Esteury Ruiz homers and the A's beat the Cardinals 6-3 to avoid a sweep

Updated Apr. 17, 2024 7:18 p.m. ET

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Esteury Ruiz homered for the second time in three games since being recalled from Triple-A, and the Oakland Athletics beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 on Wednesday to avoid a three-game sweep.

Ruiz drove in two runs, scored twice and stole a base. He has homered twice in seven at-bats since his return Monday from Triple-A Las Vegas.

“It feels amazing,” Ruiz said through a translator. “Coming here, keep hitting the baseball like I was down there (in Triple-A). And I feel like this. I feel amazing. Who doesn’t want to feel like that? It feels great.”

A crowd of 9,551 attended the game, with the three-game series totaling 18,355 fans. The A’s, who have announced plans to play in Sacramento from 2025-27 while a new ballpark is built in Las Vegas, have had an average attendance of 6,244 through their first 13 home games.


Tyler Nevin added three hits and an RBI as Oakland improved to 4-9 at home.

Iván Herrera drove in two runs for the Cardinals, who fell to 0-6 in series finales this season.

“It’s a frustrating one,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “You want to win that one and sweep and go home and feel good about it and enjoy an off-day. (We) hit some balls hard. They got caught. Overall, just didn’t produce enough offense to give ourselves a shot today.”

Willson Contreras had two hits and an RBI, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games. He has reached base safely in 23 straight games dating to last season.

A’s starter Paul Blackburn allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings, ending a scoreless streak of 22 1/3 innings. The right-hander came within two outs of the Oakland record for most consecutive scoreless innings to start a season.

Blackburn (2-0) earned his second win despite giving up six hits and five walks. He recorded a season-high seven strikeouts.

“It was kind of one of those days where I didn’t really have anything, I felt like, including command,” Blackburn said. “But I kept the boys in it and the offense came through, and we were able to get a win. Anytime you get a win, it’s a good outing.”

Ruiz’s two-run homer gave Oakland a 2-0 lead in the third.

St. Louis answered with three runs in the fourth. Contreras doubled home a run, followed by Herrera’s two-run single to put the Cardinals ahead.

Langeliers tied it in the fifth with an RBI double, and Toro put the A’s back in front with an RBI groundout to second.

Darell Hernaiz tacked on another run with a sacrifice fly, and Nevin added an RBI single in the sixth.

“To show the character that we did today, after losing two to these guys, to come out, and being down 3-2 and end up coming back and winning the game, (it) says a lot about the club and the confidence that they have right now,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said.

Cardinals starter Steven Matz (1-1) allowed five runs on seven hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked three.

Mason Miller pitched the ninth for his fourth save.


Cardinals: RHP Kyle Gibson (1-2, 6.16 ERA) opens a three-game home series against Milwaukee on Friday night opposite Brewers RHP Freddy Peralta (2-0, 2.55).

Athletics: RHP Joe Boyle (1-2, 5.68 ERA) starts Friday night in Cleveland to open a three-game series and a 10-game road trip. The Guardians counter with RHP Triston McKenzie (1-2, 6.23).