The Oakland Athletics will try again to secure a series win Thursday when they wrap up a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. The A’s saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end with a 6-3 loss Wednesday night. They will try to bounce back with Paul Blackburn on the mound. The Rays will go with rookie right-hander Taj Bradley.
Blackburn didn’t make his season debut until the end of May, but has been a stabilizing force in Oakland’s rotation. He is coming off of his best start of the season where he allowed four hits and struck out five over six scoreless innings against the Brewers. Blackburn has faced Tampa two previous times in his career and has pitched well allowing three runs over 9 1/3 innings.
Bradley will be making his ninth start of the season Thursday and is coming off of a rough start where he allowed four hits, four walks and five runs (four earned) in 3 2/3 innings in his last start against the Rangers. Walks have been an issue of late as he has issued seven over his last 8 2/3 innings.
The A’s got a three-run home run from JJ Bleday Wednesday, but nothing else as they managed just seven hits and were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Esteury Ruiz picked up two more stolen bases to up his major league leading total to 33, but he is hitting just .191/.208/.234 in June and his OPS for the season is down to .644.
Game Date/Time: Thursday, June 15, 12:37 p.m. PDT
Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California
Radio: A’s Cast, Bloomberg 960 AM / 103.7 HD2