Athletics snap winless streak with victory against Cubs

The Oakland Athletics defeated the Chicago Cubs 3-1 this afternoon
Mar 20, 2024; Mesa, Arizona, USA;  Oakland Athletics shortstop Nick Allen (10) celebrates  a solo
Mar 20, 2024; Mesa, Arizona, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Nick Allen (10) celebrates a solo / Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics have snapped their week long winless streak, beating the Chicago Cubs by a score of 3-1 this afternoon.

Shortstop Nick Allen led off the scoring with a solo home run in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Allen blasted a Hector Neris fastball to deep left field for his first homer of spring training.

The young shortstop is having a strong start to the year. He's now hitting .333 with a 1.417 OPS and has looked good in his first couple appearances returning from a back injury.

Brent Rooker also homered off Neris today, banging a two-run shot just four batters after Allen. The home run was Rooker's third of the spring.

The Athletics' pitching staff held the Cubs to just a single hit on the day, that coming in the 7th on an Ezequiel Pagan solo home run off lefty Sean Newcomb.

Paul Blackburn goes six scoreless innings

Starter Paul Blackburn was impressive, going six shutout innings without giving up a hit and notching 3 strikeouts with just one walk. He'll likely make one more spring training appearance before the regular season gets underway.

Right handed reliever Stevie Emanuels threw another scoreless inning today as well, running the streak to 4.2 innings over 6 appearances. He's not going to make the opening day roster but he's looking like he could earn a mid-season call up based on his performance thus far.

Emanuels should start the year at Double-A. He has just 11 innings at the level, earning a promotion to Midland toward the end of the 2023 season. Despite the small sample size, he pitched to a 2.38 ERA and an almost 33% strikeout rate.

He's on the older side as a prospect, entering his age 25 season, but the performance is there. He took a major step forward in 2023 and his slider and changeup have looked sharp so far this year. There's hope that he could be a viable bullpen piece for the Athletics moving forward.

The A's have a rare day off tomorrow. They'll return to action on Friday with a split squad matchup, facing off against the Reds and White Sox.