Photo credit: @NBCSAthletics
By Jerry Feitelberg
SAN FRANCISCO–The Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants played a very entertaining game Tuesday night in the Battle of the Bay. The Giants’ Madison Bumgarner was on the top of his game as he went seven innings and allowed just two hits. The only mistake he made was a gopher ball to Stephen Piscotty in the fifth inning. Bumgarner looked like he has regained the form that made him an All-Star. The A’s starter lefty Brett Anderson pitched well enough to win. He went six innings and allowed two runs and six hits. The Giants had to hang on in the ninth as the A’s scored a run and left the bases loaded as they fell 3-2 to the Giants at Oracle Park.
Both teams played well, and the outcome was in doubt right up to the last out in the ninth. Both teams are in the hunt for a playoff berth, and it felt like it was a playoff game. The Giants evened their record at 60-60, and the A’s fell to 67-52
The A’s drew first blood in the top of the fifth. Madison Bumgarner, who gave up a bloop single to Marcus Semien to start the game, had retired 14 in a row before Stephen Piscotty unloaded his 12th dinger of the year to give the A’s the lead 1-0 midway through the fifth. The Giants failed to score in the bottom of the fifth.
The Giants broke through in the bottom of the second to score two runs. With two out, Anderson gave up three consecutive double to Buster Posey, Evan Longoria, and Kevin Pillar. The Giants lead 2-1 heading into the seventh.
The A’s went down in order in the seventh. A’s manager Bob Melvin, brought in left Jake Diekman to pitch. Anderson’s line was six innings pitched, and he allowed six hits and two runs. The Giants scored a run without the benefit of a hit. Diekman walked Aramis Garcia and Brandon Crawford to start the frame. Bumgarner laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Garcia scored when pinch-hitter Scooter Gennett hit a sacrifice fly to center. A’s centerfielder Mark Canha made a sensational catch to rob Joey Rickard to end the inning. The Giants lead 3-1 after seven.
In the top of the ninth, the A’s loaded the bases with one out. Giants reliever Will Smith struck out Matt Olson for the second out, With the crowd on their feet and screaming, Smith walked Canha to force in a run. The A’s now trail 3-2. Smith struck out Chad Pinder to end the game.
Game Notes: The A’s Brett Anderson dropped to 10-8 for the year, and the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner improved to 8-7. Bumgarner has looked like the pitcher of old in his last ten starts. Will Smith earned is 29th save of the season. The Giants are 46-6 when Smith appears in a game.
Up Next: The A’s will conclude the two-game set with the Giants on Wednesday. Homer Bailey will go for Oakland, and Tyler Beede will be on the hill for the Giants. Game time is at 12:30 pm.