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Game Thread #65: A’s at Rangers

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, campers! Hope you’re settled in with all of your gear, because this beautiful Saturday is chock full o’ baseball. Our Oakland A’s (32-31) have a double header against AL West rivals the Texas Rangers (32-29) at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The A’s won a thrilling series opener last night, led by shortstop Marcus Semien, who has put it all together for an All Star caliber season so far in 2019. The 5-3 win put the A’s but one game back of the surprising Rangers entering today’s contest. Both teams, along with the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians, are currently in a tight race for the second AL Wild Card spot. Should the A’s win both games today and both the Indians and Red Sox lose, they will have sole possession of that coveted postseason berth (Note: the Red Sox also have a double header today and would need to lose both games to Tampa Bay).

Both teams have called up fresh arms from the farm to start on the mound. Paul Blackburn has arrived from the AAA Las Vegas Aviators to make his first MLB start of the year. You can get up to speed on Paul by checking out Alex Hall’s profile piece right here on Athletics Nation. Meanwile, Joe Palumbo is making his big league debut for the Rangers. Palumbo, who leapfrogged from AA to get to Arlington today, comes in with some pretty good AA numbers: an ERA of 3.38 and 11.55 K/9. His walks are also fairly elevated at 4.56 BB/9, so he may still be working out some control issues. Hopefully the A’s will give him a proper lesson on the challenges of facing big league hitters.

Today’s lineups:

Buckle up, A’s fans. Lots of baseball ahead. Let’s go, Oakland!