Photo credit: @Athletics
By Matthew Harrington
Frankie Montas came one out away from pitching his first career complete game, finishing the night with 10 strikes on four hits with two earned runs to give the Oakland A’s (21-25) its 14th consecutive win against the Detroit Tigers 7-2 at Comerica Park Friday. Mark Canha and Chad Pinder each hit two-run home runs and Khris Davis went 3-for-4 with an RBI single to hand the Motor City Kitties their fifth loss in as many games. Miguel Cabrera and Josh Harrison knocked in the runs for Detroit (18-25)
Montas and Tigers starter Daniel Norris were trading zeros through the first three innings, but a Matt Olson fielder’s choice with runners on first and third in the top of the fourth plated the A’s first run. Canha added two runs on his fifth homer of the year in the top of the fifth when Norris’ 1-0 fastball caught nothing but the heart of the plate and the head of Canha’s bat for a 3-0 lead.
The Tigers after a pair of doubles from Miguel Cabrera and Josh Harrison manufactured a run in the bottom of the fifth. Montas hit Dewal Lugo with a pitch to put runners on second and first with one out, but consecutive groundouts bailed Montas out of a jam in his best start of the year.
Olson hit a single that, combined with a fielding error by center fielder JaCoby Jones, brought in a run in the top of the sixth. Pinder would knock losing pitcher Norris (2-2, 4.50 ERA) out of the game a batter later, taking him deep on a full-count offering for a 6-1 lead. Davis would single in a run against Sandy Baez in the top of the eighth for the A’s seventh run.
Montas (5-2, 2.67 ERA) came out to start the ninth, the first time he’d done so in his career, but be greeted by a single from Gordon Beckham. He would strikeout Christin Stewart and coax a groundout from Nick Castellanos, but future Hall of Famer Cabrera would not be the last victim of Montas. He doubled off Montas’ 109th pitch of the night, plating Beckham for a 7-2 A’s lead. Lou Trivino would coax a Ronny Rodriguez punchout to end the game.