UPDATE - Despite it being listed at MLB.com as Drew Rucinski, it will in fact be JP Sears who is starting for the A’s Sunday.
After a shutout loss Saturday, the Oakland Athletics will try to salvage a split when they wrap up a four-game series against the AL West leading Texas Rangers Sunday at The Coliseum. Oakland dropped the opener 4-0 Thursday, but bounced back with a 9-7 win Friday thanks to a walk-off homer from Brent Rooker. Rangers starter Jon Gray carried a no-hittter into the seventh Saturday and Oakland was unable to crack the scoreboard in a 5-0 loss.
That sets the stage for Sunday’s game where Drew Rucinski will try to get his season headed back in the right direction after a difficult start. The A’s signed Rucinski during the offseason in hopes that he could eat some innings for a young pitching rotation. Things haven’t gone according to plan as the start of Rucinski’s season was delayed due to a hamstring injury and he simply hasn’t pitched well since joining the rotation.
Rucinski enters Sunday’s start with an 8.16 ERA and a 7.27 FIP. He has nine walks and just six strikeouts over his first 14 1/3 innings. He allowed six hits, seven runs (five earned) in five innings in his last start against the Yankees.
The Rangers will counter with left-hander Andrew Heaney who is also searching for some consistency. Heaney logged a season-high 6 2/3 innings while allowing four hits and four runs (three earned) in his last start against the Mariners. Home runs have been an issue for Heaney of late as he has allowed six over his last 17 1/3 innings.
The A’s are expected to activate infielder Aledmys Diaz in time for Sunday’s game. Diaz was placed on the injured list on May 2 with a strained hamstring. Diaz signed a two-year deal with Oakland during the offseason, but has struggled so far hitting just .153/.226/.212 with a 29 wRC+ in 93 plate appearances.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, May 14, 1:07 p.m. PDT
Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California
Radio: A’s Cast, Bloomberg 960 AM / 103.7 HD2