Casilla Blows Save, Gallo Launches Walk-off Homer in 5-2 Loss for A’s; Rough way to open series for A’s

May 12, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

Texas Rangers’ Keone Kela, out of photo at left, sprays a bottle of water over Joey Gallo as he rounds first following his three-run walk off home run against the Oakland Athletics during a baseball game, Friday, May 12, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers won 5-2. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

By Matthew Harrington

The Oakland Athletics had a 2-1 lead heading into the ninth inning, but the Texas Rangers rallied for four runs, capping a walk-off win with a three-run Joey Gallo homer Friday night at Globe Life Park. Santiago Casilla blew his second save of the season, spoiling a seven-inning, one-run performance from starter Jess Hahn. Matt Joyce ripped his third homer of the season and Mark Canha doubled in a run for the A’s (16-19) who now fall just one game ahead of Texas (17-20) for the last spot in the American League West.

Casilla (1-2, 5.02 ERA) opened the ninth up 2-1 by surrendering a single to Jonathan Lucroy. Pinch-runner Pete Kozma then went first to third on Rougned Odor’s single to put the tying run 90 feet away. Mike Napoli, author of a walk-off homer for the Rangers Thursday night, hit a deep drive that plated Kozma on a sacrifice fly, but Odor remained at first. It would momentarily save the A’s after Carlos Gomez doubled to put the winning run on third.

With light-hitting Delino DeShields Jr. on deck, A’s manager Bob Melvin decided to pitch to the strike-out prone Joey Gallo as opposed to loading the bases for the potential inning-ending double play. Casilla got Gallo to a 3-2 count, but the Rangers rookie with a reputation for big homers and big whiffs punished the Oakland closer with one of the latter, sending the ball halfway up the foul pole in right for his 12th bomb of the year. Keone Kela (1-1, 4.50) picked up the win thanks to Gallo’s heroics.

The A’s looked well on their way to win thanks to a masterful performance from newly inserted rotation member Jesse Hahn. Hahn took Jharel Cotton’s place in the rotation after the rookie’s surprising demotion to Triple-A Nashville. Hahn outdueled Texas starter and Lone Star Native Andrew Cashner.

Hahn scattered four hits, allowing the lone run on an intended sacrifice bunt with runners on the corners in the fifth inning by Deshields to tie the game 1-1. Joyce had touched up Cashner for the first of two A’s runs in the top of the inning, launching his 3rd homer of the season to centerfield. Canha would double off reliever Jeremy Jeffress to take a 2-1 lead with one out in the 7th.

The A’s look to get Sonny Gray back into form Saturday as he takes the hill against the Rangers. Texas counters with Nick Martinez and his 0-2 record and 5.12 ERA.

 

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