JP Sears will make his third start of the season Sunday afternoon as the Oakland Athletics try to avoid a sweep against the New York Mets. The A’s dropped the opener of the series in record fashion by issuing 17 walks in a 17-6 loss. Shintaro Fujinami turned in his best start of the season Saturday, but Oakland ultimately fell 3-2.
The A’s rotation struggles have been well chronicled, but in a relative sense, Sears has been one of their better performers. He’s allowed 11 hits and six runs over 9 2/3 innings, but has issued just two walks and has nine strikeouts. He was recently included in a group of seven pitchers that have showed improved fastballs this season by The Athletic’s Eno Sarris. Sears faced the Mets once last season and struggled allowing eight hits and six runs in 3 2/3 innings.
The Mets recalled Jose Butto to the majors Saturday morning. Buck Showalter announced after Saturday’s game that Butto will start Sunday in place of Max Scherzer, who is still dealing with some lingering soreness in his side. Butto made his major league debut last season in a start against the Phillies where he allowed nine hits and seven runs in just four innings. He made two starts at Triple A where he allowed six hits and two runs in 9 2/3 innings.
Esteury Ruiz extended his hitting streak to six-straight games and reached base three times in Saturday’s loss. He is carrying a 149 wRC+ through his first 15 games. Brent Rooker went 0-for-3 in Saturday’s loss, but has eight hits and four home runs over his last five games. Rooker has seen an increase in playing time since Seth Brown went on the injured list with a strained oblique and should continue to see opportunities.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, April 16, 1:07 p.m. PDT
Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California
Radio: A’s Cast, KIQI 1010, Bloomberg 960 AM / 103.7 HD2