The Oakland Athletics will try to put a stop to a two-game skid Saturday when they continue a four-game series against the Houston Astros. The A’s dropped the opener Thursday 3-1 and then fell behind early in a 6-4 loss Friday. Paul Blackburn will be on the mound for Oakland while right-hander Cristian Javier will get the nod for the Astros.
Blackburn will be trying to regain his form after a tough start to July. He was tagged for nine hits and six runs in 5 2/3 innings in his last start against the Red Sox. Blackburn has allowed 13 runs over his last 11 2/3 innings, which also includes a one inning relief appearance right before the All-Star break.
Javier also comes into the game looking to bounce back from a rough stretch. He pitched better his last time out allowing four hits and three runs, to go along with seven strikeouts in five innings against the Angels. However, he has allowed 21 runs over his last four starts (15 2/3 Innings) and has only made it through the fifth inning once during that span. He faced the A’s back on May 28 where he allowed one run over five innings.
Tony Kemp continued his torrid stretch with two more hits in Friday’s loss. Kemp has hit safely in eight of his last nine games and is hitting .314/.386/.431 with a 136 wRC+ in July. Jordan Diaz started at first base Friday night and drove in two of Oakland’s four runs.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, July 22, 6:07 p.m. PDT
Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California
Radio: A’s Cast, Bloomberg 960 AM / 103.7 HD2, KIQI 1010