OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics will be afforded the luxury of adding a key reliever to a bullpen that had to work overtime on Saturday night when newly acquired right-hander Jeurys Familia joins the club for its series finale against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.
The A’s took a 3-2 lead in the annual Bay Bridge Series with an 11-inning, walk-off win Saturday, one in which closer Blake Treinen had to go two innings after blowing a save in the ninth.
Treinen is not expected to be available Sunday, which makes the arrival of Familia all the more important.
Acquired Saturday from the New York Mets for two minor-leaguers, Familia joins the A’s after having saved 17 of his team’s 40 wins.
The 28-year-old hasn’t pitched since before the All-Star break and hasn’t allowed a run in the month of July, so A’s manager Bob Melvin looks forward to giving him his Oakland debut at first opportunity.
“For already having a good bullpen, to bring in an arm like this is pretty significant,” Melvin gushed before Saturday’s game. “Man, you can’t ask for much more.”
A’s relievers were called upon for 5 1/3 innings of work in Saturday’s win, which got the American League club even in the Oakland portion of the six-game, home-and-home series after the Giants had prevailed 5-1 on Friday night.
Oakland will send ace Sean Manaea (9-6, 3.42) up against the Giants’ Johnny Cueto (3-1, 2.36) in the series finale.
Manaea, who hasn’t lost in his last eight starts, beat the Giants in his most recent outing 6-2 a week ago leading into the All-Star break. He allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.
The 26-year-old left-hander is 2-1 in his career against San Francisco with a 2.45 ERA in three career starts.
Cueto, on the other hand, will be looking for his first win since going on the disabled list with elbow issues in April.
He has pitched twice since being reinstated from the DL but has been roughed up for 16 hits in 10 innings, going 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA.
The veteran has pitched just once in his career against the A’s, and it was a beauty, delivering the Cincinnati Reds a 3-0 win in Oakland in June of 2010 with seven innings of seven-hit ball.
There have been only three home runs in the last two days, all by the Giants.
In fact, two of the three were hit by guys who played a game of tag on Saturday.
The Giants summoned Ryder Jones from Triple-A to start the second half with the parent club, and the second-year player responded with a home run in his second big-league bat of the season Friday.
Jones was taking the place of Brandon Belt, who missed Friday’s game to attend the birth of his son.
Belt returned Saturday, which ended Jones’ short major-league run, and turned an awkward situation into a happy one with a home run of his own.
“The guy goes down, the guy who replaces him hits a home run,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of the transaction. “That’s always nice.”