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Elephant Rumblings: A’s rotation struggles continue in loss to Rays

There is nowhere to go but up.

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Oakland Athletics v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics dropped their third straight game Saturday and while the offense didn’t do anything, starting pitching continues to be an issue. Shintaro Fujinami got off to a much better start retiring nine of the first 10 hitters he faced before unraveling in the fourth and fifth inning. He allowed just three hits, but also four walks and was tagged for five runs in just 4 1/3 innings. Fujinami recorded just one strikeout against one of the league’s top offenses.

We are just eight games into the season, but the numbers for the rotation are ugly.

Paul Blackburn and Drew Rucinski are nearing returns, but Oakland needs to see some progress from some of their other young arms. James Kaprielian will start Sunday. JP Sears, Kyle Muller and Ken Waldichuk are lined up to pitch the first three games of the series in Baltimore. Oakland will need a spot starter for Thursday’s game with Adam Oller and Adrian Martinez the most likely candidates.

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Mark Kotsay on Saturday’s loss, Fuji’s start.

Fujinami on his outing Saturday.

Kevin Smith is swinging a hot bat down in Las Vegas.

A good line from Luis Medina.

Tyler Soderstrom also went deep for the Aviators Saturday night.