Kemp comes through again with 7th inning hit to score run that stands up in A’s win over M’s 2-1 at Coliseum

James Kaprielian deals as the Oakland A’s starter allowing two hits in seven innings against the Seattle Mariners at the Oakland Coliseum on Wed Sep 21, 2022 (@Athletics photo)

Seattle (81-67). 1. 4. 1

Oakland (55-94). 2. 6. 0

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–At game time, your (for the time being) Oakland Athletics had played 148 games this season. They needed to win nine of the 14 remaining contests to avoid losing 100 for the year. There is just a hint of a glimmer of hope that they might achieve this.

They’d gone 5-12 in September in spite of their wonderful victory over the apparently playoff bound Seattle Mariners last night.

The A’s managed to increase their slim chances of avoiding the infamy of triple digit loss column when they won a thriller, 2-1.

They sent right hander James Kaprielian to the mound with a record of 3-9, 4.70. Hidden in those doleful digits is his disappointing, to say the least, numbers for his last six starts, 0-4, 5.76 and an opponents’ batting average of .283, higher than the BA of any of the Athletics’ hitters with more than a handful of at bats.

After throwing the first pitch of the night at 6:42, Kaprielian showed that the past isn’t always a reliable indicator of future performance. After yielding a two out single to Haniger in the first and a base on balls to Cal Raleigh in the second, Oakland’s starter didn’t allow a Mariner to reach base safely until there were two away in the top of the sixth when Julio Rodríguez touched him for a clean single to center.

Kaprielian ended up hurling seven frames of two hit ball, striking out six and walking one. 62 of his 93 pitches were considered strikes. He earned the win and improved his numbers to 4-9, 4.43.

Toeing the rubber for the M’s was veteran southpaw Robbie Ray. The 30 year old portsilder came to work at 12-10, 3.72, which is consistent with his lifetime mark of 74-68, 3.96. Against the A’s, he was 1-1, 2.41 for ’22 and 2-1, 2.30 for his career.

Although Ray experienced some trouble with his control in the opening frame, he stymied the A’s offense for xx innings, allowing only three hits and an equal number of walks before being relieved by Erik Swanson . Ray threw 101 pitches, 63 of them qualifying as strikes. The game was a scoreless tie when he exited, so the M’s starter’s won-lost record remained 12-10, but his ERA dropped to. 3.60.

The two teams traded goose eggs for six and a half episodes. In the bottom of the seventh, Erik Swanson took over on the mound for the M’s and walked leadoff hitter Jordán Díaz. Vimael Machín pinch hit for Sheldon Neuse and whalloped a double to left that sent Díaz to third.

When the ball got away from Winker, Díaz scored on the error. Cristián Pache then singled to right, sending Machín to third and Swanson to the showers. His replacement, Andrés Múñoz fanned Allen but surrendered an RBI single to Kemp before retiring the side with the A’s ahead 2-0.

AJ Puk pitched the top of the eighth in relief of Kaprielian. Kemp, who had moved from left field to second base, made a tremendous catch in shallow right to capture pinch hitter Sam Haggerty pop fly for the second out of the inning, but Chad Pinder’s leap at the right field fence wasn’t enough to prevent Luis Torres’s pinch hit homer from going into the stands and close the gap between the teams to 2-1.

Diego Castillo put Oakland down to a conga beat in the eighth, and Domingo Acevedo came on for the A’s in the ninth to try to nail down what had become a reprise of last night’s cliff hanger.

Julio Rodríguez led off with a bouncer to the mound that got past Acevedo and died before Kemp could field it. That infield single was wiped out by the tailor made 6-4-3 double play that Acevedo induced from Ty France.

The count on Mitch Haniger went to 3–2 before Acevedo struck him out to give the Athletics their second straight win and keep alive their hopes for 99 or less loss season.

Swanson was charged with the loss, making his balance sheet for the season 2-1, 1.49. Acevedo earned his fourth save in seven opportunities and lowered his earned run average to 3:34.

Tomorrow afternoon at 12:37 the Mexicalense Adrián Martínez (4-5, 5.77) will try to complete the trifecta. His opponent will be George Kirby (7-4, 2.98).

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