Oakland A’s Matt Chapman (right) gets the force on the Chicago White Sox Yasmani Grandal (24) sliding into second and throws to first base to complete a double play in the top of the fourth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Wed Sep 8, 2021 (AP News photo)
Chicago 1 – 8 – 0
Oakland 5 – 10-1
By Lewis Rubman
Wednesday September 8, 2021
OAKLAND-Tonight’s 5-1 win over the Chicago White Sox snapped the Oakland A’s four game losing streak and kept the their pennant hopes alive for another day. When the game ended, Oakland, at 75-64, trailed Houston by six games in the divisional race and were three games behind the Yankees for the second wild card berth.
The late surging Matt Chapman opened the scoring with his 25th home run of the season, a mighty solo blast on a 80 mph change up off of Chicago’s veteran starter Dallas Keuchel that travelled 402 feet into the left field stands.
Oakland put another run on the board in the fourth when, with one down, Mark Canha ripped a double to left and scored on Yan Gomes’s sharp single to center.
Chicago threatened in the top of the fifth when Leury García led off with an opposite field double on a sharp grounder to left and moved up to third on Brian Goodwin’s line drive single to right. He didn’t score, thanks to a diving attempt by Harrison to snare Goodwin’s liner that prevented García from running full steam ahead to third. Montás got Vaughn out on a caught two strike foul tip, but the Sox made good on their threat with César Hernández´s grounder to first that Olson short-hopped and threw to Gomes at home.
But García beat the throw,which went wildly behind Gomes for a rare E3 that allowed both Goodwin and Hernández to move up a base. Nonetheless, Montás rose to the occasion and retired Luis Robert on a grounder back to the mound and Moncada on a fly to Marte in center. The A’s still led, 2-1.
They added another run in the fifth but ran themselves out of it, which has not recently been an unusual occurence for the green and gold. Andrus led off with a walk and advanced to second on Harrison’s single to left.
After Marte was retired on an infield fly to first, Olson plated Andrus and advanced Harrison to the third. The A’s first baseman got greedy and tried to advance to seond on the throw back to the infield but was put out 7-5-4-3, Vaughn to Moncada to Hernández to Abreu. Chapman struck out to end the inning.
Montás pitched himself out of a pickle of his own making in the top of the six. Abreu reached first on a lead off single to right. Montás then struck out Grandal, but he did it on a wild pitch that allowed Abreu to reach second. The A’s starter responded by striking out Sheets and García to preserve Oakland’s 3-1 advantage.
The Athletics stretched their lead further in the sixth. After a one out single to center by Gomes, Davis flew out to deep center, and Chad Pinder dropped an opposite field triple deep to right, just inside the foul line. That was the end of the line for Keuchel. José Ruiz, his replacement, gave up a single to left by Andrus that drove Pinder home. Pinder´s run closed the book on Keuchel for the night.
His line was 5-2/3 innings pitched, during which he allowed five runs, all of them earned, on eight hits and a walk. Of his 94 offerings, 63 were strikes. Then Ruiz retired Harrison on a fly to warning track in left.
Having thrown 94 pitches, Montás still came out to face Chicago in the seventh. He set the Chisox down to a conga beat, that is, one, two, three, which is what Ruiz did to the A’s in the seventh.
It would be up to the A’s bullpen to keep Montás´s valiant start from going to waste. The 28 year old righty had hurled seven frames and allowed but a single run, earned but just barely, on six hits, two walks, and wild pitch. He struck out seven of the Pale Hose and throwns 105 pitches, 67 for strikes.
Left hander Andrew Chafin replaced him to open the Chicago eighth and kept the conga line moving with another 1-2-3 inning, although Moncada’s fly to left for the second out took Canha well into the warning track.
It was Mike Wright, Jr, who toed the rubber for Chicago in the home eighth, and that was the end of the conga line, thanks to Canha’s lead off single to center. But nothing came of that.
The A’s brain trust elected to stick with Chafin to finish off the Chisox in the ninth. Although they got to him with a pair of singles, Chafin came through, keeping the Chicagoans off the board.
The well-deserved win went to Montás, whose record now is 12-9, 3.57. Keuchel, now 8-9, 5,33 took the loss. There was no save.
Thursday afternoon at 12:37, Chicago righty Reynaldo López (3-1, 2.08) will match his talents against the A’s batters and their left handed probable starter, Sean Manaea (8-9, 3.91) in the series finale.
Break in attempt at Diekman home: A’s pitcher Jake Diekman had a break in attempt as his family was threatened by a 23 year man who threatened to shoot Diekman’s wife Amanda and two year old daughter. Diekman was not home at the time. Diekman and his wife have filed a restraining order against the man who turned out to be a neighbor of Diekman’s.
Diekman was told that the man had a history of mental issues and that the authorities could not hold him and that an order to arrest him could not be served as he has right under being a mental patient. Diekman said that the justice system is not there to protect him and his family and others in his neighborhood.
Diekman is in touch with MLB security and that something is in the works to have security protect the family at the home from his neighbor as authorities say there is not much they can do to protect the Diekman family.
Diekman this year for the A’s is 3-2 ERA 3.29 in 57 games.