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May 5, 2024 7:43 am

A’s pursuing seventh straight win; Marlins in disarray

brent rooker

The Oakland Athletics will try for seven straight wins and a sweep of the visiting Miami Marlins on Sunday, a day after a 20-4 rout.

The A’s pulled to .500 (17-17) on Saturday and are on the hunt to match their longest winning streak since last June.

“With how we felt as a team during spring training, I think the 1-7 start — we were not shocked by it because it’s baseball and a lot of things happen — but we all knew that was uncharacteristic of who we were as a team,” Oakland designated hitter Brent Rooker said. “There wasn’t any panic that set in. We knew we’re a better team than that start, and we knew we were going to start clicking and playing well and wins were going to start coming together. That’s what’s happened.”

On Saturday, seven Oakland players recorded multi-hit games and the team pounded out 21 hits. Rooker had three hits — including two home runs and five RBIs — and Brett Harris also homered twice and drove in three. JJ Bleday had a home run among his three hits and four RBIs.

“We just got our butt kicked,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker told MLB.com after Saturday’s lopsided loss. “You’re gonna have those games happen every now and then throughout the year.”

The Marlins will be looking to get on track without their best hitter, Luis Arraez, who was traded Saturday to the San Diego Padres. Miami has just nine wins on the season, one more than the Colorado Rockies, who have the fewest victories in the National League.

Miami had a promising start to the month of May, which included back-to-back wins to complete a sweep of Colorado after a rough April.

During the first two games of the series with Oakland, Miami has scored five runs on 14 hits, however.

As they aim to generate some offense, the Marlins will turn to right-hander Sixto Sanchez (0-1, 8.36 ERA) to try to quiet the Oakland bats.

Sanchez, primarily a relief pitcher, transitioned into the starting role following the injury to Braxton Garrett (shoulder). He’ll be making his third start of the season.

He struggled in previous starts against the Rockies and Atlanta Braves, relinquishing a total of eight runs on 12 hits over 6 2/3 innings.

He will need to be careful facing Abraham Toro, who has been hot at the plate for the Athletics. He has hits in eight straight games, including multi-hit performances in each of his past four outings.

And then there’s Rooker, who has homered in back-to-back games.

“He gets hot and he hits mistakes, and he got a couple (on Saturday),” Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said of Rooker. “To have his presence in the middle of the lineup, it helps lengthen out the lineup and to have a guy that’s hit 30 (home runs) and have success, it’s really nice.”

Oakland will turn to second-year pitcher Joe Boyle (2-4, 6.08). Boyle, who started three games for the Athletics last season and posted a 1.69 ERA over 16 innings, is still trying to find his groove in 2024.

He will try to build off of one of his better starts of the season. He allowed just one run on one hit over five innings in Oakland’s 5-1 win over the Pirates on Monday. He also struck out four batters and walked four.

Neither Sixto nor Boyle have faced their Sunday opponent.

–Field Level Media

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