By Jerry Feitelberg
The Oakland A’s (12-46) are going to Miami to start a nine-game road trip. The A’s won two of three from the N.L. East division leader, the Atlanta Braves, in the three-game series that finished yesterday in Oakland. The A’s surprised the Braves by winning the series’ first two games. They lost a close game, 4-2, on Wednesday.
The A’s pitching held the Braves to just seven runs in the series. The Braves, World Champions in 2021, have players that know how to win. Their stars are Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, Matt Olson, Sean Murphy, and Austin Riley. The two wins over the Braves had to put a smile on manager Mark Kotsay’s face.
The A’s will face the N.L. East’s second-place team, the Miami Marlins. The Marlins are 29-28, tied with the New York Mets for second-best record in the East. Their manager is Skip Schumaker, who replaced Don Mattingly.
The Marlins have some hitters in their lineup. Miami acquired Luis Arreaz from the Minnesota Twins. Arreaz is a lifetime .300 hitter. This year with the Marlins, he is hitting a robust .381. Arreaz is the team’s second baseman. The Marlins platoon Garrett Cooper and Yuli Guriel at first base.
Guriel, a former Houston Astro, is hitting. 281. In his days with the Astros, Guriel loved to hit against the A’s pitchers. John Berti is the Marlins shorstop. Veteran infielder Jean Segura will be at third base. The Marlins outfielders are Jonathan Davis in centerfield, Bryan De La Cruz in left field, and Jesus Sanchez in right field.
Davis is a rookie and has played in seven games. De La Cruz is hitting .296 with seven homers and 23 RBIs. Sanchez owns a.310 batting average and has three dingers and 11 RBIs.
The DH is the veteran Jorge Soler. Soler is a power hitter. He hit 48 home runs in 2019 with the Kansas City Royals. This year, Soler has hit 17 big flies and has knocked in 35 runs.
The pitching matchups for the three-game series are lefty Hogan Harris (0-0 ERA 10.13) going for the A’s Friday night against Edward Cabrera (3-4 ERA 5.02) of the Marlins. Harris last pitched on May 27th against the Houston Astros. The young lefty, pitching in relief, went five innings and allowed one hit.
Luis Medina (0-4 ERA 6.83) will be on the hill for the A’s on Saturday. Eury Perez (2-1 ERA 2.84)will pitch for Miami. Paul Blackburn (0-0 ERA 2.25) will be making his second start of the year on Sunday. In his first outing, Blackburn, an All-Star in 2022, went four innings allowing four hits and one run.
Blackburn’s opponent will be Sandy Alcantara (2-5 ERA 4.93). Alcantara was the National League’s Cy Young Award winner in 2022. Things have yet to go his way this year. He is 20-5 and owns a 4.93 ERA.
The Marlins have two former A’s pitchers on their staff. Both are left-handed. Jesus Luzardo who is a starter but will not face his old team this weekend. Reliever A.J. Puk, who has been a closer for Miami, is available on June 4th.
Mark Kotsay hopes his team will continue to play as they did against the Braves. The A’s have the worst record in baseball. They are on track to break the New York Mets record of 120 losses in a season. Let’s hope the team gets off to a good start Friday night.