Los Angeles Angel designated hitter Shohei Ohtani takes a few warm up swings on the on deck circle in preparation in facing Oakland A’s reliever Jake Diekman in the top of the seventh inning at the Oakland Ring Central Coliseum in Oakland on Fri Sep 17, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Barbara Mason
After winning their series with the Kansas City Royals the Oakland A’s traveled to southern California to take on the Los Angeles Angels in a three game series.
Cole Irvin was on the mound for Oakland and Jhonathan Diaz started for the Angels. Irvin has a 3.97 ERA and Diaz comes in with a 10.80 ERA.
The A’s took the early lead 2-0 in the second inning and Los Angeles answered with four runs in the same inning leading 4-2. Suzuki had a solo home run in the second inning to start off the scoring for the Angels.
The A’s would score a run in the third inning to pull to within one 4-3. The A’s had the bases loaded in the fifth inning and came up empty. This was a great opportunity squandered by Oakland and is something that they have struggled with this season. Leaving runners stranded has been a sore spot for the team.
In the sixth inning the A’s would take the lead 5-4 and win it in this closely contested ballgame.
After going six innings Cole Irvin was relieved by Jake Diekman in the seventh inning. Oakland needed the bullpen to step up and protect the slim lead. It was a three up, three down for Diekman.
With two innings left in the game the A’s needed an insurance run or two to take this first game of the series.
The Angels threatened in the eighth inning but a brilliant throw from Starling Marte to Matt Chapman tagged Kean Kong out at third for the third out of the inning.
Sergio Romo would take the mound to try and close out this game for Oakland. The A’s would hang on for their 80th win of the season. It was a very nice outing for the Oakland bullpen. There were no long balls for the A’s in this one but some great defensive play which salvaged this game for the A’s Game Two is scheduled for 6:07.