Joe Boyle exits early with lower back injury, Athletics fall short of sweep

The Oakland A's lost starter Joe Boyle to an injury and dropped Sunday's matchup against the Marlins
Miami Marlins v Oakland Athletics
Miami Marlins v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Athletics fell short of their second straight sweep, dropping Sunday afternoon's matchup against the Marlins by a score of 12-3.

A's starter Joe Boyle took the loss, getting hit hard in the first inning before leaving the game early with a lower back injury. He gave up 4 runs on a hit and 3 walks before exiting.

Manager Mark Kotsay told reporters after the game that Boyle would undergo an MRI on Monday to determine next steps. If Boyle were to require a trip to the IL, it's likely that the A's would look to Osvaldo Bido to fill the spot.

Reliever Scott Alexander is currently on a rehab stint at Single-A Stockton so if he's ready to go, they could also reinstate Alexander and shift one of Kyle Muller or Mitch Spence to the rotation.

Neither Joey Estes or Hogan Harris have pitched well in the minor leagues so it's fair to assume those two will be further down in the pecking order.

Boyle has had a rough start to the season. He's now 2-5 with a 7.16 ERA in 27.2 innings with a 29:23 strikeout to walk ratio.

With Alexander due back within the next week or so, and with Ken Waldichuk and Luis Medina starting to face live hitters, Boyle's time in the majors was likely limited to begin with. He has potential but the inability to throw strikes puts a firm cap on his ceiling.

Sunday's loss is a disappointing one for the Athletics. They had the chance to jump over the .500 mark for the first time since March of last year and weren't able to pull it out.

Mitch Spence and TJ McFarland both gave up 4 runs on 6 hits on Sunday. Spence did so over 4.2 innings of work, while McFarland gave it up in the 9th inning alone. Michael Kelly pitched in 2.1 scoreless innings but his efforts were futile.

After demolishing the Marlins on Saturday and putting up 20 runs, the offense once again struggled to move the needle. Six A's hitters went hitless, including Abraham Toro and Tyler Nevin who went a combined 0-9 in the first two spots in the lineup.

Brett Harris followed up yesterday's two home runs with an 0-3 effort today, though he did walk once. The offense went just 2-6 with runners in scoring position and never posed a serious threat to the Marlins in this one.

The Athletics are back at it again tomorrow as they get ready for a three-game set against the Rangers. They'll look to get back to .500 as lefty Alex Wood takes on Rangers' lefty Andrew Heaney. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 pm PDT.