Monday, October 2 2023

Blackburn answers A’s call in skid-snapping win vs. Braves originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Athletics turned to their most recent All-Star to finally find a cure for an 11-game losing streak.

Right-handed pitcher Paul Blackburn, making his first appearance of the season, provided the much-needed winning formula in the A’s 7-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday night at the Oakland Coliseum.

In four innings, Blackburn whiffed six batters and allowed just one earned run on four hits and two walks. Not bad for a pitcher who hasn’t logged a single big league inning since Aug. 4.

“I think it went well,” Blackburn told reporters after the game. “All in all, I can’t complain about how it went. I haven’t been in a game in 10 months. Just to be able to get out there and pitch well, and build a little momentum, all in all I’m pretty happy with it.”

Blackburn was taken out of the game after 81 pitches. He induced a game-high 12 swing-and-misses while heavily relying on his sinker. Blackburn, despite pitching just four innings, finished one strikeout short of tying a career high.

The A’s still trailed 1-0 when manager Mark Kotsay called upon his bullpen to take the game to the finish line. That is, until first baseman Ryan Noda whacked a three-run home run to right field, his second blast in as many days.


“Paul is one of our leaders,” Ryan Noda said to NBC Sports California’s Brodie Brazil and Shooty Babitt on “A’s Postgame Live” after the win. “We were missing him. It was great to see him out here battling. I love to see it.

“Hopefully we can get a couple more of those outings out there, and he keeps gets comfortable and we get that All-Star pitcher back.”

Blackburn wasn’t credited with the win, but he steered Oakland toward ending the 11-game skid in jeopardy of becoming the longest of the 2023 MLB season.

Instead, it was the A’s first win since May 16 — a 9-8 extra-inning nail-biter victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.


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“Everybody knows the year that we’ve been having here,” Blackburn said. “For us inside these walls, we focus on winning just one game. Winning the day. It’s easier said than done. When you’re on a losing streak, it feels like nothing goes right for you. Everything piles up and everything is against you.

“We’re on a winning streak now. We’ve won one game in a row.”

The A’s will try to make it consecutive wins Tuesday at Oakland Coliseum. Tune into NBC Sports California at 6 p.m. PT for “A’s Pregame Live.”

Source: Yahoo Sports


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