A’s Irvin goes six innings in 2-1 win over O’s; Smallest crowd since 1980 for A’s home game

Oakland Athletics’ Cristian Pache falls after catching a ball hit by Baltimore Orioles’ Kelvin Gutierrez during the second inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Tue Apr 19, 2022 (AP News photo)

Baltimore. 1. 8. 1

Oakland. 2. 7. 1

Tuesday April 19, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s (7-5) and the Baltimore Orioles (3-8) started playing games with each other well before 6:41 this evening, when Cole Irvin threw his first pitch against Baltimore’s Cedric Mullins fouled off Cole Irvin’s first offering to open the game with a strike..

The morning was over before the birds’ skipper Brandon Hyde announced who would take the mound for his team. For days the A’s had announced Cole Irvin as their probable, but early this afternoon TBD took the place of the A’s lefty on the cyber scoreboards. Then, at around 3:00 o’clock, Irvin miraculously appeared in Oakland’s lineup as reported by MLB.

Baltimore’s eventual starter, 29 year old right hander Chris Ellis, wasn’t even on the roster distributed in the press box before the game.

The Orioles obtained him on waivers from Tampa Bay in August of 2021. He went 1-0,2,16 in the 21-1/3 innings over seven games he pitched for Baltimore that year and was a non-roster invitee to this year’s spring training. He was called up from Norfolk today and held Oakland scoreless for 4-1/3 innings on four hits, striking out two while walking three. He threw 62 pitches, 37 for strikes.

When the last of the 3,748 fans in attendance had left, Oakland had struggle through to a 2-1 victory, bringing the team’s record up to 7-5. It was Oakland’s smallest attendance since Sep 20, 1980 when they drew 3,180.

By the time Baltimore’s rookie hurler took the mound, his teammates had staked him to a one run lead on Anthony Santander’s, Ryan Montcastle’s double to left center, and Trey Mancini’s RBI ground out to second.

The veteran Irvin lasted only a bit longer than Ellis and didn’t pitch as well. He lasted five frames and was lucky to have surrendered only that first inning run.

He never showed command and was saved from disaster by two outstanding outfield plays, a leaping catch at the wall by center fielderCristián Paché and a nice grab in right by Billy McKinney.

The A’s starter was touched up for six hits while walking two and fanning three. It took him 95 pitches to get through those five innings, but 62 of those pitches counted as strikes (of course, if the bat makes contact with the ball, it’s considered a strike)

Ellis was replaced by Mike Baumann; Irvin, by Zach Logue.

Bauman couldn’t hold the lead he inherited. After first base umpire and crew chief Greg Gibson’s safe call at first on a ground ball hit to the mound by McKinney was, correctly, reversed on appeal, Christian Bethancourt singled to left center, moved up a notch when Andrus drew a walk, and scored, as did Andrus, on Seth Brown’s double to right center.

After that inning and two-thirds, Bauman was through, having given up two runs, both earned on two hits and a walk on 29 hits, 16 of which were considered strikes. Félix Baustista took over in the bottom of the seventh, and Cionel Pérez followed him an inning later, allowing a couple of base runners but preserving the margin between the rivals at a run..

Logue, for his part, threw a spotless sixth but gave way to Ryan Castellani with one out in the top of the seventh after surrendering a single to Mulllins and a walk to Santander at the top of the order.

In the top of the eighth, with Castellani still on the mound, Paché made another fine catch, robbing Austin Hays of at least extra bases in left center for the first out. Castellani closed out the frame by inducing ground outs by Ramón Urías and Robinson Chirinos.

When Rougned Odor was announced to pinch hit for Gutiérrez, manager Kotsay countered by sending in Sam Moll, which caused Hyde to have RyanMcKenna pinch hit for Odor. McKenna struck out, but Mateo singled to center, leaving Moll to face the top of the batting order.

Moll got Mullins to wiff for the second out, at which point, Kotsay called on Zach Jackson to face the switch hitting Anthony Santander. Jackson came through, earning the save, his first, by striking out Santander.

The win went to Logue, giving him a record of 1-0, 0.00, and Baumann, now 1-1, 6.23 was charged with the loss.

The starting time for tomorrow’s game, originally scheduled for 6:45, has been changed to 3:15 due to impending weather conditions. There has been no announced change to the probable starting pitchers, righty Jordan Lyles (0-1 ERA 5.23) for the Orioles and lefty Daulton Jeffries (1-1 ERA1.93) for the A’s. But, as the stride piano philosopher Thomas Waller observed, “One never knows, do one?”

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