If the A's truly want to be a contender this season, they'll need to pick up the pace on the road.
Last year, Oakland went 34-47 on the road, compared to 47-34 at home.
"A little experience will help there," A's manager Bob Geren told reporters last week. "In general, it's more difficult in our sport to play on the road, but we need to improve our road record."
In 2010, Oakland's ERA was more than a run higher away from home, 4.13 vs. 3.02. Away from the pitcher-friendly Coliseum, A's pitchers allowed 91 homers, compared to 62 homers at home. At the plate, Oakland hit .252 on the road, .261 at home.
On Tuesday, the A's open a three-city trip that includes visits to Toronto, Minnesota and Chicago, and there is chilly, wet weather in the forecast for all three. Oakland will be making its only scheduled appearance of the season at Minnesota.
The A's switched their rotation around for the Toronto series, flipping No. 4 starter Dallas Braden (who now will pitch Wednesday) and fifth starter Brandon McCarthy (who now goes Tuesday). No reason was given when the announcement was made on the off day Monday, but it would make sense in order to split up the team's two right-handed starters, McCarthy and No. 1 starter Trevor Cahill. Cahill will go on Thursday against the Blue Jays.
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