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Game Thread #37: Oakland A’s vs. San Diego Padres

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Rubber match!

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Oakland Athletics v Texas Rangers Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s got back on track Saturday, thoroughly beating the San Diego Padres to even the series. It was the first time in 10 days that the A’s had played a nine-inning game that wasn’t preceded by a five-day coronavirus layoff, and now they’ll aim for a series victory in the rubber match against the Friars.

It won’t be easy, though. The forecast calls for 97 degrees in Oakland (and 111 here in Walnut Creek, where I’m writing this). Furthermore, the state is still on fire, and I can smell heavy smoke for the first time in a week or two, so presumably they can at the Coliseum too. This is probably not a great day to be playing baseball, but the pros are gonna go for it and each side will have the same obstacle to deal with.

As chance would have it, on this boiling and smoky day the A’s will send Mike Fiers to the mound. He’s done his job this year, eating innings and keeping the team in games just about every time out. Four of his last six starts lasted at least six full innings, and only twice in that span did he allow more than three earned runs in a game (and he still won one of them).

The Padres counter with Garrett Richards, who is familiar to A’s fans from his previous life as the Angels ace. He missed most of the last four seasons to various injuries, but he’s making a comeback in San Diego and has been at least decent this year. The scarier former AL West name comes in the lineup, though, where Mitch Moreland makes his first start of the series. If you’ve been watching the A’s the last several years, then you will be afraid of Moreland, who always seems to hit the clutch heart-breaking homer in the late innings or some such horror.

First pitch is 1:10 p.m., with the following options to watch or listen:

  • TV: NBC Sports California
  • Radio: 960 AM
  • Online video stream: fuboTV
  • Online audio stream: iHeartRadio

A’s lineup (home)

  1. 2B Tommy La Stella (L)
  2. CF Ramon Laureano (R)
  3. DH Mark Canha (R)
  4. 1B Matt Olson (L)
  5. 3B Matt Chapman (R)
  6. LF Robbie Grossman (S)
  7. RF Stephen Piscotty (R)
  8. SS Vimael Machin (L)
  9. C Sean Murphy (R)
  • Mike Fiers, RHP

Mixing it up! La Stella moves to leadoff, Chapman moves down two spots after a five-strikeout game Saturday, and Murphy takes his turn behind the plate.

Padres lineup (away)

  1. CF Trent Grisham (L)
  2. SS Fernando Tatis Jr (R)
  3. 1B Eric Hosmer (L)
  4. 3B Manny Machado (R)
  5. DH Mitch Moreland (L)
  6. RF Wil Myers (R)
  7. 2B Jake Cronenworth (L)
  8. C Jason Castro (L)
  9. LF Jurickson Profar (S)
  • Garrett Richards, RHP

Different look against the righty starter, after facing two A’s lefties. Grisham moves back to leadoff (from ninth), everyone else shifts down a spot, Castro plays behind the plate, and ... Mitch Effing Moreland just gets inserted right in the middle of the order, waiting to author painful new memories for A’s fans. His 22 career homers against Oakland are more than he has against any other team, albeit also in the most plate appearances by far.

Let’s Go Oakland!