Athletics seek sweep of skidding Diamondbacks

MLB Baseball

The host Oakland Athletics will seek a season-series sweep against the Arizona Diamondbacks when the interleague foes meet for a fourth and final time in 2021 on Wednesday afternoon.

The A’s continued the Diamondbacks’ road miseries with a 5-2 victory in the series opener Tuesday night, Oakland’s third win in as many games against Arizona this season.

The American League West leaders posted 7-5 and 9-5 wins at Arizona in April. The Diamondbacks have dropped their past six games overall.

The A’s recorded a rare win without the aid of an extra-base hit on Tuesday, playing station-to-station baseball to score all their runs in the fourth inning on four singles, four walks and an infield out.

“It’s key for us to score runs without hitting home runs,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “On certain nights, especially here, you have to do it a little bit differently. It makes you feel better about the team when you’re winning games without hitting homers.”

The game featured just 11 hits, with Christian Walker’s second-inning home run being the only non-single.

Oakland left-hander Sean Manaea (4-2, 3.36 ERA) will attempt to silence the Arizona bats in the series-ending matinee, but he has had trouble doing so in the past. He is 1-1 with a 7.00 ERA in two career starts against the Diamondbacks.

Ketel Marte (4-for-10 with two doubles), Josh Reddick (4-for-10), Eduardo Escobar (3-for-4 with a homer) and Asdrubal Cabrera (2-for-3 with a double) all have good career numbers against Manaea, who has been in good form of late.

Manaea, 29, is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his past four starts, a stretch capped by a four-hit shutout in 6-0 win at Seattle on June 2. The shutout was his second of the season.

The NL West last-place Diamondbacks, having lost a franchise-record 18 in a row on the road, will take the field engulfed in trade rumors. David Peralta had a walk and a single Tuesday night after hearing his name mentioned before the game.

“I can’t control what’s going on out there,” he said. “I just have to come every day and find a way to help my teammates and be better. That’s the only thing I can say.”

The Diamondbacks are scheduled to start rookie right-hander Matt Peacock (2-2, 4.68 ERA). He has faced just one A’s batter in his career — Stephen Piscotty in an April 12 home loss to Oakland — and struck him out.

The 27-year-old started the year in the bullpen but has been called upon to start his past four games. Peacock is 1-2 with a 3.68 ERA as a starter.

Chad Pinder was Oakland’s offensive star in the Tuesday win despite not having started the game.

He entered as a pinch hitter in the fourth when the Diamondbacks replaced right-hander Jon Duplantier with lefty Alex Young. Pinder greeted the reliever with an RBI single that gave the A’s a 2-1 lead.

Pinder stayed in the game and went on to record two more hits, becoming the sixth major-leaguer to collect at least three hits in a game this season while coming off the bench.

The A’s haven’t lost a home game to the Diamondbacks since May 2018.

–Field Level Media

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