A’s Win Series Against Atlanta Braves

JP Sears
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Oakland Athletics (12-46) take two out of three games from the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves. Although the team continues its course toward a historically-bad season, taking a series against a division leader must feel good in the clubhouse. This is the second series they have won this season. The first came against the Kansas City Royals back on May 5-7. Taking two of three in that series as well, the A’s have yet to sweep an opponent this year. The Cleveland Guardians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, and Washington Nationals similarly have yet to sweep a series. Not the most illustrious list to be a part of. The A’s hope to carry the moment of the Braves series into the upcoming nine-game road trip starting versus the Miami Marlins.

A’s Win Series Behind Starting Pitching

Starting pitching, which has been a major issue for the A’s this season, was efficient all series. Starting with the Return of Paul Blackburn in game one, he had been out all season due to an injury and a setback. He cracked a fingernail during the spring and formed a blister while rehabbing. In his debut on Monday, Paul threw four innings, giving up one earned run on six strikeouts and two walks. He looked comfortable on the mound and has his off-speed keeping hitters off balance. All are positives the A’s were hoping they’d see.

JP Sears continued a streak of quality outings. In the second game of the series, he threw six innings. Giving up four hits on two strikeouts while walking one, and allowing only one run in the process, is great when throwing to a powerful offense. In his last four starts, he has a 2.42 ERA pitching 22 1/3 innings, allowing 17 hits on 16 strikeouts and three walks.

Offensive Contributions

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The Offense was led by two rookies who have had great first halves, along with a veteran in Ramon Laureano. Ryan Noda started off the series with a big three-run home run in the first game of the series. He reached base in all three games adding two walks in the last two games. On the season Noda is slashing .231/.393/.448. He has 11 doubles, six home runs, and 19 RBI. His 142 OPS+ is second only to Brent Rooker and leads the team in fWAR at 1.4.

Esteury Ruiz continues playing well this season and is easily the most exciting player on the roster. In the three games, Ruiz went 3-for-10 with three walks and two RBI. Ruiz is currently fourth in MLB with RISP hitting .423 (22/52). He also leads MLB with 28 stolen bases adding one in this series. There are a lot of negatives on the team this year, but Ruiz has been a lone bright spot that continues to shine.

Ramon Laureano played well in this series. In the three games, he went 3-for-8 with four walks and two RBI. On the season, Laureano is slashing .214/.275/.390 with eight doubles, two triples, 5 home runs, and 13 RBI. He remains a force on the defensive side of the ball, in the top 20% in OAA and the top 15% in arm strength.

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