The Oakland Athletics will try to put an end to a four-game skid Tuesday when they continue a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Spenser Watkins will get the start for the A’s while the Cardinals will go with right-hander Dakota Hudson.
Oakland has been plagued with bullpen issues of late. They suffered back-to-back walk-off losses in Washington, the second of which they entered the ninth inning with a 7-2 lead. The A’s fought back twice in Monday’s opener in St. Louis and led 5-3 in the seventh inning before the Cardinals rallied with four runs. Oakland’s bullpen ranks last in the majors with a 5.54 ERA. The A’s relievers have a 5.88 ERA since August 1.
Freddy Tarnok was originally scheduled to start Tuesday’s game, but he was placed on the injured list Monday with a strained calf. Jessica Kleinschmidt reports that Spenser Watkins will start in Tarnok’s place Tuesday. Watkins was claimed off waivers earlier this month and was promoted to the active roster on Monday. He has appeared in 39 games in his major league career and has a 5.85 ERA and a 4.97 FIP in 160 innings.
Hudson returned from the injured list on July 1 and pitched mostly out of the bullpen. He moved into the rotation after the Cardinals unloaded Jordan Montgomery and Jack Flaherty at the trade deadline. Hudson allowed seven hits and three runs over five innings in his last start against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Zack Gelof had just one hit in Monday’s loss, but it was a big one with a game-tying double in the seventh inning. Gelof has been a great story for the second half of the A’s season. He has hit safely in five straight games and seven of his past eighth. Esteury Ruiz started in left field Monday night and hit his second home run of the season. Lawrence Butler made his third straight start in center and showed off his ability with a nice sliding grab to start a double play. He also went 1-for-3 at the plate and scored a run.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, August 15, 4:45 p.m. ET
Location: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
Radio: A’s Cast, Bloomberg 960 AM / 103.7 HD2