill (7-3, 2.18 ERA) has been the most productive member of Oakland's rotation in his first year with the team and first beginning a season as a starter since 2008.

''It's tough to even put into words,'' manager Bob Melvin said. ''Every game right now that he goes out there, we have a great feeling we're going to win no matter what we're going through.''

The 36-year-old left-hander has yielded more than two earned runs in just two starts and only two home runs over 57 2/3 innings. His best outing of the season came Monday at Seattle when he didn't allow a walk in eight innings of a 5-0 victory.

Hill has a 1.61 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings over his last seven outings.

"He was outstanding," catcher Stephen Vogt told MLB's official website after Monday's performance. "He's given us a chance to win in every one of his starts this year."

Hill's first true gem of 2016 came April 26 at Detroit (24-24), allowing four hits and striking out eight in seven innings of a 5-1 win.

In that same contest, Pelfrey (0-4, 5.55) was tagged for five runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings to fall to 0-3 with an 11.05 ERA against the A's (21-29).

That was Pelfrey's fourth consecutive loss to begin the season, and though he's avoided losing since then, he hasn't had a quality start in seven straight outings. He gave up four runs and 11 hits in six innings of Monday's 5-4 victory over Philadelphia.

The right-hander will try to contain an Oakland group that broke out for its highest-scoring game of 2016 in Saturday's 12-3 rout. Danny Valencia and Josh Phegley each had three hits and Khris Davis clubbed a three-run homer for the A's, who had lost three straight and seven of eight.

''Hopefully this will be a huge momentum carrier for us,'' winning pitcher Jesse Hahn said. ''Maybe this is the game from where our season takes off.''

Valencia was 2 for 23 in six games prior to Saturday.

Davis, who has hit all but three of his 14 home runs this month, is 6 for 15 with two home runs and five RBIs in the last four games.

''He's had a nice month,'' Melvin said. ''And maybe he's not done yet. I had 11 in a year once, so I have nothing to compare it to.''

Davis is batting .346 in six games against the Tigers this season and went 2 for 3 off Pelfrey last month.

With a two-run homer for one of his two hits Saturday, Detroit's Victor Martinez is batting .435 with two home runs and seven RBIs in the past six. He is 1 for 8 against Hill.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus returned to the team Saturday after missing the previous two games following the death of his mother then attending his daughter's high school graduation.

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