Kemp walks it off with RBI single as A’s edge Angels in 10 innings 5-4

Oakland A’s Tony Kemp (5) swings for a RBI single in the bottom of the tenth scoring the game winning run at the Oakland Coliseum on Mon Oct 3, 2022 against the Los Angeles Angles (AP News photo)

Los Angeles (73-87). 4. 8. 2

Oakland (58-102). 5. 11. 1. 10 innings

Monday, October 3, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–Oakland’s starter for the opening game of this season’s closing series, Adrián Martínez, has, at first glance, some pretty unimpressive numbers. The 25 year old native of Mexicali, who rode the Las Vegas-Oakland shuttle for most of 2022, took the mound at 4-6, 6.08.

Six loses and a no decision over 11 games, all as a starter, isn’t bad for a team like the 57-102 Athletics. But you can’t shrug off a 6.08 ERA by pointing to the team’s collective batting average of .216. Still, Martínez is capable of stretches of brilliant mound work.

In his August 28 start against the Yankees at the Coliseum, he held the 78-49 Bronx Bombers hitless over the first 4-2/3 innings he faced them, leaving after 5-1/3 and gaining his third victory of the campaign. It’s interesting that the Mexicalense entered that game with an earned run average of 6.08, exactly the same as what he brought to the mound tonight, five years later.

When theAthletics had finished off the Angels in a stunning come from behind extra inning victory, Martínez had, once more, started out strongly but faltered in the middle innings. He lasted 4-1/3 frames and gave up four runs, one of which was posthumous, on seven hits and two walks, having thrown 81 pitches, 47 counting as strikes. He escaped with a no decision and saw his ERA rise to 6.24. The pitching star of the game was Jared Koenig, the third hurler the Coliseum Crew called upon.

Before the game began, the A’s announced that Vimael Machín had gone on paternity leave and that fellow infielder Nate Mondou had been called up from Las Vegas to replace him.

Phil Nevin and Company chose another 25 year old to start for the Angels, Patrick Sandoval. The lefty brought a record of 6-9, 3.03 with him. The only Halo starter with a lower earned run average than that is their DH for tonight, Shohei Ohetani. Sanoval has been on a hot streak in his last 10 starts, with an ERA of 2.15 over that. span.

After a little trouble in the early innings, Sandoval grew stronger as the game went on, finishing in grand form. He hurled six innings of shutout ball, in which he held Oakland to five hits, a walk and a wild pitch, striking out six. He threw 97 pitches, 65 of them considered strikes. All he got for his efforts was a no decision that lowered his ERA to 2.91.

The green and gold mounted the first sustained threat of the evening in the bottom of the third, loading the bases with one down before Seth Brown forced Nick Allen out at home on a grounder to third and Sean Langeliers went down swinging to keep the game a scoreless tie.

Martínez’s control deserted him in the top of the fourth. After fanning Otani for the second straight time, he surrendered a double to left to Taylor. He recovered to whiff Anthony Rendon. His first two pitches to Matt Thaiss missed the plate and, rather than risk grooving one to the Halos’ first sacker, the A’s conceded him a walk.

A five pitch unintentional walk to Logan O’Hoppe loaded the bases, and Jo Andell’s grounder got between Clement and Allen on the left side of the infield to bring in Ward and Thaiss. It looked as if the two Oakland infielders may have distracted each other going for the ball.

The visitors tacked on another couple of runs in their half of the fifth. Liván Soto led off with a clean single to left, and, after Mike Trout fouled out to first, Ohtani, laced a two bagger to right to score Soto and send Martínez to showers, replaced by Austin Pruitt.

Ward drove his first offering against the center field wall to drive in Ohtani with the second run of the frame, both of them charged to Martínez. In spite of a free pass to Luis Rengifo, now playing third, Pruitt kept the Angels from enlarging their 4-1 lead.

The Athletics called on Jared Koenig to face the visitors in the top of the sixth. He held them hitless, facing them minimum through the ninth. The only baserunner he allowed came on an error by Allen in the seventh that was erased by a pitcher’s best friend.

Jimmy Herget replaced Sandoval and set the Athletics down in order in the seventh. They finally burst through the shutout barrier in the eighth. Murphy sent Ward to the warning track in right to corral his lead off fly.

Conner Capel pinch hit for Pinder and smacked a liner off Herget’s glove that went for a single. Next up, Brown smacked a triple to right, almost running into Capel on his way to third. Capel scored, making it 4-1, and Langelier’s single to right brought Brown in with the run that cut the Angel’s lead to 4-2. That signalled the end of Herget’s shift.

José Quijada replaced him, which brought Jonah Bride to the plate, hitting for García. Quijada retired him and Pache to quell the uprising.

Ernie Clement led off the bottom of the ninth with a double off the right centerfield wall. Allen worked a full count walk to put the potential tying run on base with no outs. Díaz also worked a full count but swung missed on a high and outside 95 mph four seamer.

The slumping Murphy, his BA down to .248, sent Ward to. the Eva Air advertisement behind the right field warning track to haul down the second out. Now it was Quijada vs. Capel. Capel took a strike, then a ball, then another ball, fouled off a four seamer, and took ball three. Ball four damn near beaned him.

The bases now were loaded with two out in the bottom of ninth, and Quijada had thrown his last pitch. The game’s outcome now depended on Aaron Loup on the mound and Seth Brown at the plate. Brown smacked a single into left, and the game was tied up at four, with the potential winning run on second in the person of Capel.

Langeliers refilled the bases with yet another 3-2 walk to bring up Jonah Bride. He swung at and missed a cutter, 0-1. And then flew out to right to send the game into extra innings.

With Soto at second as the zombie runner, Domingo Acevedo became the Athletics’ fourth pitcher of the night. He struck. out Trout and paid Ohtani the tribute of an intentional walk.Ward flew out to Brown at the left centerfield wall, and Soto motored over to third. Rengifo lined out to second to end the inning.

Zach Weiss entered the fray in the A’s half of the tenth with Bride placed on second. Pache sacrificed him over to third with Tony Kemp in the on deck circle, ready to pinch hit for Clement. He came to the plate and took a strike before sending a hot shot down the first base line that Thaiss couldn’t handle. It went for a hit and brought about a most amazing victory for the home team. It gave you hope for 2023, no matter where the A’s play in 2024.

Acevedo got the win and now is (4-4, 3.38). The loss went to Weiss, now (0-1, 2.19).

Cole Irwin (9-13, 4.11) will start tomorrow evening at 6:40 against the Angels’ Michael Lorenzen (8-6, 4.52).

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