|4:20 PM PT5:20 PM MT6:20 PM CT7:20 PM ET19:20 ET23:20 GMT7:20 4:20 PM MST6:20 PM EST6:50 PM VEN3:20 UAE (+1)5:20 PM CT, June 7, 2022
Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia Attendance: 33,981
Braves hope to maintain momentum against struggling A's
Oakland Athletics at Atlanta Braves
- The Braves have won their last seven games against the Athletics with the last Oakland win versus Atlanta being on May 17, 2008. A's manager Mark Kotsay was the Braves' center fielder in that game and the only player from that game still active in majors is Kurt Suzuki (LAA).
- The Athletics were 10-9 (.526) after they beat the Giants on April 27, but their 10-27 (.270) record since then is the worst in the major leagues. This is the first time Oakland had no more than 10 wins over a 37-game stretch since 2008 (10-27, July 19-August 27).
- The Braves have four players with 50 or more hits this season (Austin Riley 57, Ozzie Albies 54, Dansby Swanson 54, Matt Olson 53); they are tied for most in the majors with the Mets and Mariners. Meanwhile, another Braves' teammate--Marcell Ozuna—has 49 hits in 2022.
- Seth Brown, Sean Murphy and Chad Pinder are Oakland's co-leaders in home runs this year with five each. The Athletics are one of two teams to have no players with six or more home runs with the only other team being the Tigers.
- Cole Irvin has had at least five innings pitched and no more than four strikeouts in each of his first eight starts to begin this season. The last pitcher to do this in their first eight starts of a season was his teammate Paul Blackburn in his rookie season in 2017.
- Kyle Wright has pitched five or more innings and allowed no runs in four of his 10 games this year. The only other National League pitcher with at least four such games this season is the Marlins' Pablo Lopez (five).
- Blue Jays hire Mattingly as bench coach
- Mariners sign reliever Gott for 1 year
- 1B Abreu joins Astros on 3-year deal
- MLBPA extends Clark through 2027
- Candelario, Nats agree to 1-year deal
The Atlanta Braves will try to build on their newly found momentum when they host a two-game series against the struggling Oakland A's on Tuesday.
The Braves have won five straight games, all since the start of the month, and are fresh from their first four-game sweep in Colorado. This success has Atlanta over .500 for the first time since April 9.
Oakland has lost six straight after being swept in a three-game home series by the Boston Red Sox. Their 1-9 homestand matched the second-worst in franchise history. The A's are 16 games under .500 for the first time since Sept. 18, 2017.
Both teams were off on Monday. Atlanta had played 17 straight days.
"This homestand was a tough homestand," Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said. "We'll use (the off day) as a reset. A lot of guys in there are grinding. It's definitely not for lack of effort. It's almost as if they're trying too hard right now."
Oakland first baseman Seth Brown said, "Going on the road is probably going to be good for the boys a little bit. We're getting real unlucky right now, I think all the way around. A chance to get on the road will be good."
The pitching matchup for the first game features Atlanta right-hander Kyle Wright (5-3, 2.41 ERA) against Oakland left-hander Cole Irvin (2-2, 2.96).
Wright, the team's first-round draft pick in 2017, has enjoyed a breakout season. He is coming off a six-inning scoreless stint against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 1. Wright walked a season-high five batters in that game but continues to keep the ball in the park. He has given up only three homers in 10 starts this season.
Wright has never faced Oakland.
Irvin has not allowed more than three runs since the season opener. In his last start against the Houston Astros on June 1, Irvin gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings. In three starts since returning from a stint on the injured list with shoulder tendinitis, Irvin has a 3.00 ERA.
Irvin has made five career relief appearances against Atlanta, all while he played for Philadelphia, and posted an 11.32 ERA in 10 1/3 innings.
Irvin will have to deal with an Atlanta offense that appears to be clicking.
Ronald Acuna Jr. hit .444 (8-for-18) in the Colorado series with his first home run since May 7. He matched his career-high with four hits in the finale. Acuna also showed his difference-making ability in right field by running down a fly ball in the gap to save an extra-base hit.
"The most important thing was we won and we got the sweep," Acuna said. "Like I said before, it's a long season and we're just getting started. So, we keep getting better and we're only going to keep getting better from here on out."
Manager Brian Snitker said, "He's swinging the bat really well. I was just sitting there thinking it had been a while since he'd hit one, so that was good to see."
The series will also mark the first time that first baseman Matt Olson has faced his former team since being traded by Oakland to Atlanta in the offseason. Olson is hitting .255 with a majors-high 23 doubles along with seven homers, including a 441-foot shot to center field on Sunday.
-- Field Level Media
Updated June 6, 2022