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Turning to Bryce Elder, Braves aim to rebound against A's

Tue May 30 2:14am ET
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Bryce Elder has been a pleasant surprise for the Atlanta Braves, who continue their three-game series against the host Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.

Oakland ended an 11-game losing streak with a 7-2 victory on Monday, giving the A's just their 11th win this season and sixth at home. A's first baseman Ryan Noda has homered in two straight games, hitting a three-run blast in the series opener.

"(We're just going) to keep grinding and keep playing for each other," Noda said. "Just stick together. These are the times you've got to lean on each other and grind it out. Luckily (Monday) we got the win and the bats came alive a little bit."

The Braves will look to bounce back behind Elder (3-0, 2.01 ERA), who continues to impress. The right-hander's ERA ranks third among all qualified major league pitchers.

"He's just so poised out there," Braves third baseman Austin Riley said of Elder. "Nothing seems to get to him. He knows himself. He doesn't try to get outside of himself. He pitches to his strengths."

Elder will take the mound after tossing six innings of one-run ball against the Los Angeles Dodger on Wednesday. He owns a 3.19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 10 starts spanning 58 1/3 innings.

Oakland will counter with left-hander JP Sears (0-3, 4.70 ERA), who received a no-decision after allowing one run over five innings against the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.

After struggling in his first five starts, Sears has posted a 3.25 ERA in his past five outings covering 27 2/3 innings.

"I've been just trying to stay on my mechanics in between my outings," Sears said. "Trying to find those little inches that will help my fastball get better. The velo is slowly ticking up a little bit, and when you feel like you can locate it well, it's all about getting the other pitches going behind it. I feel like I've done good with my prep each week, and I'll just try to continue doing that."

Sears has posted a 2.86 ERA in four home starts compared to a 5.97 ERA in six outings away from Oakland Coliseum.

The A's made a number of roster moves prior to Monday's game, including designating first baseman Jesus Aguilar for assignment. Aguilar hit .221 with five home runs in 36 games.

Oakland also recalled Jonah Bride from Triple-A Las Vegas, and the infielder singled twice in his season debut.

Atlanta received a boost on Monday with the return of starting pitcher Michael Soroka. The right-hander tossed six innings of four-run ball in his first start since Aug. 3, 2020, when he suffered a torn right Achilles tendon.

"I thought his stuff was good," Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Soroka. "For being out as long as he has and then to go six innings in your first major league game in 2 1/2 years, I thought his stuff was really good."

The Braves also got another solid performance from Riley, who carries a season-high 12-game hitting streak into Tuesday's contest. He is hitting .383 (18-for-47) with three homers and eight RBIs during that stretch.

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