Melvin Still Searching for Win 1,000 After A’s 6-3 Loss to Twins

July 28, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics pitching coach Scott Emerson, left, meets with Daniel Gossett, right, and Ryan Lavarnway (30) during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Friday, July 28, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Matthew Harrington

OAKLAND–When the Oakland Athletics beat the New York Mets 3-2 Sunday in the Big Apple for manager Bob Melvin’s 999th career managerial win, few would have thought the story line for 1,000 would last more than a few days. And yet, Melvin still remains on the door step of one of the round numbers baseball pundits so adore heading into the weekend.

The latest bit of bad luck the Green and Gold have endured in a now-5-game losing streak came Friday night at the Coliseum with the A’s falling to the free-falling Minnesota Twins 6-3 after Daniel Gossett  (2-6) gave up 5 runs in 3 2/3 innings of work. Jaime Garcia (5-7), making his debut with the Twins after coming over in a July 24th trade, gave up three runs but struck out seven in his 6 2/3 innings.

It was evident for the first inning that Gossett’s control was off, allowing a two-out double to Max Kepler before escaping unscathed. The first three batters of the second inning reached base, but a relay throw from Rajai Davis to Adam Rosales to catcher Ryan Lavarnway cut the runner down at home plate. The next batter, Ehire Adrianza would single home a run for a 1-0 Minnesota lead.

The fourth inning would be Gossett’s worst, and last, inning of the night. The rookie making his ninth career start got Robbie Grossman out to open the inning, but then gave up back-to-back singles to Zack Granite and Adrianza. Jason Castro plated Granite with a double to left, and Brian Dozier followed it up with a single to score Adrianza for a 3-0 Twins lead.

The disparaging blows came with the pitcher-catcher battery at the center. First, Gossett uncorked a wild pitch that scored Castro and moved Dozier over to second, then Miguel Sano hit an infield single to short that Dozier appeared too greedy on after Sano drew the throw at first. The power-hitting second sacker turned around third base heading for the plate, with Ryon Healy sending a throw well ahead of the runner to home plate. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway couldn’t hold on to the ball, with Dozier tagging the plate with the loose ball closer to his possession that the A’s backstop for a 5-0 lead.

Lavarnway atoned in the bottom of the inning after coming to the plate with Khris Davis (Double) and Jed Lowrie (walk) on base and no outs. Lavarnway doubled to the gap in right field, knocking in two runs.

The A’s and reliever Frankie Montas couldn’t deliver on a shutdown inning though after Castro picked up a second RBI double. Khris Davis knocked in a run on an RBI single in the bottom of the inning, but the Twins bullpen would hold the lead for the win.

Melvin sends Chris Smith, the 36-year-old reliever turned starter without a win since 2008 to push the skipper into the quadruple-digit win club. Smith will be making his fourth start of his career Saturday after making 62 appearances as a reliever, with all but 49 coming before or during the 2010 season. Minnesota counters with Adalberto Mejia.

 

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