Padres look to take advantage of struggling A’s

Jun 10, 2024, 3:01 AM | Updated: 11:00 am

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 16: Ha-Seong Kim #7 of the San Diego Padres completes the double-pl...

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

On paper, the San Diego Padres’ three-game series with the visiting Oakland Athletics that starts Monday night figures to be a golden opportunity for them to feast on a weaker foe.

But as the first two-plus months of the season have shown, San Diego’s ability to play good ball against top opponents — and bad ball versus losing teams — can’t be underestimated.

The same team that owns two series wins over the Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as series victories over Atlanta, Milwaukee and Kansas City has also been swept by two of the worst teams in baseball: Colorado and the Los Angeles Angels.

All that inconsistency has led to a 34-35 record but the Padres also own the National League’s second wild-card spot. And as the sport has shown since playoff expansion, all you have to do is get in.

“I’ve seen the standings and most of the teams are under .500,” Fernando Tatis Jr. said. “They’re in the place that they’re at. But at the same time, I still feel like this group can play way better baseball.”

Tatis is trying to elevate them. His solo homer in Sunday’s 9-3 loss to Arizona stretched his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games. Tatis and Jurickson Profar, who’s strongly trending toward the first All-Star Game berth of a 10-year MLB career, have carried the offense with players like Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts battling injuries.

Dylan Cease (5-5, 3.51 ERA) takes the mound in the series opener. He absorbed a 3-2 loss Wednesday night against the Angels, working six innings and allowing three runs off four hits. Cease walked one and fanned six.

In five career starts against Oakland, Cease is 2-1 with a 4.88 ERA, fanning 32 over 27 2/3 innings but also hurting himself with 15 walks.

Meanwhile, the A’s have followed a surprisingly strong April by falling back to where most folks expected as injuries have hurt their starting rotation. They fell 15 games under .500 on Sunday with a 6-4, 10-inning home loss to Toronto.

Oakland’s rotation has lost Alex Wood, Paul Blackburn and Ross Stripling since the season started. And even when it gets good work from replacements, such as Mitch Spence’s career-best seven innings Sunday, an offense that has sputtered usually can’t produce enough support.

Prior to Sunday’s game, the A’s went six straight games with three or fewer runs. They rank 28th in runs, 28th in on-base percentage and 29th in batting average.

Joey Estes (2-1, 4.67) gets the start for Oakland Monday night. He’s coming off the best outing of his seven MLB games, taking a perfect game into the seventh inning of a 2-1 win Wednesday night over Seattle. Estes didn’t allow a baserunner until J.P. Crawford doubled to start the seventh.

“You kind of know what’s happening but nothing changes,” Estes said of his mindset during the perfect game bid. “I guess you kind of see it but it’s not eating me up in my mind.”

This will be Estes’ first career start against San Diego.

–Field Level Media


Oakland Athletics

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 20: A detail shot of the 2024 Major League Baseball All-Star Game logo on Glob...

Frankie Cartoscelli

MLB All-Star Game Voting Update: Giants, A’s in need of boost

MLB All-Star voting is still open. You can vote for your favorite San Francisco Giants & Oakland Athletics players HERE!

2 days ago

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - JUNE 16: Members of the Oakland Athletics watch the game while the Minneso...

Field Level Media

Athletics falter late to Twins, suffer double-header sweep

The Minnesota Twins held on for an 8-7 win over the Oakland Athletics to sweep a doubleheader on Sunday in Minneapolis.

2 days ago

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - JUNE 13: Byron Buxton #25 of the Minnesota Twins is out at second base as ...

Field Level Media

Carlos Correa extends hot streak as Twins top Athletics

Carlos Correa and the Minnesota Twins pulled away for a 6-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday in Minneapolis.

5 days ago

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JULY 15: Zack Gelof #20 of the Oakland Athletics turns a double play as Max K...

Field Level Media

After offensive breakout, Twins open series with Athletics

The Minnesota Twins will look to ride the momentum of a sterling offensive performance when they open a four-game series against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday in Minneapolis.

6 days ago

SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 12: Jackson Merrill #3 of the San Diego Padres celebrates after hitting a walk...

Field Level Media

Jackson Merrill’s 2nd HR caps Padres’ walk-off win over Athletics

Jackson Merrill's second homer of the game lifted the San Diego Padres to a 5-4 win over the visiting Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.

6 days ago

SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 11: Luis Arraez #4 (L) and Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres dump a co...

Field Level Media

Kyle Higashioka hits walk-off HR, sends Padres past Athletics

The San Diego Padres grabbed a 4-3 win over the visiting Oakland Athletics in walk-off fashion on Tuesday night.

7 days ago

Padres look to take advantage of struggling A’s