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04/15/07 11:30 PM ET

Gaudin opens A's set with Angels

Los Angeles (6-7) at Oakland (6-7), Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. PT

The A's seem to have struck gold with the back end of their rotation, even with an injury to Esteban Loiaza.

Four solid outings between Chad Gaudin and Joe Kennedy have given Oakland plenty of options for when Loiaza does get healthy. Gaudin will take the mound for his third start when the A's host the Angels in the opener of an abbreviated two-game series on Tuesday night in Oakland.

Because of a strained bullpen and two off-days, Kennedy will move to the bullpen for the time being.

Gaudin is making his second start of the season against the Angels. He was good on April 5 in Anaheim, lasting five innings and allowing just two runs.

"I just pitched to the game plan against them, and it worked," Gaudin said of facing the Angels for the first time.

In his next start, against the White Sox, Gaudin gave up just one run in 5 2/3 innings, showing that he is getting stronger with more starts.

"It's been good," Gaudin said of finding a place in the rotation. "I'm getting the chance to start and keep the team in the ballgame."

Gaudin will once again be opposed by Joe Saunders, whom he faced on April 5. Saunders was able to keep his team in the game in that start, giving up three runs in 5 2/3, but he did not factor into the decision.

Saunders will be facing the A's for the third time in his career. He is 1-0 with a 6.28 ERA lifetime against Oakland.

Pitching matchup
OAK: RHP Chad Gaudin (0-0, 2.53 ERA)
Gaudin is making his 13th career start, the third this season. In his career, he is 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA against the Angels.

LAA: LHP Joe Saunders (1-0, 2.92 ERA)
The A's had nine hits and drew three walks against Saunders on April 5 against Saunders, but the lefty was able to escape with just three runs allowed in 5 2/3 innings.

Player to watch
Nick Swisher has two hits, including a home run, in five career at-bats against Saunders. He has driven in three runs off the 25-year-old and has also drawn a pair of walks.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• KICU-36/Cable-6

On radio
• FREE 106.9-FM/KYCY 1500-AM

Up next
• Wednesday: Angels (RHP John Lackey, 2-1, 2.04) at A's (RHP Dan Haren, 0-2, 2.00), 12:35 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: A's (RHP Joe Blanton, 1-0, 4.00) at Rangers (TBD), 5:05 p.m. PT

Matt Smith is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.