by Charlie O. Mallonee
The Oakland Athletics bats came alive on Sunday as they hit two home runs and three doubles to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-4. The victory also gave the A’s the series win 2 games to one. To win a series from a potential playoff team on the road has to be very satisfying to an Oakland team that has struggled so much in the month of August.
The A’s offense was facing left-hander Jamie Garcia who was seeking his 11th win of the season. The A’s served notice in the top of the first that they were not going to go down easy when Khris Davis hit a two-run home run (34) to right center field to give Oakland an early 2-0 lead.
The A’s never trailed in game as they scored seven runs on nine hits while leaving four runners on base. The A’s played error free baseball. The Cards scored four runs on eight hits and left three runners on base. St. Louis committed two errors in the contest.
The A’s are now 57-73 for the season and the Cardinals fall to 68-61 for the year.
In the Batter’s Box
Khris Davis continues to lead the way for the A’s by using his power to put runs up on the board. Davis hit his two-run home run with a 3-2 count, two out and Danny Valencia on at first. For Davis it was his 34th home run of the season and his 84th and 85th RBIs of the campaign.
Ryon Healy extended his major league leading hitting streak to 14 games as he went 2-for-3 on Sunday. Both of Healy’s hits were doubles off Garcia. He did score a run when he was driven home on Vogt’s home run in the third inning.
Speaking of Stephen Vogt, he had a 1-for-3 day by hitting his 11th home run of the year – a three-run shot and had a total of four RBIs in the game. Vogt has 40 RBIs for the season.
Danny Valencia was a real contributor on Sunday as he went 3-for-4 with the bat. He hit his 18th double, scored two runs and added an RBI. Valencia did all of that in seven innings as he was lifted in a double switch (inter-league game in a National League park).
Matt Carpenter was the man with bat for the Cardinals on Sunday. He had a 3-for-4 game that included a home run (17), two doubles (29), 3 runs scored and a RBI (58). Carpenter did all of that from the leadoff spot in the order.
On the Bump
Right-hander Andrew Triggs made his fifth start of the year for the A’s on Sunday and picked up his first win as a starter. He worked 6.0 innings giving up three runs (all earned) on four hits (one hit was the HR to Carpenter). Triggs struck out eight Cardinal batters and walked none. He threw 88 pitches (58 strikes) while facing 22 batters. Triggs should be very happy with his performance and the run support from his teammates.
Ryan Dull came on to relieve Triggs in the seventh inning. Dull gave up one run on two hits in his time on the hill. After allowing a single to Greg Garcia, Alberto Rosario hit a double to right field off Triggs. Eibner fielded the ball, threw it to Pinder -the cutoff man. Pinder decided to throw home. It was too late to put out Garcia who scored but catcher Stephen Vogt realized Rosario was heading for third. Vogt fired the ball to Healy who put the tag down and Rosario was the third out of the inning. For our Sabrmetrics readers, the play went 9-4-2-5. You will not see that scoring breakdown very often during the season.
Liam Hendriks worked an inning for the second game in a row. He allowed no runs on no hits while striking out one batter. It was his sixth hold of the year.
Ryan Madson came on in the bottom of the ninth because it was a save situation. The A’s closer did give up two hits in the inning but Madson kept things under control to close out the game and pick up his 27th save of the season.
The A’s left St. Louis and traveled to Houston where they will begin a three-game series with the Astros on Monday night.
LHP Sean Manaea (5-8, 4.53) will be the starter for Oakland. Manaea’s last outing was a 7.0 inning performance versus the Cleveland Indians where he allowed just one run on three hits and struck out eight batters. He picked up his fifth win of the season in that game.
The Astros will counter with RHP Joe Musgrove (1-2, 5.20). Musgrove was called up from Triple-A Fresno on August 2nd. This will be his fifth start for Houston since being promoted. Musgrove has lost his last two starts. In his last start on Tuesday against Pittsburg, Musgrove lasted just 4.0 innings giving up five runs on eight hits. He was charged with the loss.
The A’s and Astros play a night game on Tuesday and wrap up the series with a day game on Wednesday.
The Cardinals left for Milwaukee where they will play a three-game set with the Brewers.