Oakland A’s pitcher Brett Anderson (30) pitches against the Los Angeles Angeles third baseman Zack Cozart (7) during the first inning at the Coliseum on March 30, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Chris Victorio / Special to S.F. Examiner)

Athletics look to avoid sweep against Blue Jays

A’s send Brett Anderson to the hill to avoid sweep against Toronto Blue Jays

The Oakland Athletics dropped their first two games against the Toronto Blue Jays this weekend, losing their first home series since last June. On Sunday, they’ll look to avoid a sweep and climb back up to the .500 mark.

One bright spot against Toronto has been Matt Chapman. The third baseman went 4-for-7 in the first two games of the series, accounting for one-third of the team’s hits on his own. He also drove in the A’s only run on Friday. Stephen Piscotty has also chipped in this weekend, going 3-for-7 with a walk against the Jays.

Sunday’s finale brings a pitching matchup of Brett Anderson against Aaron Sanchez. The A’s beat Sanchez the last two times they faced him, once in 2016 and again in 2018, and both times the right-hander failed to make it out of the fifth inning. However, he’s off to a strong start this year, with a 2.86 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning through four appearances.

As for Anderson, he leads the A’s rotation with a 2.63 ERA through his first four outings. Oakland has won three of his four starts, and only lost the most recent one because the bullpen blew a huge lead in the eighth inning after Anderson put in a quality performance.

The last time the A’s lost a series in the Coliseum was June 12-14 against the Houston Astros. Oakland was swept in those three games, dropping them below .500 at the time, but they caught fire immediately afterward and went 63-30 the rest of the season.

As for the Blue Jays, the A’s beat them all seven times they played in 2018 but so far haven’t found any answers against them this year. Oakland was outscored 15-2 in the two losses on Friday and Saturday, and 25-5 in the first four games of this current homestand, including two previous matchups against the Astros.

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