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Paul Blackburn makes his season debut as A’s look to snap streak against Braves

The A’s are hoping that Blackburn can provide a lift for Oakland’s beleaguered rotation.

Cleveland Guardians v Oakland Athletics Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics will continue their homestand with a Memorial Day matchup against the Atlanta Braves. The A’s are looking to snap an 11-game losing streak which is their longest of the season. Monday’s game will feature a pitching matchup between two players that will be making their season debut in Oakland’s Paul Blackburn and Atlanta’s Michael Soroka.

Blackburn put together an All-Star season for the A’s in 2022, but a cracked fingernail on his pitching hand during the spring led to him beginning the season on the injured list. He developed a blister while rehabbing which again set him back. He ended up making six rehab appearances with his last coming on May 24 at Tacoma where he allowed five hits and one run over five innings. The A’s need him to bring some stability to a rotation that has been the worst in the majors over the first two months of the season.

Soroka will make his first start in the majors since August 3, 2020 where he suffered a torn Achilles. He suffered a second tear while walking through the clubhouse in June of 2021 and was forced to undergo surgery for a second time. He returned to the mound in the minors at the end of 2022. Soroka began this season in the minors and the Braves elected to bring him along slowly before declaring him ready to make Monday’s start.

Oakland allowed seven home runs in Sunday’s 10-1 loss to the Astros. Ryan Noda hit a lead off home run and led the way with two hits. Esteury Ruiz got a rare day off Sunday and is currently in a 1-for-17 stretch, although he does lead the majors in stolen bases.

The Braves come into the game with the best record in the National League at 32-21. The game will mark the return of Sean Murphy for the first time since last offseason’s trade. Murphy currently leads the majors with 2.8 fWAR and has combined with Ronald Acuña Jr. (2.7) to give Atlanta two of the top three.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, May 29, 5:07 p.m. PDT

Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California



Radio: A’s Cast, Bloomberg 960 AM / 103.7 HD2