OAKLAND – The Oakland A’s first series sweep of the 2023 season will have to come another time.
Starting pitcher James Kaprielian allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings and the A’s offense was unable to fully recover in a 4-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday before an announced crowd of 6,429 at the Coliseum.
The A’s managed just three hits as they finished May with a 6-23 record, marking the second lowest May winning percentage in Athletics history. The A’s went 4-17 (.190) in May 1919.
Kaprielian retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced before he allowed a single to Eddie Rosario with one out in the top of the fifth inning. Ozzie Albies then golfed a low and inside slider from Kaprielian over the right field wall for a 2-0 Atlanta lead.
Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Kaprielian hit Austin Riley with 91 mph sinker to give Atlanta a 3-0 lead. The A’s scored twice in the seventh inning off RBI’s from Ramón Laureano and Carlos Pérez but couldn’t muster any more offense as the National League East-leading Atlanta Braves avoid a series sweep. Oakland won 7-2 on Monday and 2-1 on Tuesday, stringing together back-to-back wins for just the second time this season.
Both wins came as a result of strong pitching and defense, as the A’s allowed just 10 hits and did not commit an error.
Kaprielian struck out four but allowed five hits over 4 2/3 innings. Reliever Ken Waldichuk allowed the other A’s run to the Braves, as he gave up a single to Ronald Acuña Jr. after he walked Michael Harris II.
The A’s had a chance to open the scoring in the third inning off Braves starter Jared Shuster as both Jace Peterson and Nick Allen reached back with no outs. But Esteury Ruiz popped up in foul territory on a bunt attempt, Brent Rooker struck out looking and Ryan Noda grounded out to end the threat.
The A’s were looking for their first three-game winning streak, and series sweep, since the end of last year when they beat the Los Angeles Angels three-straight times to wrap up a 60-102 season. Wednesday’s loss dropped the A’s to 12-46, as they ended May with a 6-23 record, only one win better than the 5-23 mark they had in April.