Oakland A’s Tuesday night game wrap: Zach Neal Shines, the A’s squeak by the Orioles 2-1

by Jerry Feitelberg

AP photo: The Oakland A’s Zach Neal deals to the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night at the Oakland Coliseum to improve his record to 2-1

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s behind a strong performance by Zach Neal beat the Baltimore Orioles Tuesday night in Oakland. Neal, making his second start for the A’s, was terrific. He pitched five and 1/3rd innings allowing just two hits and one run. The A’s bullpen did a super job, too. Liam Hendriks retired all five hitters he faced, and John Axford kept the O’s scoreless in the eighth as he faced four hitters. Axford walked one and struck out two. Ryan Madson closed out the game in the ninth. The Orioles got the leadoff hitter on base via a single but Madson got the next hitter to hit into a double play. Madson walked Manny Machado but was able to strike out Chris Davis looking to end the game

The A’s scored twice in the bottom of the third to take a 2-0 lead. Miley gave up singles to Marcus Semien and Jake Smolinski. Danny Valencia doubled down the right field line to drive in Semien.Khris Davis hit a sacrifice fly to right to drive in Smolinski with the A’s second run of the inning.

The Orioles got on the board in the top of the fourth when their star center fielder, Adam Jones, sent a Zach Neal pitch into the bleachers to lead off the inning. For Jones, it was his twenty-second homer of the year. It was also the Birds’ first hit of the game as Neal had retired the first nine hitters he faced.

The Orioles threatened in the top of the sixth. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop led off with a double. Neal retired the next hitter, but that was the last hitter he would face. A’s manager Bob Melvin took him out of the game and brought Liam Hendriks to pitch. Hendriks did his job as he retired the next two Oriole batters to end the inning. Neal was outstanding as he went five and 1/3rd innings and allowed one run and just two hits. The A’s bullpen will have to shut down the hard-hitting Orioles the rest of the way to secure the win for Neal. A’s win 2-1

Game notes- The A’s won their second straight one-run game over the Orioles. The Orioles have hit 170 home runs so far this year to lead the AL in that department. Zach Neal, as mentioned above, was superb. He had to be as his opponent Wade Miley also pitched well. Miley went six innings plus and allowed six hits and two runs and took the loss. He is now 7-10 for the year with Seattle and Baltimore.
After the game, Zach Neal said this about being a starter “I was going to go until they took it away from me.” He said he “threw his sinker down in the zone and was able to spot his fastball.” Bob Melvin commented in a very short and succinct manner” boy; that was impressive.” Melvin also remarked that Liam Hendriks had been pressed into a different role due to his improved performance.”

Game three of the four-game series will be played Wednesday night at the Oakland Coliseum at 7:05 pm. Lefty Ross Detwiler will pitch for Oakland. The A’s obtained the veteran from Cleveland and Detwiler will be making his first start as an Oakland Athletic. Yovani Gallardo will pitch for Baltimore.

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