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Elephant Rumblings: Shintaro Fujinami shows progress in loss to Mets

Fujinami pitched into the seventh and gave the A’s a chance to win.

New York Mets v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

After issuing 17 walks in Friday’s series opening loss, the Oakland Athletics were looking for any kind of improvement from its battered pitching staff. Shintaro Fujinami was part of the problem for his first two starts. Regulated to pitching every Saturday to more closely mimic his workload from Japan, Fujinami allowed 13 runs and logged just 6 2/3 innings over his first two starts. Fujinami showed flashes during those first two outings, but both ended in a similar refrain where he simply lost his command.

Saturday was different as he pitched into the seventh inning and gave the A’s a chance. He did allow two homers, including one in the seventh to former A’s outfielder Mark Canha that tied the game, but it was unquestionably progress for the right-hander.

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Fuji with the strikeout.

Esteury Ruiz extended his hitting streak to six-straight games Saturday and is now hitting .326/.431/.419 for the season.

Mark Kotsay discussing Fujinami’s start Saturday.

Brent Rooker went hitless Saturday, but still has eight hits in his last five games. It sounds like he has been on the A’s radar for a while.