"I've always had confidence," Barton said. "I believe in myself. I don't lack too much confidence. That's how you get better."It didn't take Barton long to realize the difference between Major League pitchers and those in the Minors. "They don't try to trick you too much up here," he said. "If you don't hit something, they'll keep throwing it. They don't leave too many pitches over the plate. They can pick a spot where they're going to throw the ball, and they do it." Barton isn't thinking about how his performance will influence the A's thinking on his role for next season. "I'll try to do what I can," he said. "That's on them. I'll do the best I can." The A's face the Indians, Red Sox and Angels in their final six games. The three teams will be battling for playoff seeding and will be throwing their top pitchers, something Barton thinks will help him mature as a hitter. "These guys are not going to let up at all," he said. "They're going to give you their best on every night. They'll be using their best pitchers. You know they're not going to throw fastballs down the middle." Gaudin to start: Right-hander Chad Gaudin will start Tuesday night at Fenway Park. He lasted just four innings in his last start against Seattle, where he gave up eight hits and three earned runs. Piazza in the lineup: Mike Piazza started at designated hitter Sunday against right-hander Jake Westbrook. Piazza had pinch-hit in five of the last six games. Embree hurting: Left-hander Alan Embree is hobbled with a sore left hamstring. Geren said he probably wouldn't be available until Tuesday. On deck: The A's are off Monday and open a three-game series in Boston on Tuesday at 4:05 p.m. PT. Gaudin (11-12, 4.52 ERA) will meet Curt Schilling (8-8, 3.97 ERA).
Steve Herrick is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less