A’s bats come alive in 7-2 Cactus League win over Giants

The Oakland A’s get the pitching and the hitting past the San Francisco Giants at Hohokam Park in Mesa AZ on Fri Mar 17, 2023 (@Athletics photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Friday, March 17, 2023

MESA, Ariz. – Oakland hammered San Francisco pitching for 14 hits on Friday, as the Athletics defeated the Giants 7-2 in Cactus League play before an enthusiastic St. Patrick’s Day crowd at Hohokam Stadium.

Thus far in spring training, both Bay Area teams are having similar success. The A’s improved to 8-11-2 while the Giants are 7-12-1.

A’s starter James Kaprielian (1-0) worked four innings, giving up an eanred run on five hits and no walks while striking out four. He was followed by Trevor May, Domingo Acevedo and Chad Smith, who combined for four strikeouts over three scoreless innings. Drew Steckenrider surrendered a run in the eighth.

“Last year, we did a lot of matching up and tried to give the guys in the bullpen their best chance for success,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said about the Athletics’ bullpen plans. “We haven’t determined roles, per se, but our philosophy is that the bullpen is all about getting outs.”

Ross Stripling went five innings in his second start of the spring for San Francisco, giving up four earned runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts and no walks. Stripling has a Cactus League ERA of 6.75. Scott Alexander and Tyler Rogers each threw a scoreless inning.

Oakland opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when Seth Brown singled to right-center, driving in Aledmys Diaz. Brown, who was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double, is batting .304 this spring after getting off to a slow start.

The Athletics made it 3-0 in the bottom of the second on a two-RBI single to left-center by Cristian Pache, driving in Conner Capel and Jace Peterson. Pache was hitting .423 in his last 15 games going into Friday. He’s tied for the CL lead in triples with two.

Joc Pederson’s single to center drove in Bryce Johnson to put the Giants on the board. Pederson is going through the process of learning first base after spending his career as an outfielder and designated hitter. He played centerfield for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic.

Tony Kemp’s run-scoring single to right-center in the bottom of the fourth plated Ramon Laureano, giving the A’s a 4-1 lead. Kemp had been struggling with a .100 average, but also has a .367 on-base percentage, thanks to eight walks and a hit-by-pitch.

The Giants cut the Oakland lead to 4-2 in the eighth on Brett Auerbach’s RBI single to center, scoring Johnson, who reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Oakland catcher Kyle McCann. Auerbach, originally a Colorado Rockies 40th round draft choice, is hitting .250 with four runs batted in.

Oakland tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the eighth – two on RBI singles by Brent Rooker and Ryan Noda off Giants reliever Mauricio Llovera, and a groundout by Denzel Clarke after Melvin Adon replaced Llovera.

CACTUS LEAGUE NOTES: The Athletics’ average time of game this spring has been 2:47, compared to 3:07 a year ago. Across MLB, the average time of game has been 2:36, compared to 3:03 last spring. … Oakland has stolen 22 bases, second in the Cactus League behind Cincinnati (28). … This was the second of four spring training meetings between the Giants and A’s – the last two are March 26 in Oakland and March 27 in San Francisco. … Attendance for the St. Patrick’s Day contest was 10,190.

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