Aces fall to Washington 87-86; Vegas’ second straight loss

Las Vegas Aces forward Dearica Hamby (5) takes a shot that is rejected by Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne (11) at the Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas in first half action on Sat Jun 25, 2022 (AP News photo)  

Aces Fall to Washington 87-86

By Barbara Mason

Saturday night the Las Vegas Aces (13-4) took on the Washington Mystics (12-9) at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas and the Aces came away with their second straight loss 87-86. It was the first time the Aces have lost multiple games this season.

The Aces are coming off a disappointing loss to Chicago 104-95 Tuesday night. The Sky came back from 28 points down, the largest comeback in WNBA history. Las Vegas does didn’t want to repeat anything even remotely close to that. They were looking to get back on the winning track.

Saturday night game recap: The Aces won the first quarter 22-20. The Mystics would prove to be a very real challenge. Las Vegas led at one time in the second quarter by seven points but the Mystics erased that lead and led at the half 46-40. Washington had won the second quarter 26-18.

Both teams battled through the third quarter as Washington continued to lead after three 63-60. The Aces won the third quarter 20-17 but still trailed in this game.

With four minutes left in the game Las Vegas trailed 75-72. The Aces were able to tie the game with 7.7 seconds left on the clock. Chelsea Gray tied the game when she hit from downtown. The game was tied at 83 at the buzzer and this game went into overtime. The Aces couldn’t hold on and lost by three points in favor of the Mystics. A tough loss for the Aces.

Las Vegas had opportunities but couldn’t take advantage of them in overtime. Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young each had 20 points. A’ja Wilson had 14 rebounds and 17 points. The Aces had 16 steals yet they were unable to pull this game out. This is the second meeting for the Aces facing the Mystics and they had lost each time. The first time in Washington losing 89-76 on May 10th.

The Aces hope to bounce back Monday night when they take on the LA Sparks. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM PT.

Giants knock 4 home runs, Webb in control, snap three game losing streak in 9-2 win

Thairo Estrada of the San Francisco Giants while rounding the bases after hitting his sixth home run of the season against the Cincinnati Reds in the bottom of the fourth inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Sat Jun 25, 2022 (AP News photo)

Cincinnati (24-47). 2. 5. 0

San Francisco. (39-32) 9. 9. 1

By Lewis Rubman

SAN FRANCISCO–About the only bright spots in Friday night’s disappointing San Francisco Giants (39-32) loss to the Cincinnati Reds (24-47) were Evan Longoria’s solo home run shot and the sterling three innings of no run no hit relief turned in by Yúnior Marte, recently called up from Sacramento.

Saturday’s fray offered plenty of them, including solo home runs by Evan Longoria, Thairo Estrada, and Joc Pederson as well as a three run roundtriper by Wilmer Flores which led to a Giant landslide of runs defeating the Red s 9-2 at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

They complimented an outstanding performance by the Giants’ starter, Logan Webb, who brought his large inventory of deliveries to the mound when he toed the rubber at 4:15. He used his arsenal of four seam fastballs, sliders, changeups, cutters, and sliders to good effect.

Webb was in command today, hurling six innings without allowing an earned run He yielded only two hits and two walks while striking out six. He threw 97 pitches, 55 for strikes, on his way to his seventh win against two losses and lowering his ERA to 3.04 in the process.

Mike Minor, the Reds’ starter, was on the Kansas City Royals’ injured list when last year’s season ended, and, after being acquired by Cincy late in the off season, was unable to pitch in the bigs until June 6. He came into today’s contest at 1-3,6.97, and had a career record against San Francisco of 3-3, 4.04 with an opponent’s batting average of .227.

He lasted only five innings, in which he threw 96 pitches, and 35 of those were balls. Another three went to home runs, accounting for three of the six runs, all earned, Minor allowed. He walked two and struck out four, taking the loss that brought his season’s record to 1-4, 7.71.

The Giants lost a chance to grab an early lead in their half of the first. Austin Slater led off with a single to left. After Wilmer Flores went down swinging, Joc Pederson dropped a fly that landed just inside the left field foul line that umpire Andy Fletcher called foul.

His ruling was overturned on review, but Pederson, who had stopped running had to remain on first while Slater occupied third. Cleanup hitter Darin Ruf promptly grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, raising the question, which is a pitcher’s best friend, a twin killing or poor officiating?

The Reds’ lucky streak continued in the top of the second, when Webb was touched for an unearned run . With Mike Moustaskas, who had walked, on first and two out, Albert Almora, Jr., hit a bounder to third that Longoria dropped, picked up, and dropped again, allowing Almora to reach first and Moustakas to move up to second. Nick Senzel drove the lead runner in to give the Rheinlanders a 1-0 lead.

Longoria quickly made amends for his costly error, taking an 80 mph knuckle curve 411 feet deep into the left field bleachers. After Mike Yastremski flew out to center, Thairo Estrada gave the fans in the left field bleachers another present, a 375 foot blast off a 91 mph four seam fastball that gave the home team a 2-1 advantage.

The orange and black resumed their relentless attack in the third inning. Slater opened the frame with a full count walk and mtored to third on Flores’s double to deep left. Both runners held on Pederson’s ground dout to second. Ruf’s single to left brought in while Flores moved on to third and then scored on Longoria’s sacrifice fly to center. It now was 4-1 San Francisco.

The Giant offensive continued in the home fourth, Minor issued a full count lead off passport to Estrada, who, with one away, stole second and, one out later, legged it home on Tommy LaStella’s double to right ccnter, upping San Francisco’s lead to four runs.

The Giants extended that lead further in fifth, thanks to Joc Pederson’s 17th round tripper of the year, a 420 foot monster shot that bounced high off the right side of the batter’s eye in centerfield to lead off the inning. It came on an 0-1 countand off an 88 mph four seamer.

Jared Solomon relieved the ineffective Minor at the start of the Giants’ sixth. He didn’t do any better than his predessor. He retired Estrada, his first batter, but walked Wynns and LaStella before striking out Slater. Then Flores took him deep, 379 feet into the left center field bleachers for his ninth dinger of the year. Dauri Moreta followed him in the Giants’ seventh and retired the side in order.

Tyler Rogers put the Reds away 1,2,3 in the seventh before giving way to Sam Long for the eighth. Cincinnati hit him hard. Aramis García led off with a single to right but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

With two out, Brandon Drury connected with an 84 mph change of pace and sent it to the third or fourth row of the left center field bleachers, 360 feet from the plate. In spite of a single to the well booed Tommy Pham, Long escaped without further damaged, and San Francisco still was ahead, 9-2.

Ron Detwiler was on the bump for the Reds when the Giants came to. bat for the last time in their half of the eighth. He put them down in order on a bakers’ dozen of pitches.

Ahead by seven runs after eight innings, Kapler and Company stayed with Long for the Cincinnati ninth.

The rubber game of the series will start tomorrow at 1:05. Tyler Mahle (2-6, 4.57) will handle the pitching chores for the visitors and Anthony DeScalafani (0-1, 7.71) will be on the mound for the Giants.

Oakland Breaks Four Game Losing Streak defeat Kansas City 9-7

Nick Allen (2) of the Oakland A’s takes off for home on a Jonah Bride RBI single in the top of the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Sat Jun 25, 2022 (AP News photo)

Oakland Breaks Four Game Losing Streak defeat Kansas City 9-7

By Barbara Mason

Saturday afternoon the Oakland A’s (24-49) took on the Kansas City Royals (26-44) in game two of they’re series. The A’s lost game one Friday 3-1. They struggled on offense and never really got going in this game.

The A’s got up on the scoreboard early in this game. Seth Brown hit a single in the first inning driving in Tony Kemp. Sean Murphy grounded out and Ramon Laureano scored for the 2-0 lead.

The A’s would extend their lead in the third inning. Brown grounded out and Kemp would cross home plate for the second time in the game, now leading 3-0.

The Royals got on the board when Bobby Witt Jr. hit a solo home run to left. They trailed in this game 3-1.

The A’s would add more runs in the fourth inning. Nick Allen doubled driving in Elvis Andrus followed by Jonah Bride who singled and Allen scored. Oakland now had a 5-1 lead.

Kansas City added another run in the fourth inning. Cam Gallagher doubled bringing home MJ Melendez and Carlos Santana. Oakland still led but the Royals were making a push. In the sixth inning Cam Gallaher doubled for a second time in the game and Michael Taylor scored. The A’s were clinging onto a 5-4 lead.

Oakland got some insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Sean Murphy singled in the seventh driving in Seth Brown and in the eighth inning Tony Kemp hit a home run with Nick Allen on base. The A’s had a nice 8-4 lead going into the bottom of the eighth.

The Royals pulled the carpet from underneath the A’s in the eighth inning. Michael Taylor hit a homer with two runners on base negating the nice lead that Oakland had. Again Oakland had a slim one run 8-7 lead.

Sam Moll came in for Oakland and didn’t even last the eighth inning. He walked three and allowed the Michael Taylor home run. Lou Trevino took over on the mound trying to get out of the inning without further damage. Trivino had a good inning and it was on to the ninth inning.

The A’s got an insurance run in the ninth inning. Christian Bethancourt scored on a Dylan Coleman wild pitch to take a 9-7 lead. The A’s were three outs away from a win. Trevino would remain in the game trying to to close this one out.

Oakland had to fight to the end in this game. It was a 3 hour and 46 minute marathon. Lee Trevino saved the game breaking their four game losing streak. The A’s had 14 hits in this game with some nice offense.

First pitch in Game Three is schedule for 11:10 AM at Kauffman Stadium. James Kaprielian (ERA 5.98) will take the mound for the A’s. Brady Singer (3-2, 4.34) will get the nod for the Royals.

NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Matt Harrington: Avalanche could put it away Sunday; Lightning with a chance to tie series in game six

Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) is congratulated in game 5 after scoring a second period goal against the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, Friday, June 24, 2022, at the Ball Center in Denver (AP News photo)

On the NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Matt:

#1 The Colorado Avalanche came into game 5 Friday night thinking that with a win they would be able to hoist the Stanley Cup on their home ice after taking a 3-1 lead. It was not to be as the Tampa Bay Lighting scored a goal in each of the first, second and third periods to come away with a 3-2 win and to stay alive for another game.

#2 The Lightning’s Ondrej Palat scored the game winner in the third period at 6:22 and Tampa Bay was able to defend keeping the Aves out of their net for the one goal win.

#3 Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 35 shots and looked like he was back in old form again shutting out the Avalanche in the first period while allowing one goal in each of the second and third periods.

#4 The Lightning also got goals from two reliable sources Nikita Kucherov and defenseman Jan Rutta which proved to be a total team effort by the Tampa Bay for the win.

#5 Game 6 is on deck in Tampa Bay this will give the Lightning a chance to tie the series on home ice or the Avalanche a chance to put it away on the road at Amalie Arena.

Join Matt throughout the NHL Stanley Cup Finals for coverage at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

California Classico postponed tonight due to power outage at Stanford

by Marko Ukalovic

PALO ALTO-Calif. — The California Clasico featuring the San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy at Stanford Stadium, originally scheduled to be played tonight at 7:00pm, has been rescheduled to Saturday, September 24. Stanford University has been experiencing a power outage due to an equipment failure caused by the nearby Edgewood Fire.

“We were informed by Stanford University that the issues they are experiencing on campus this week are going to prevent the California Clasico from taking place Saturday,” said Earthquakes President Jared Shawlee. “We appreciate Major League Soccer and the LA Galaxy for swiftly coming to an agreement on a rescheduled date that would allow us to keep this match and all its pageantry at Stanford Stadium. We are looking forward to putting on a spectacular event for our community in September.”

All tickets purchased for the match will carry over to the future date. Tickets will be eligible for a refund for the next 30 days at the original point of purchase. More information about the rescheduled date, including kickoff time and broadcast information, will be announced later.

San Jose returns to action on Sunday 7/3 when they host the Chicago Fire at 6:00pm at Pay Pal Park.

Reds Ashcraft goes 8 innings against Giants to end 7 game losing streak in 4-2 win

The Cincinnati Reds Nick Senzel slides into the glove of San Francisco Giants catcher Curt Casali in top of second inning action at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Fri Jun 24, 2022 (AP News photo)

Cincinnati (24-46). 4. 7. 0

San Francisco. (38-32). 2. 6. 2

Friday, June 24, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

SAN FRANCISCO–In the morning of June 17, before the start of the first of a seven game trip that would see them play in Pittsburgh and Atlanta, the Giants were in the third place, at 35-27, four and a half games behind the Dodgers in the race for the National League Western Division title.

When the sun rose this morning, they still were in third but, at 39-31, now trailed Los Angeles by five and a half games. While not a disaster, it was not a good swing through the east for boys from the bay.

When tonight’s festivities had ended and the team had absorbed its 4-2 loss, the Giants’ record was 38-32. The Dodgers beat the Braves tonight in Atlanta, so San Francisco’s now is six and a half games behind the division leaders.

Their opponents in tonight’s contest, the first of a three game weekend series, the Cincinnati Reds, at least afforded fans of the orange and black a bit of schadenfreude; the Rheinlanders came to a Oracle Park at 23-26, trailing the Milwaukee Brewers, leaders of the NL Central, by a whopping 15-1/2 games.

There is, however, at least one bright spot in the sorry picture the Reds present. He is Graham Ashcraft, a 24 year old rookie right handed pitcher who came to town sporting a record of 3-1,3.57 for the woebegone cellar dwellers.

He features, in descending order of frequency, a cut fastball, slider, sinker, and change of his pace. He was Cincinnati’s starting pitcher Friday night. One of the fielders behind him (at least in certain shifts) was recent Giant second baseman, now Reds third sacker, Donovan Solano, making only his eighth appearance since recovering from a hamstring injury that had kept him on the IL almost all season long.

Facing him for the Giants was Alex Cobb, who took the mound at 3-2, 5.62. In his last start, which came five days ago and was his first since coming off the injured list, the Pirates got to him for two runs, both earned and coming from solo homers, on four hits, striking out two.

Although San Francisco lost that game, it was a no decision for the 34 year old right hander. Cobb usually throws two types of fastballs-a two seamer and a four seamer- a curve, and a change of pace. He threw his cutter effectively tonight.

Before the game began, the Giants announced that Zack Littell had been optioned to Sacramento. Replacing him on the active roster was fellow right handed reliever Yúnior Marte, who was recalled from the River Cats.

Cincinnati took an early lead. With one out in the top of the second, Kyle Farmer hit a ground ball to Brandon Crawford, whose throw drew Brandon Bell off the bag at first. It was scored as a hit. Mike Moustakas promptly drove in Farmer with a double to right center, and, after Albert Amora, Jr., struck out, Nick Senzel’s double down the left field line plated Moustakas.

That brought up Aramis García, who sent a soft grounder to Crawford. García beat the throw to first, but Belt´s throw home caught Senzel trying to advance two bases on the play. That ended the inning, with the home team down by two.

Evan Longoria cut Cincinnati’s lead in half in the bottom of the fourth. He did it with a two out blast over the fence, just to the left of the 391 foot sign in center field. It came off an 89 mph slider and was the third baseman’s sixth roundtripper and 13th RBI of the year.

The Reds came roaring back in their next at bat. Senzel started the frame by reaching first on catcher’s interference. After García flew out to center, Jonathan India walked, moving Senzel to second. The two pulled off a double steal while Solano was at the plate.

The ex Giant followed by sending a slow grounder to Crawford, whose errant throw home allowed Senzel to score, upping Cincinnatí´s lead to 3-1 and ending Cobb’s labors for the day. John Brebbia struck out Pham, much to the delight of Joc Pederson’s fans in the crowd, walked Votto and retired Farmer on a line drive to third that ended the inning.

Cobb had lasted four and a third innings and had given up three runs, two of them earned, although better fielding might have prevented one of them. He surrendered five hits. and a walk, striking out three. 55 of his 80 pitches counted as strikes. He would take the loss, making him 3-3, 5.48 for the season.

Jake McGee followed Brebbia to the mound at the start of the sixth. Moustakas greeted him with a resounding double to left and moved up to 90 feet from home on Almora’s ground out to second. Senzel drove him in with a. line single to left on which Ruf wisely decided not to attempt a circus catch. A strikeout and a fly to center later, the frame. had ended but the gap between the teams had widened to three runs, 4-1.

The freshly recalled Yúnior Marte faced the Reds in their half of the seventh and stayed on to repeat the feat in the eighth. He shut the Redlegs out in the ninth but had to face four batters to do that because he hit García with a pitch.

After setting down 10 Giants in a row, Ashcraft began to tire in the bottom of the eighth. Wilmer Flores, pinch hitting for Walton, led off with a single to center and advanced to second. on Curt Casali’s single to left.

The rookie pitcher still managed to start a 1-6-3 double play before yielding a run producing single to Yastrzemski before Ruf just missed driving the ball out of the park with a fly to the Visa sign in right center that Senzel corralled at the fence.

One time Giant Hunter Strickland came in to pitch the ninth for Cicinnati and earn the save, his third in three opportunities. The Giants’ hopes stayed alive when, with two down in the frame, Longoria walked to bring the potential tying run, inj the person. of Crawford to the plate. But the Strickland struck him out to drive the final nail in the coffin for the night.

Ashcraft had given a very impressive performance in his eight full innings of labor. He held San Francisco to two runs, both earned, on six hits, one a four bagger. and no walks. He struck out eight batters, throwing 104 pitches, of which only 34 were balls, in the process. He now boasts a record of 4-1, 3.27).

The series continues Saturday afternoon at 4:15pm PDT. Cincinnati will send southpaw Mike Minor (1-3, 6.97) against the Giants at the right handed hurler Logan Webb (6- 2,3.26).

NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Len Shapiro: Lightning strikes twice Bolts get second win to stay alive 3-2; Aves with series lead 3-2

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) scores against the Colorado Avalanche and gets congratulated by Mikhail Sergachev (98) and Steven Stamkos (91) at the Ball Center in Denver in game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on Fri Jun 24, 2022

On the NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Len:

#1 The Colorado Avalanche came into game 5 Friday night thinking that with a win they would be able to hoist the Stanley Cup on their home ice after taking a 3-1 lead. It was not to be as the Tampa Bay Lighting scored a goal in each of the first, second and third periods to come away with a 3-2 win and to stay alive for another game.

#2 The Lightning’s Ondrej Palat scored the game winner in the third period at 6:22 and Tampa Bay was able to defend keeping the Aves out of their net for the one goal win.

#3 Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 35 shots and looked like he was back in old form again shutting out the Avalanche in the first period while allowing one goal in each of the second and third periods.

#4 The Lightning also got goals from two reliable sources Nikita Kucherov and defenseman Jan Rutta which proved to be a total team effort by the Tampa Bay for the win.

#5 Game 6 is on deck in Tampa Bay this will give the Lightning a chance to tie the series on home ice or the Avalanche a chance to put it away on the road at Amalie Arena.

Join Len throughout the NHL Stanley Cup Finals for coverage at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Oakland Loses Another One to KC 3-1; A’s on four game skid

Oakland A’s catcher Stephen Vogt throws his bat after striking out in the second inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Fri Jun 24, 2022 (AP News photo)

Oakland Loses Another One to KC 3-1

By Barbara Mason

Friday night the Oakland A’s (23-49) took on another struggling team In Kansas City, the Royals (26-43). Oakland is coming off three straight losses against Seattle at the Oakland Coliseum.

Cole Irving took the mound for Oakland. He pitched 5 2/3 innings and did have a good game but it wasn’t enough as the A’s failed to give him any run support in the 3-1 loss at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

He has not won a game since April 24th. Something that he rarely does is allow more than a single home run in a game but Kansas City’s Edward Olivares did exactly that hitting one in the third inning and a second in the fifth inning.

The Olivares home run in the third inning gave Kansas City the early lead 1-0. In the fourth inning Seth Brown hit a single and drove Tony Kemp home to tie up the game 1-1.

Olivares’ second home run gave the lead back to the Royals in the fifth inning 2-1. The Royals solidified the win in the sixth inning when Carlos Santana singled driving Hunter Dozier home.

Zach Greinke pitched for Kansas City back with the Royals handing the A’s their fourth loss in a row.

Oakland had six hits in the game but but only managed the one run in the fourth inning. They could not string hits together and that has been a problem for the team all season. Seth Brown and Sean Murphy each had two hit games for the A’s.

Oakland will play game two of this series at 1:10 PM tomorrow afternoon. On the mound for the A’s will be Jared Koenig (1-2, 6.59) who had a great game in his last outing with a much improved ERA at 6.59. His last win was Sunday beating the Royals 4-0. Kansas City will start Brad Keller (2-8, 4.30).

Oakland A’s podcast with Jeremiah Salmson: A’s open three game set with Royals in Kansas City tonight

The Oakland A’s Sheldon Neuse slides in at home plate in the bottom of the first inning to score the A’s only run of the game against the Seattle Mariners at the Oakland Coliseum on Thu Jun 23, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the A’s podcast with Jeremiah:

#1 Jeremiah, Oakland A’s pitcher Frankie Montas left little doubt that he’s a front line pick for the July trade deadline. Montas went eight innings and threw a no hitter for 7.2 innings against the visiting Seattle Mariners on Thursday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum.

#2 Montas has been keeping opponents off balance all season long with his brand of pitching. Opposing teams know that they’ll have their hands full when they face him.

#3 The pair of wild pitches by reliever AJ Puk in the top of the ninth that allowed the tying run and go ahead run had to be one of Puk’s worst meltdowns this season?

#4 It also had to be a tough afternoon for A’s reliever Zach Jackson who loaded the bases for Puk and he ended up taking the loss because he was responsible for the runners left on base.

#5 The A’s open a three game series with the Royals tonight the A’s will start Cole Irvin (2-4, 3.14) he’ll be opposed by the Royals Zack Greinke (0-4, 5.05) this ball game is underway at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Join Jeremiah Fridays for the A’s podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s pen melts down in ninth hands M’s 2-1 win; Montas’ excellent pitching performance goes to waste

Oakland A’s starter Frankie Montas (47) pitched a gem but was lifted after eight innings of work against the Seattle Mariners at the Oakland Coliseum on Thu Jun 20, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–A couple of baseball adages apply to Thursday afternoon’s game between the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland A’s. The first adage is the one that says the winning team has to record 27 outs.

The second adage says good teams find ways to win, and bad teams find ways to lose. The A’s found a way to lose on Thursday that had the fans booing the team after the game. The A’s Frankie Montas had his best outing of 2022.

Montas held the M’s hitless until two outs in the top of the eighth. The M’s broke up his no-hit bid with two singles. Montas retired J.P.Crawford for the final out in the eighth and left the game with the A’s ahead 1-0.

All the bullpen had to do was get three last three out to preserve the win for Montas. What happened in the top of the ninth left A’s fans shaking their heads. The A’s bullpen issued four walks and two wild pitches to give the M’s two runs without the benefit of a hit. Seattle managed just two hits in the game and won 2-1 to sweep the three-game series.

The A’s plated a run in the bottom of the first. A’s third baseman Sheldon Neuse led off with a single. M’s starter Robbie Ray retired the next two hitters. A’s DH Sean Murphy walked to send Neuse to second. Cristian Bethancourt followed with a single to drive in Neuse with the run.

There was a scary moment in the “s half of the fifth. Sheldon Neuse hit a slow grounder to M’s third baseman, Abraham Toro, with two out. Toro’s throw to first appeared to hit the first baseman Ty France in his midsection.

France dropped to the ground in agony. After, the M’s medical staff got him back on his feet. France was unable to continue. Dylan Moore replaced him at first base. Neuse was ruled safe on the play. Robbie Ray retired Jonah Bride for the third out. The A’s lead 1-0 after five.

Montas continued his excellent outing into the top of the eighth. Frankie retired the first two hitters he faced. The next hitter, M’s second baseman Adam Frazier, hitting .221, singled to left to break up Montas’ no-hit bid. M’s catcher Luis Torrens followed with a single to put Frazier into scoring position. Montas retired J.P.Crawford for the third out. The A’s still had the lead 1-0 after eight innings.

Things got a bit hairy in the top of the ninth. A’s manager Mark Kotsay called on righty Zach Jackson to pitch. Jackson committed the cardinal sin of walking the leadoff hitter in the ninth. He retired Julio Rodriguez for the first out. Jackson’s control was slightly off as he walked Jesse Winker, which sent Moore into scoring position. Jackson struck out Eugenio Suarez for the second out.

The A’s brought in A.J. Puk to face Kevin Padlo. He walked Padlo to load the bases. Seattle tied the game on Puk’s wild pitch to Abraham Toro. Puk walked Toro on a 3-2 pitch. The ball got by Christian Bethancourt. Winker scored on the pitch.

The M’s have scored two runs in the ninth without the benefit of a hit. Four walks and two wild pitches. The M’s lead 2-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth. A’s manager Mark Kotsay will probably be criticized for taking Montas out of the game. The A’s bullpen did not do the job. The ways the a’s are going, Montas has to wonder if he has to throw a no-hitter if he hopes to win a game.

The M’s closer, Paul Sewald, retired the A’s in order 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth to secure the win for Seattle 2-1. They swept the three-game series.

Game Notes: The A’s are now 23-48 for the year. They are competing with the Cincinnati Reds for the worst record in baseball. The Reds kept pace with the A’s as they lost to the LA Dodgers 10-5 on Thursday.

The A’s had lost ten consecutive home series for the first time since June 20th, 1916, when they were in Philadelphia. The A’s are 8-28 in their last 36 games. 

The A’s offense continues to flounder. The A’s line was one run, five hits, and no errors. The A’s have scored one run or fewer in 26 of the 71 games played this year. They are last in hitting with a team average of .209. Teams can’t win many games this way.

The A’s starting pitching has an ERA of 4.46 for the season, which is the second-highest in the American League. The bullpen is 1-7 with six blown saves and a 6.61 ERA over the last 25 games. These numbers indicate a team that one can say is not very good.

The A’s are on their way to Kansas City to face the Royals for three games starting Friday night. Lefty Cole Irvin (2-4, 3.14 ERA) will pitch for Oakland. Former AL Cy Young award winner, righty Zach Greinke(0-4, 5.05 ERA), will pitch for K.C. The game will start at 5:10 pm.

The time of the game was two hours and fifty-eight minutes. Eight thousand two hundred seventeen fans watched the A’s hand the M’s a 2-1 win.