Oakland won Game 1 7-4 on Friday, only its third win in 15 games since winning seven in a row from June 6-13.
The latest win featured an unusual dugout conference between A’s manager, Mark Kotsay, and his starting pitcher, Luis Medina. The rookie right-hander faced 14 batters in the first two innings but managed to limit the White socks at a race
Medina was watching video of his throws on a tablet in the dugout between innings when Kotsay called him in for a man-to-man chat.
“He was fighting,” Kotsay said. “I kind of messaged the kid – not something I normally do. I grabbed the iPad…the iPad that he ended up on the floor and just told him to go there- down and throw. It changed the night and gave us enough to get in the game and go on and win.”
Medina ended up allowing no more runs in his last three innings, facing just 10 more batters, and he became the winning pitcher.
“He was telling me not to think too much,” Medina said through a translator. “Just go out and throw the ball where the receiver wants it and be aggressive with my throws.
The A’s weren’t sure who their starting pitcher would be on Saturday after placing their slated starter, right-hander James Kaprielian, on the disabled list on Friday. The team was awaiting the results of an MRI scan Kaprielian had on his sore right shoulder.
Right-hander Dylan Cease (3-3, 4.04 ERA) is expected to start for the White socks SATURDAY
Cease made five straight strong starts in June, but emerged with five straight no-decisions. He ended up with a 2.20 ERA, 42 strikeouts and 10 walks in 28 2/3 innings last month. He didn’t allow more than two runs in one outing, all of which ended in one-run games, with Chicago winning three.
The fifth-year leaguer has topped the A’s in three career games, going 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA, 21 strikeouts and seven walks in 18 innings. The 27-year-old’s only previous start to Oakland saw him pitch six shutout innings, allowing three hits, in a 4-1 win last July.
White socks reliever Liam Hendriks, a former A-closer who returned to the majors in May after receiving treatment for stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, will miss the series as he is on the injured reserve due to inflammation right elbow
He delivered a message before the series opened.
“People can see that I’m going through something similar: that’s all we’re trying to achieve,” he said of cancer survivors. “Trying to advance awareness and potentially research funding, and hopefully someone who’s going through it right now can look at this and say, ‘He’s doing it. Now I can do it.
THE White socks had won four of its last six games before falling on Friday