Marlins no longer expecting Josh Johnson back before July

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When the Marlins placed Josh Johnson on the disabled list in mid-May their hope was that he’d rejoin the rotation on June 1, but his timetable has repeatedly been pushed back since then and yesterday manager Edwin Rodriguez admitted that “the most optimistic hope” for Johnson’s return is now July.

Rodriguez told Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post that Johnson still needs to throw multiple bullpen sessions and then “have some rehab outings” before potentially being cleared to come off the DL, saying: “We’re talking July for sure.”

To essentially add an entire month (or more) to a pitcher’s return timetable without there being a significant setback involved seems odd, particularly since the initial injury that sent Johnson to the DL was termed merely shoulder inflammation. Johnson, who had a 1.64 ERA in nine starts before being shut down, hasn’t pitched since May 16.

Video: Athletics tie home run record on the road

Franklin Barreto, Stephen Piscotty, Mark Canha
AP Images
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The Athletics tied a league record on Saturday thanks to Stephen Piscotty, who launched a two-run, 396-foot home run off of the White Sox’ Dylan Covey to put the club on the board in the second inning. The homer may not have erased the five-run deficit the A’s were working against, but it extended their home run streak to 24 consecutive road games — tying the 1996 Orioles for the longest home run streak on the road in 22 years.

Following Piscotty’s blast, they eventually tied things up in the fifth inning with a sac fly from Dustin Fowler and a two-run double off the bat of Jed Lowrie. Daniel Mengden, meanwhile, was forced off the mound after just two innings; he expended 44 pitches and gave up five runs on four hits and two walks.

The Athletics are currently tied with the White Sox 5-5 in the fifth. They’ll attempt to get a leg up in the series finale — and earn the standalone league record for most consecutive road games with a home run — when right-hander Paul Blackburn and southpaw Carlos Rodon go head-to-head on Sunday at 2:10 PM ET.