(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oakland Athletics hope that Kendall Graveman can play the role of stopper on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies.
The A's had won five in a row before running into the AL Central-leading Kansas City Royals over the weekend. They mustered just seven runs in getting swept in the three-game set to fall 10 games under .500.
Oakland lost Sunday's finale 5-3 despite Ben Zobrist notching two hits and a an RBI. Billy Burns also had a pair of hits to push his hitting streak to 16 straight games.
Oakland starter Jesse Chavez allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings to receive the loss. All three runs allowed came in the sixth inning, with an error by Oakland's Max Muncy playing key as well.
"I got to stop the bleeding and make a pitch," Chavez said. "It didn't go our way. I made a pitch to the next hitter for what would have been the third out. I've still got to stop the bleeding there. There's no excuse for it. It's all my fault."
Graveman gets the call for the Athletics tonight and will try to keep up his red-hot stretch in his first career matchup with the Rockies.
Graveman was 1-2 with an 8.27 earned run average on the year before getting demoted to the minors in late April, but returned to the big league club toward the end of May. The righty has put together an impressive seven-start stretch since his return, not allowing more than three runs in any of those outings while going at least six innings in all but one.
Graveman did run into some recent bad luck, going 0-2 over a three-start stretch despite allowing just a total of four runs, but is coming off an 8-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday. The 24-year-old yielded both runs on eight hits and two walks over seven-plus innings, moving to 4-4 on the year while lowering his ERA to 3.86.
He'll be tasked with trying to slow down Colorado slugger Nolan Arenado, who hit a pair of homers in Sunday's 6-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Arenado hit four home runs over the three-game series with the Giants and has a hit in 15 straight games. He also has driven in 15 runs over his past seven games and leads the majors with 68 RBI.
However, Kyle Kendrick surrendered five runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 frames in Sunday's rubber match to take the loss. He gave up a pair of home runs in the sixth frame.
"I left some pitches up. That's what happened," said Kendrick.
Colorado had won five of six before dropping the final two games of its set with San Francisco and will give struggling right-hander David Hale his first career start against the Athletics.
Hale is just 2-2 with a 5.86 ERA through six starts, allowing four or more runs in four of those outings. He has yielded five runs in each of his past two appearances and lasted a season-low 4 2/3 innings against Arizona on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old was charged with eight hits and three walks in a no-decision versus the Diamondbacks and fanned just two batters after striking out nine in his previous outing. He hasn't won since June 8.
The A's swept a three-game set in Colorado the last time they faced the Rockies in 2012. They are hosting this series for the first time since 2009, when the Rockies took all three meetings.