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OAKLAND Isaac Yiadom Color Rush Jersey , Calif. — Two pitchers looking to create a first positive memory of Sunday’s opponent go head-to-head when the Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics complete a three-game series.
The A’s have won the first two games of the series, getting outstanding performances from starters Paul Blackburn and Edwin Jackson in 3-1 and 7-2 victories.
Oakland, which has won six in a row, allowed five total runs in its last four games.
Right-hander Frankie Montas (4-1, 3.68 ERA) will attempt to continue that run, but will do so in the wake of three consecutive shaky efforts, during which he has allowed 12 earned runs and 24 hits in 15 innings.
The 25-year-old has never started a game against the Indians, but faced them three times in relief, going 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 4 2/3 innings.
One of those bullpen outings against Cleveland came last May http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-kolton-miller-jersey , when he gave up two runs in an 8-4 loss.
Montas will have big shoes to fill after the outings by Blackburn and Jackson, who held the Indians to a total of two runs in 13 innings.
With the recent emergence of Blackburn and Jackson and news that Trevor Cahill appears on schedule to return to the starting rotation after the All-Star break, Montas might only have a few opportunities to turn things around before losing his job.
A’s manager Bob Melvin gushed over the performance of Jackson on Saturday in his second straight sharp outing after having been signed off the scrap heap.
“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised,” Melvin said. “That he was available to us was a surprise.”
Having seen the veteran firsthand, the Indians might be wondering why they weren’t the ones who gave the 99-game winner a shot.
Especially with news Saturday that Danny Salazar, a 14- and 11-game winner for the Indians in recent years, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder Monday, putting his season in question.
Right-hander Mike Clevenger (6-3, 3.03) http://www.saintsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-tre_quan-smith-jersey , who got a greater opportunity last year while Salazar had health issues and responded with a 12-win season, will attempt to salvage one win in Oakland for the Indians on Sunday.
He has pitched well in his last four starts, allowing six earned runs, but he has never beaten the A’s in his career, going 0-1 with a 7.04 ERA in two games (one start).
The A’s last saw the 27-year-old in a relief role in August 2016 and cuffed him around for four hits and three runs in one inning of a 9-1 victory.
Clevenger will have to hope for more offensive support than the Indians provided Trevor Bauer and Adam Plutko in the first two games of the series. Both pitched well enough to win, allowing five runs and 11 hits in 12 1/3 innings.
The A’s have used the long ball to get the upper hand against the Indians in the first two games. Jed Lowrie, Josh Phegley, Dustin Fowler and Matt Olson all hit homers, accounting for six of Oakland’s 10 runs.
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers kept hoping Eric Sogard would find a way out of his funk and return to the form that made him a key component to last year’s surprising team.
It never happened and the Brewers finally ran out of time and roster space Vita Vea Color Rush Jersey , leaving no choice but to designate the 32-year-old for assignment when Tyler Saladino was activated from the disabled list Thursday.
With Jonathan Villar unable to reproduce his 2016 magic, Sogard provided a spark atop Milwaukee’s lineup last season. He batted .273 with a .393 on-base percentage in 94 games and signed a $2.4 million deal to return to Milwaukee in 2018.
But he got off to a painfully slow start and saw his playing time diminish even further as Villar showed improvement at second base. Through 55 games this season, Sogard was batting .134 with a .241 OBP and .165 slugging percentage.
With Tyler Saladino returning from the disabled list and recently promoted Brad Miller swinging a hot bat, Sogard became the odd-man out.
“Eric got in a little slump, had some bad luck, and he could never get out of it,” manager Craig Counsell said. As we’re getting healthier, we kind of ran out of space. He’s made a big contribution here, and was a real pro throughout all of this in how he prepared and provided us value.”
Counsell’s squad extended its winning streak to four games with a victory in the series opener and will try to move 18 games above .500 for the first time since the 2014 season Friday as it continues a four-game series with the Braves at Miller Park.
Rookie right-hander Freddie Peralta gets the nod for his sixth career start. He earned his first career loss in his last outing but still made a good impression Dontae Johnson Color Rush Jersey , putting up zeroes for four innings after allowing three runs to score before recording an out in an 8-2 loss to the Reds on Sunday in Cincinnati.
“I thought he handled it very well,” Counsell said. “That’s a game where we’re probably two hitters from probably removing him from the game, and then he goes five innings and keeps us in the game.”
Peralta has been magnificent otherwise since returning for a second big league stint June 19. He’s 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA in three starts and has struck out 22 batters while walking only four in 18 innings.
He also made a pair of starts for the Brewers in May and takes the mound Friday with a 3-1 record and 2.28 ERA overall.
Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz gets the nod for the Braves, as he tries to lock down a spot on the National League All-Star team.
Foltynewicz has an 0.87 ERA over his last nine starts, holding opponents to a .146 average during that stretch with 64 strikeouts in 52 innings.
Opponents scored more than one run against him in one of those outings and he’s held opponents scoreless in five of them, including his last time out when the Cardinals managed one hit against him in five innings.
He credits his slider for the recent run of success.
“I’m really proud of how far that pitch has come,” Foltynewicz said. “I’ve been working like a dog on it the past couple of years, and it’s come a long way. I’m throwing it for strikes when I need to, especially in 3-2 counts. I get to 3-2 a lot http://www.saintsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-marcus-davenport-jersey , so it’s a good pitch for me.”
Foltynewicz has dominated the Brewers during his four seasons in the big leagues, posting a 1.48 ERA in four career starts against Milwaukee. He faced them twice last season, allowing two earned runs (five total) over 11 innings while striking out 15.