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Game Thread #35: A’s vs. Angels

First of a Saturday doubleheader

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

After losing the series opener last night, the Oakland A’s are right back at it with a Saturday doubleheader against the Los Angeles Angels.

Oakland will send out righty Paul Blackburn for Game 1. While he wasn’t considered a staple of the rotation heading into the season, he’s done nothing but dominate all year long, His 1.73 ERA would be third in the American League if he qualified, but because he’s been consistently pulled after five innings, he’s one inning short of qualifying. The good news is he had his longest outing of the year this week in Detroit, throwing 6 23 shutout frames against the Tigers. Oakland could definitely use that sort of length from Blackburn today with the doubleheader on tap.

The lineup is pretty similar to yesterday’s, with the major change being Christian Bethancourt sliding behind the plate while Sean Murphy gets a half day off manning the DH slot. After batting in the 3-hole yesterday and playing third base, Sheldon Neuse moves back up to his customary spot behind the leadoff man and back to first base, making room in the lineup for Kevin Smith, today’s Game 1 third baseman.

The Angels are getting some of their big bats a breather for the first game, with both Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon out of the lineup for the first game. Winning the first game would be a good time to guarantee a split in today’s games, as both those superstars are expected back in the lineup for Game 2 this evening.

A’s lineup (home)

  1. 2B Tony Kemp (L)
  2. 1B Sheldon Neuse (R)
  3. LF Chad Pinder (R)
  4. DH Sean Murphy (R)
  5. RF Ramon Laureano (R)
  6. C Christian Bethancout (R)
  7. 3B Kevin Smith (R)
  8. SS Elvis Andrus (R)
  9. CF Cristian Pache (R)
  • RHP Paul Blackburn

Angels lineup (away)

  1. LF Brandon Marsh (L)
  2. 2B Luis Rengifo (S)
  3. DH Shohei Ohtani (L)
  4. 1B Jared Walsh (L)
  5. RF Jack Mayfield (R)
  6. 3B Tyler Wade (L)
  7. SS Andrew Velazquez (S)
  8. C Austin Romine (R)
  9. CF Aaron Whitefield (R)
  • LHP Jhonathan Diaz

How to watch/listen

  • Date: Saturday, May 14
  • Time: 1:07 p.m. PT
  • TV: NBC Sports California
  • Radio: 960 AM
  • Streaming (listen): A’s Cast