by Charlie O. Mallonee
The Oakland Athletics have the worst road record (15-31) in the major leagues. It is one of the main reasons they are mired in last place in the American League West and are about to dismantle their team to begin a major rebuilding process.
On Saturday night after jumping out to a 5-0 lead over the New York Mets, the A’s allowed the Metropolitans to claw their way back into the game. The Mets tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the eighth inning when Lucas Duda hit a single off Daniel Coulombe that drove Travis d’Arnaud home from second base.
In the bottom of the ninth with two out and the bases empty, Wilmer Flores hit the 1-0 pitch from A’s reliever Simon Castro into the first row of seats in left field to give the Mets a 6-5 win. It was the ninth home run of the season for Flores and the second consecutive win for the Mets (45-50) over the Athletics (43-54).
In the batter’s box
- Matt Joyce put the A’s on the board in the first inning when he hit the 0-1 pitch from Zack Wheeler over the center field fence for his 13th home run of the year. Joyce now has 39 RBI for the season.
- Matt Chapman showed off his power hitting by putting a Wheeler pitch into the second deck in left field for his third home run of the year. Chapman also had a sacrifice fly in the game to give him two RBI. He has seven RBI since joining the A’s.
- Catcher Bruce Maxwell hit an RBI-double.
- The A’s scored five runs on 10 hits and left nine runners on base. They were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
- Flores — who is one of the Mets that does not appear to be on the trading block — went 2-for-5 including that game winning walk-off home run. Flores also hit his 13th double of the year in the game and scored two runs.
- Jose Reyes hit his sixth triple of the season and also scored a run while going 2-for-4 for New York.
- Jay Bruce hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning. It was his 25th home run and it raised his RBI total to 65. Bruce is one the Mets who is expected to be with another team by the July 31 trade deadline.
- Travis d’Arnaud made it safely to base four times in the game. He went 3-for-3 with a walk. d’Arnaud scored a run and added an RBI.
- The Mets scored six runs on 14 hits. They left eight men on base and were 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
On the hill
- Starter Sean Manaea pitched well through the first five innings but ran into some real problems in the sixth inning when he gave up four earned-runs. Manaea worked 5.2-innings giving up four runs (all earned) on 10 hits. He struck out two and walked one while allowing one home run. Manaea did not figure in the final decision.
- The A’s relief corps was roughed up in the game. Hendriks gave up two runs, Coulombe was charged with a blown save and Simon Castro took the loss for giving up the game winning home run to Flores.
- Newcomer Blake Treinen was credited with a hold.
- Starter Zack Wheeler gave up five runs (all earned) on seven hits in 5.0-innings of work. He struck out six and walked four batters while giving up two home runs. He did not figure into the final decision.
- The trio of Mets relievers — Smoker, Edgin and Robles — did not give up a run to the A’s in the final four innings of the game.
- Hansel Robles (6-1) was the pitcher of record when Flores hit the game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth and he was credited with the win.
The A’s and Mets will meet on Sunday for the third and final game of the series. Oakland will send RHP Daniel Gossett (1-5, 5.79 ERA) to the mound to face RHP Rafael Montero (1-6, 5.40 ERA) who will start for the Mets. Game time is 10:10 a.m. PDT.