ATHLETICS (66-50) AT WHITE SOX (51-63)
7:10 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, NBCSCA, MLB.TV
Oakland Athletics right-hander Tanner Roark, an Illinois native, will try to continue his impressive home-state pitching when he goes after his first career win at Guaranteed Rate Field on Saturday against the host Chicago White Sox.
The A’s, who spent the first three days of the week on the north side of town and lost two of three games to the Chicago Cubs, opened their three-game series against the White Sox in impressive fashion on Friday afternoon, winning 7-0.
Mike Fiers threw seven shutout innings while Matt Chapman, Stephen Piscotty and Chad Pinder hit home runs, sending the A’s to their fourth straight win over the White Sox this season.
Acquired at the trade deadline from Cincinnati, Roark (7-7, 4.14 ERA) is scheduled to make his second start for the A’s. He pitched well in his Oakland debut last Sunday, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 while giving up one run over five innings.
Roark, who was born in Wilmington, Ill., and attended the University of Illinois, has enjoyed seven homecomings at Wrigley Field, going 5-1 with a 2.63 ERA.
He has never faced the White Sox.
The 32-year-old pitched brilliantly at Wrigley earlier this season for the Reds, striking out nine in five shutout innings in a 10-2 win on May 26.
He has allowed a total of just five earned runs in his last five Chicago starts, with his team winning four of the games.
Chances are Roark will be paired with catcher Chris Herrmann for Saturday’s start after working with Dustin Garneau in his first A’s outing.
Garneau has been an offensive weapon for the A’s since being claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels last week. He contributed a two-run double to Friday’s win.
He has four hits and six RBIs in four games for Oakland.
“You get inspired going to certain places, and I think he really enjoys being here,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said of Garneau. “It was a great pickup at the time, and obviously he’s paid dividends.”
The left-handed-hitting Herrmann is expected to get the start against White Sox righty Reynaldo Lopez (6-9, 5.41 ERA), who will be seeking a career-high-tying seventh win.
Lopez has pitched well in his past five starts, going 2-1 with a 2.56 ERA.
He left his start July 14 in Oakland with a 2-1 lead before the A’s rallied against the Chicago bullpen to win 3-2. Lopez held Oakland to one unearned run and three hits in six innings.
Lopez’s only other appearance against the Athletics came in April 2018, when he allowed two runs and four hits in six innings and struck out 10. He took the loss in Oakland’s 8-1 victory.
The White Sox have played most of their best ball of late on the road. They completed a 5-2 trip earlier this week that has been sandwiched by nine losses in their past 10 home games.
“I try not to get too high or too low in any streak, positive or negative, because it’s such a long season,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “There are too many variables involved in the successes a club has.”
–Field Level Media