Oakland A’s Jed Lowrie smashes a tenth inning double at Progressive Field against the Cleveland Guardians on Tue Aug 10, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Oakland A’s (65-48) and the Cleveland Indians (55-56) played another hard-fought game Tuesday night at Progressive Field. The teams played three competitive contests when the Indians were in Oakland last month. Two of the three games were decided by one run. Tuesday’s game was no exception as the A’s won 4-3 in ten innings.
The story of the game was the performance by the A’s bullpen. The A’s starter Sean Manaea had a tough time adjusting to the heat and humidity in Cleveland Tuesday night. Manaea seemed to be having trouble gripping the ball. Sean worked one and 2/3rds innings and gave up three runs, and allowed five hits. He threw 69 pitches. A’s manager Bob Melvin had to go to the bullpen. Burch Smith gave the A’s 3 and 1/3 rd innings and allowed one hit. The bullpen held the Indians hitless the rest of the way. The A’s came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the game 4-3 in ten innings.
The Indians put one on the board in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, shortstop Amed Rosario reached on an infield single. Manaea struck out Jose Ramirez for the second out. Designated hitter Franmill Reyes walked to send Rosario to second base. Left fielder Harold Ramirez singled to center to drive in Rosario with Cleveland’s first run of the night.
The A’s tied the game in the top of the second. Back-to-back doubles by Josh Harrison and Sean Murphy knotted the score 1-1. The tie didn’t last long as Cleveland plated two runs in their half of the second. Owen Miller started the rally with a single. Manaea walked catcher Austin Hedges to put men on at first and second with no out. Manaea got second baseman Ernie Clement to hit into an unusual 6-4-5 double play. Elvis Andrus threw Clement’s hard-hit grounder to Josh Harrison for the first out. Harrison had no play at first but alertly threw to Matt Chapman, who tagged out Miller for the second out. Myles Straw, who gave the A’s fits when he played for the Houston Astros, doubled to left field. Mark Canha did not field the ball cleanly, and that allowed Clement to score from first. Canha was charged with an error. Bob Melvin decided it was time for a change. Burch Smith was the new A’s pitcher. Smith struck out Franmill Reyes for the third out. The Indians led 3-1 after two.
The A’s right-fielder, Seth Brown, took Indians’ starter Triston McKenzie deep in the top of the fourth to make it a 3-2 game. Brown’s home run traveled 413-feet over the wall in right-center-field.
The A’s tied the game in the eighth. With one out, Starling Marte singled to get the rally going. With Matt Olson at the plate, Marte stole second. It was his 30th steal of the year. Olson followed with a sharp single to right. Marte rounded third and was heading home when he realized the throw home would have mailed him. He slid in safely, just barely beating the throw from the catcher. Jed Lowrie’s ground out drove in Marte with the tying run.
The A’s won the game in the 10th. With Elvis Andrus at second, and Matt Olson at the plate, the Indians gave Matt an intentional walk. Jed Lowrie, hitting about .360 with runners in scoring position, doubled to left to drive in Andrus with the A’s fourth run of the night. Lefty reliever, Andrew Chafin, earned his first save of the year, shutting down Cleveland in the bottom of the tenth. The A’s win 4-3.
Game Notes and Stats: The A’s won their fifth game in a row Tuesday night. They are 9-2 in their last 11 games and are now 65-48 for the season. The Indians are 55-56 for the year.
The story of the night was the bullpen. Burch Smith, A.J.Puk, Yusmeiro Petit, Sergio Romo, Lou Trivino, and Andrew Chafin allowed one hit after the second inning.
The A’s recalled A.J.Puk from Tripe-A Las Vegas. To make room for him on the roster, they designated for assignment J.B.Wendelken.
The game lasted three hours and forty-eight minutes. Thirteen thousand forty-one fans watched the A’s beat the Tribe.
Game two of the three-game series will be at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Wednesday. Frankie Montas will go for Oakland, and Cal Quantrill goes for Cleveland. The game will start at 4:10 pm.