Boston is going to be short on left-handed relievers early on.
Craig Breslow has all but been ruled out for Opening Day because of a sore shoulder and now Franklin Morales figures to join him on the disabled list to start the season.
Morales has a back injury and manager John Farrell told Ian Browne of MLB.com that “he’s kind of plateaued a little bit” and “started to feel some tightness there again” after throwing recently.
Morales was one of the few bright spots for the Red Sox’s pitching staff last season, splitting time between the rotation and bullpen while throwing 77 innings with a 3.77 ERA and 76/30 K/BB ratio. He’s slated to be a full-time reliever this year.
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.