A’s Semien belts grand slam leads A’s to victory in Game One of the Bay Bridge Series with the Giants 8-5

August 1, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

by Jerry Feitelberg

Oakland- There was a huge crowd on hand at the Oakland Coliseum Monday night to watch the A’s play the San Francisco Giants in the first of the home and home four-game series. The A’s and the Giants played a very entertaining game as the A’s found a way to send the Giants down to defeat as Oakland won by a score of 8-5.

The A’s sent righty Paul Blackburn to the mound Monday night. Sonny Gray was supposed to start, but he was traded to the Yankees just before the trade deadline expired. Blackburn pitched into the seventh inning. He went six and 1/3rd innings and allowed five runs and eight hits. The A’s bullpen did the job and was able to preserve the win for Blackburn. The Giants’ Matt Cain pitched just five innings, and he allowed six and just two runs. Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy removed after the fifth inning as he was very close to the 100-pitch limit.

The Giants drew first blood in the top of the first inning. With two out, Brandon Belt doubled to right field. Buster Posey singled to drive him in with the first run of the game. The lead didn’t last long as the A’s scored twice in their half of the inning. Cain walked Matt Joyce who was leading off for Oakland. Semien singled to put men on at first and second with no out. Jed Lowrie followed with a single to drive in Joyce with the tying run. Semien moved to third on the play. Semien scored when Khris Davis lined out to deep left field. The A’s lead 2-1 after the first inning.

The Giants regained the lead in the fourth. With one out, the Giants hitters came through with four consecutive singles to tally two runs and lead 3-2.  The attack featured singles by Posey, Crawford, Jae-Gyun Hwang, and Carlos Moncrief. For Moncrief, it was his first hit in the big leagues and his first RBI. Blackburn retired Hundley and Hernandez to end the threat.

In the bottom half of the sixth inning, the A’s regained the lead. Lefty Josh Osich was now pitching for the Giants. He walked A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell to start the inning. Rajai Davis, pinch hitting for Jaycob Brugman, doubled to left to put men on at second and third. Osich walked Matt Joyce to load the bases. Bochy decided to replace Osich with righty George Kontos. It turned out to be a fateful decision as Semien sent a Kontos fastball over the fence in left-center field for a grand slam. It was Semien’s fourth homer of the year and the second grand slam of his career, and it propelled the A’s into a 6-3 lead.

The Giants rallied in the seventh to drive Blackburn out of the game. The Giants put together four hits and plated two more runs. Carlos Moncrief led off the inning with a double. He then made a blunder on the base paths as he took off for third on a ground ball that went directly to Blackburn. Blackburn threw to Semien, and they tagged Moncrief out after a short rundown. Nick Hundley reached on the fielder’s choice. Gorkys Hernandez and Denard Span singled to drive in Hundley. Brandon Belt Singled to drive in Span. Liam Hendriks was now pitching for the A’s, and he had to face the Giants’ best hitter, Buster Posey. Hendriks won the battle as he was able to strike Posey out.

The A’s score two more in the bottom of the eighth to give them a three-run cushion heading into the ninth inning. A’s manager Bob Melvin called on Blake Treinen to close out the game, and after giving up a single to Hundley, he was able to retire the next three Giants to preserve the win for Blackburn and earn his first save as a member of the Oakland Athletics. The A’s win 8-5.

Game Notes- First of all, as mentioned earlier, the A’s traded pitcher Sonny Gray for three prospects. The A’s obtained outfielder Dustin Fowler, pitcher James Kaprielian, and shortstop/outfielder Jorge Mateo. Fowler is recovering from a knee injury, and Kaprielian had Tommy John Surgery and won’t be available to next year. Mateo is playing in Double-A ball and is tearing up the league. The A’s also announced that they traded super sub, Adam Rosales, to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The A’s activated Chad Pinder from the 10-day DL. Pinder had been out since June, 23rd due to a strained left hamstring. Pinder was inserted into right field in the ninth inning, and he made a tremendous running catch to help the A’s win. Kendall Graveman will pitch for Oakland Thursday night. Graveman has missed a substantial amount of time due to a shoulder injury.

Oakland hit three doubles, the fourth consecutive game in which the A’s have hit at least three. It was the second time this year that they have hit three doubles in four consecutive games.

The A’s improved to 48-59 while the Giants drop to 40-67. Blackburn was the winning pitcher, and he is 2-1. Josh Osich took the loss, and he is 3-2.

Time of game was three hours and 26 minutes. The A’s had the second largest crowd of the season as 38,391 watched the Green and Gold beat the Orange and Black.

Game Two of the series will be at the Oakland Coliseum Tuesday night at 7:05 pm. Sean Manaea ( 8-5, 3.82 ERA ) will pitch for Oakland, and the Giants will have former Athletic Jeff Samardzija ( 5-11, 4.85 ERA ) will handle the pitching chores for San Francisco.

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About rxslugger

Retired pharmacist who now has a career as a sports writer and broadcaster

View all posts by rxslugger

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