J.P. Sears, the 27-year-old lefty, got the start against the National League East leading Braves. Atlanta sent 24-year-old right hander Bryce Elder to the mound. Elder with his NL leading 2.01 ERA is 3-0 in his ten 2023 starts.
The Braves got on the board first when Kevin Pillar led off the top of the third with his sixth home run of the year, giving Atlanta a 1-0 lead. But through three innings Sears has held the Braves potent offense to just 4 baserunners on one walk and three hits.
The A’s got their first hit off Elder in the bottom of the fourth when Ramon Laureano singled to right field, but he was stranded at the inning’s end.
The A’s did break through in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Shea Langeliers singled. Nick Allen singled moving Langeliers to third. Esteury Ruiz then drove in Langeliers with a base hit to right field, tying the score at 1.
Austin Pruitt replaced Sears in the top of the seventh inning. JP Sears held his own against the Braves, pitching six innings and holding a dynamic offense to 4 hits, one walk and only one earned run. Pruitt and Sam Moll handled all 6 Braves batters they faced in the seventh and eighth innings.
Elder, in his longest outing of the season, was removed with one out after an Esteury Ruiz walk. A.J. Minter replaced him and promptly picked off the speedy Ruiz and then struck out Ryan Noda, last night’s hitting hero. Moll and Shintaro Fujinami quieted the Braves bats in the ninth inning turning the game over to the middle of the A’s lineup to try to walk off a victory.
Seth Brown led off the ninth with a walk against Braves closer Raisel Iglesias. Iglesias struck out Jace Peterson but then walked Ramon Laureano to move the potential winning run into scoring position. Iglesias loaded the bases with a walk to JJ Bleday. So, with one out, the bases were loaded in the bottom of the ninth. Jonah Bride, in his second game back from the minors, hit a two-hopper to sure-handed Austin Riley, who bobbled the ball and was late with the throw home allowing Seth Brown to score the winning run.
The A’s have taken the first two games of the series against the Braves and (gasp!) go for the sweep tomorrow with James Kaprielian taking the mound for the A’s against Jared Shuster for the Braves.