The Toronto Blue Jays Marcus Semien gets the water treatment from teammates after hitting a three run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to hand the Jays a win over the Oakland A’s at Rogers Centre in Toronto (AP News photo)
Former A’s Semien Beats Oakland 11-10
By Barbara Mason
Friday evening the Oakland A’s took on the Toronto Blue Jays in a race for the Wild Card. Both teams are in the running and so this game was equally important for both of them.
Sean Manea was on the mound for the A’s and Alek Manoah got the nod for the Blue Jays. Both of the teams were desperate for wins to keep pace in this race to October.
The A’s got right down to business in the first inning. Josh Harrison and Starling Marte both had hits. Matt Chapman doubled in the inning driving in Harrison and Marte giving the A’s an early 2-0 lead.
Things were quiet in the ensuring innings until the fourth inning. The Blue Jays would tie up the game off a home run by Teoscar Hernandez allowing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to score. The A’s would have to get to work to take back the lead.
There were some fireworks and not the kind that produce hits and runs in the fifth inning. To be correct there were plenty of hits but not off the bat. Josh Harrison was hit and following that Starling Marte was hit in the head. So back to back hits and not the kind that we like to see. Marte would stay in the game for the inning. When Olson doubled Harrison and the speedy Marte both scored to take a 4-2 lead.
In the sixth inning Tony Kemp would have a bit of a dirt in the eye issue that brought out the medical crew. He went on to hit a home run, the eye wash doing it’s job scoring Canha and extending their lead 6-2.
There would be more scoring for Oakland in the seventh inning. Matt Chapman would single driving Matt Olson home. Tony Kemp would single in the same inning driving home Jed Lowrie. Now leading 8-2 the A’s had control of this game.
As we have seen in the A’s last two games, you cannot let your foot off the pedal. Going into the eighth inning Sean Manea had seen seven great innings.
Manea should have pitched the eighth inning. Lou Trivino came in to relieve and walked three, and walked in a run to top it off. Gurriel Jr. would come to the plate with the bases loaded and hit the home run that would tie this game 8-8. It was more of the same for the A’s. They have done this the past few games. They have a healthy lead and the relief pitching has let the team down. It would be up to the offense of Oakland to dig them out of this mess.
It was Mark Canha to the rescue hitting a desperately needed home run driving in Matt Olson and taking back the lead 10-8.
That lead did not last very long. Again the Oakland pitching undid everything that the offense worked so hard to achieve. Sergio Romo continued to throw sliders over and over and it was not working. He allowed hits by Valera and Springer followed by a home run by Marcus Semien and that was the ball game 11-10.
I don’t know what you do about some of this horrific relief pitching and the closers. There will be no post season for this team if this goes on much longer. They wouldn’t get past the Wild Card if they even get that far. What a let down after such a great offensive effort, especially the brilliant pitching by Sean Manea.
They will take another shot tomorrow taking on the Jays in Game Two. First pitch is at 12:07.