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Game Thread #81: Athletics vs Braves

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Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Today's affair is the final game of the first half of the season, and the team aims to end it on a high note. This half was mostly rather awful, but at the very least it has left the Oakland fanbase with a glimmer of hope towards the future.

For today's game, Paul Blackburn, acquired in the Danny Valencia trade during the offseason, will be making his major league debut. He is starting in the place of Jharel Cotton, who had to leave his last start early with a blister that hasn't quite healed yet, and is taking the roster spot of long reliever Josh Smith. The righty has a low 90's fastball and has a good curveball as a secondary offering, and he also has a changeup that has the potential to become a plus pitch as well. He will be opposed by veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

Today's Lineups

ATLANTA BRAVES OAKLAND A'S
Ender Inciarte - CF Rajai Davis - CF
Brandon Phillips - 2B Matt Joyce - LF
Nick Markakis - RF Jed Lowrie - 2B
Matt Kemp - DH Khris Davis - DH
Matt Adams - 1B Yonder Alonso - 1B
Tyler Flowers - C Ryon Healy - 3B
Johan Camargo - 3B Matt Olson - RF
Danny Santana - LF Josh Phegley - C
Dansby Swanson - SS Franklin Barreto - SS
R.A. Dickey - RHP Paul Blackburn - RHP