Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Athletics extend winning streak to six games, push record to .500 with 20-run outburst vs. Marlins

Break up the Oakland Athletics. Saturday evening, the A’s blew out the Miami Marlins for their sixth straight win (OAK 20, MIA 4), and evened their record at 17-17. It’s the first time they’ve been .500 or better since they were 1-1 two games into last season. It’s the first time they’ve been .500 or better this late into a season since they were 86-76 on the final day of 2021.

The A’s put Saturday’s game to bed early with a 10-run third inning. It was their first 10-run inning since June 18, 2019, against the Baltimore Orioles. Brent Rooker hit a two-run home run and a three-run home run as part of Saturday’s 10-run inning. He’s the first Athletic with two homers in one inning since Mark McGwire against the Seattle Mariners on Sept. 22, 1996.

The 20 runs are the A’s most since a 21-7 win over the Houston Astros Sept. 10, 2019. It is the first 20-run game in baseball this season. Here is the third inning carnage:

As noted, Saturday was Oakland’s sixth straight win. It has also won eight of its last nine games, and are 16-10 since starting the season 1-7. During this recent hot streak, the A’s split four games with the Yankees in New York, and, most impressively, took two of three from the Orioles in Baltimore. Both wins featured ninth inning comebacks.

Last season, the A’s had baseball’s worst record at 50-112, and, recent hot streak aside, they are not expected to contend this year. Even last year’s team managed a seven-game winning streak at one point. That said, there is some talent on the roster despite trade missteps by the front office and negligence by owner John Fisher. 

Consider:

  • JJ Bleday, the No. 4 pick in the 2019 draft, seems to be figuring things out. He hit a three-run homer Saturday against the Marlins, his former team. The A’s acquired him from Miami in the AJ Puk trade.
  • Rooker and Tyler Nevin are nice waiver finds. Nevin was long a sleeper prospect because of his approach, and now he’s getting a chance to play everyday. He walked three times Saturday and is hitting .302/.378/.465.
  • Paul Blackburn, Saturday’s starter, and JP Sears are bona fide big league starters. Blackburn is a no nonsense innings dude and Sears is an analytics darling because of his rising fastball and funky arm slot.
  • Lucas Erceg and Mason Miller might be the best setup man/closer duo in the game. The A’s can shut you down with 100 mph fastballs in the late innings. Miller, in particular, is devastating.

Also, rookie third baseman Brett Harris slugged two home runs Saturday. He was called up Friday after hitting .289/.418/.456 in 27 Triple-A games. MLB.com ranks him the No. 9 prospect in the A’s system, where he’s earned comparisons to Brandon Drury and Spencer Steer.

The Athletics are, of course, moving to Sacramento next season as the intermediate step before their potential move to Las Vegas. Fisher is still working to secure his end of the financing for the Las Vegas move, so it’s not a done deal yet, but the A’s are leaving Oakland after the season. A surprise postseason run would make for quite the Oakland sendoff.

The A’s will send hard-throwing Joe Boyle (2-4, 6.08 ERA) to the mound Sunday as they look to push the winning streak to seven games. The Marlins will counter with Sixto Sánchez (0-1, 8.36 ERA). Saturday’s loss dropped Miami to 9-26. The fire sale in South Beach has begun with Luis Arraez being shipped to the San Diego Padres on Friday.

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