A’s Surrender 5 Homeruns in 13-3 loss to Nats; loses pile up for last place AL West team

June 2, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

Washington Nationals’ Michael Taylor, right, celebrates with Jose Lobaton after hitting a home run off Oakland Athletics’ Andrew Triggs in the second inning of a baseball game Friday, June 2, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Matthew Harrington

OAKLAND–No Bryce Harper, no problem for the Washington Nationals Friday night in Oakland. Without their cornerstone slugger, the Nationals teed off for five homeruns in a 13-3 rout of the Oakland Athletics. All nine of Washington’s starters collected a hit and an RBI in the lopsided affair. For Oakland, Matt Joyce and Yonder Alonso each went deep.

A’s starter Andrew Triggs (5-5, 3.36 ERA) has rode his slinging sidearm approach to an exceptional season, but Friday was a bump in the road for the long-reliever-turned-starter. Going head-to-head with Stephen Strasburg, Triggs found himself down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the third after giving up homers to Michael Taylor and Daniel Murphy. Joyce would tag Strasburg for a two-run homer, his sixth of the year, in the bottom of the third to tie the game, but the wheels fell off entirely for Triggs in the fourth.

Triggs two-seamer to Anthony Rendon caught too much of the plate, giving Washington’s third baseman a ringing double to open the inning. Matt Weiters went back-to-back, plating Rendon to give the Nats a 3-2 lead. Triggs got two outs but a deflected grounder to Jed Lowrie wound up in center field for an RBI single for Trea Turner. Jayson Werth walked, then Daniel Murphy singled home Turner for a 5-2 edge.

The single chased Triggs from the game after just 3 2/3. Frankie Montas, the new Oakland reliever, gave up a single to Ryan Zimmerman that plated inherited runner Werth to close the book on Triggs with six runs allowed. Montas would depart the game after getting the last out, making way for Zach Neal.

Neal struggled mightily in his 3 1/3 innings of mop-up duty. He allowed 7 runs on nine hits including a solo homer to Werth, the first long ball of Brian Goodwin’s career on a two-run shot in the top of the seventh and a  three-run dinger from Rendon in the top of the 8th.

The runs were more than enough to back Strasburg  (7-1, 2.91) and his 7 innings of four-hit ball. The former first overall pick fired seven strikeouts to only three walks in the win. Deposed closer Blake Treinen pitched a perfect eighth, but opened the ninth with Alonso’s solo shot. After the first baseman’s 15th homer, Treinen surrendered two more hits before escaping the ninth and wrapping up the blowout.

Oakland sends Daniel Mengden to the mound hoping for a long outing after a 3 1/3 inning appearance against the Cleveland Indians May 29th. Washington counters with youngster Joe Ross. The Nats will be without Harper again Saturday for his role in the Memorial Day fracas with the San Francisco Giants. His suspension ends in time for Sunday’s contest.

 

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