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Jun 2, 2024 2:44 am

A’s right-hander Luis Medina to make season debut vs. Braves

Luis Medina

Oakland right-hander Luis Medina will come off the injured list to make his first start of the season on Sunday when the visiting A’s play the Atlanta Braves in the rubber game of their three-game set.

The Braves won Friday’s game 4-2, but Oakland bounced back to outslug Atlanta 11-9 on Saturday. A win would give Oakland a .500 road trip (3-3) and would mark the second straight year it has won two-of-three against the Braves.

Medina will be opposed by veteran right-hander Charlie Morton (3-2, 4.29 ERA).

Medina was expected to be a key piece of the rotation for Oakland after he went 3-10 with a 5.42 ERA as a rookie in 2023. He suffered an MCL sprain in his right knee during a spring training game and went on the injured list on March 28.

Medina made a rehab start for Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday, pitching 3 2/3 innings and allowing two runs with six strikeouts. He pitched a bullpen session on Thursday and received the green light to return to the rotation.

Medina will be the 11th pitcher to make a start for the A’s. He has never faced the Braves.

“It’s just a next-guy-up mentality,” Oakland pitching coach Scott Emerson said. “Guys have to go out and make the most of those opportunities. That’s where we’re at right now. We’ve got to find a way out of this, and when we do, we’ll be fine.”

Morton will make his 11th start and is coming off a rough outing against the Washington Nationals on Monday. He allowed eight runs on 12 hits and two walks, and struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings of an 8-4 loss.

“Any time you give up that many hits, that many baserunners and throw that many pitches in the first inning, in any inning, it’s just a battle from then,” said Morton, who gave up four runs in the first inning and single runs in the second and third.

“Physically, it’s a grind because you’re used to going 10 to 20 pitches an inning, then you throw 30-something pitches in an inning, from then you’re not as sharp and your stuff isn’t as crisp, location isn’t as good, it’s a battle.”

In seven career starts against Oakland, Morton is 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA. He has not faced the A’s since 2019.

Oakland produced 16 hits on Saturday. Max Schuemann ended an 0-for-9 slide by going 4-for-4. Miguel Andujar was 4-for-5, scored three runs and hit his second homer, and Brent Rooker was 2-for-5 with his 12th homer. Andujar and Rooker had four RBIs apiece.

The Atlanta offense showed signs of life by scoring more runs than it has since May 22 at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

Marcell Ozuna went 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs on Saturday. He has reached base in 25 straight games, going 30-for-91 (.330), and now leads the National League with 17 homers and 53 RBIs.

Atlanta third baseman Austin Riley entered Saturday’s game 2-for-20 since missing 13 games with an intercostal strain. He went 2-for-4 with a double and scored twice.

Neither team plays on Monday. The Braves begin a nine-game road trip with two in Boston on Tuesday. Oakland returns home to start a six-game homestand on Tuesday with three against the Seattle Mariners.

–Field Level Media

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