The Oakland Athletics return to the Coliseum Friday where they will begin a six-game homestand with a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. The A’s were 2-5 on their seven-game road trip and are 5-21 for the season after an 8-7 loss to the Angels Sunday.
Drew Rucinski will make his Oakland debut for the A’s in Friday’s opener against the Reds. Rucinski agreed to a one-year deal with Oakland during the offseason and was slated to begin the season in the rotation before a strained hamstring landed him on the injured list. He made three rehab appearances with Las Vegas and is finally ready to return tonight.
Rucinski spent the last four season s in Korea where he made 121 starts and logged over 730 innings. The A’s are hoping that he can eat some innings for a beleaguered pitching staff that has been battered over the first 26 games.
The reds come into the series with a 10-15 record and are in fourth place in the NL Central. Luis Cessa will make his fifth start of the season and is looking to hold onto a rotation spot after a rough start to the season. Cessa allowed 21 hits and 16 runs over 6 2/3 innings in starts against Atlanta and Philadelphia. He pitched better last time out allowing six hits and two runs, but still failed to make it out of the fifth inning. Cessa has five career appearances (1 start) against the A’s where he has allowed five runs in 13 innings.
Brent Rooker homered again in Thursday’s loss and enters the homestand hitting .305/.417/.695 with seven home runs and a 205 wRC+. Shea Langeliers had two hits, including his sixth homer of the season and has gone deep in three of his last five games. Esteury Ruiz went hitless Thursday, but was hit by a pitch for the eighth time and stole his 10th base. Ruiz leads the majors in being hit by a pitch as no one else has more than five. His 10 stolen bases are tied for the American League lead with Cedric Mullins.
Game Date/Time: Friday, April 28, 6:40 p.m. PDT
Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California
Radio: A’s Cast, Bloomberg 960 AM / 103.7 HD2, KIQI 1010