photo from mercurynews.com: Oakland Athletics reliever Liam Hendriks (16) throws in the ninth inning of their MLB game against the Boston Red Sox at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2019.
On the A’s podcast with Joey:
#1 The Oakland A’s came away on Saturday with their second straight walkoff win over Cleveland in a narrow 2-1 win. In baseball, the critics once said signs of a good club is one that can come back from behind.
#2 The A’s have improved their home record to 14-9 at the Coliseum and have taken the first two games of this current series with Cleveland.
#3 The Oakland A’s Liam Hendricks, who started the ballgame as an opener, succeeded in striking out a batter, surrendering one hit and pitching one inning the opener concept in this one worked out.
#4 The A’s reliever Aaron Brooks came in the second inning and pitched four innings giving up four hits and striking out four and his game plan worked out in setting the Cleveland order down.
#5 The A’s and Cleveland conclude this three-game series at the Coliseum. Jefry Rodriguez (0-2, 2.41 ERA) he’ll counter against newly recalled Daniel Mengden (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who was just recalled from the A’s triple A affiliate Las Vegas.
OAKLAND — Don’t look now but the Oakland Athletics are on a roll. After beating the Cleveland Indians 3-2 on Saturday, the A’s have now won two consecutive games. They are 4-1 on this homestand versus teams from Ohio — Cleveland and Cincinnati. The A’s record at the Coliseum has improved to 14-9 for 2019.
This fact may come as a surprise to A’s fans — their team has a 5-4 record in the month of May to date. In what has seemed to be an atmosphere of gloom and doom for the A’s recently, in reality, things have actually have been going fairly well. Oakland is no longer in the cellar in the AL West and are just a 1/2 game out of third place.
The “opener” is back
The A’s used Liam Hendricks as an “opener” on Saturday against the Indians. Hendricks pitched one scoreless inning allowing just one hit and striking out one batter. This was the first time Oakland used an “opener” in 2019 while they employed the concept nine times in 2018.
Aaron Brooks took over in the second inning and worked four innings for the A’s. He gave up one run (earned) off four hits. Brooks struck out four Cleveland hitters and walked three. He also allowed one home in the fifth inning to Leonys Martin (6).
Cleveland used just two hurlers
Trevor Bauer made the start for Cleveland and lasted for seven innings. He threw 122 pitches and struck out 10 Oakland batters. Bauer allowed two runs, but neither run was earned. Bauer did not figure into the final decision.
A.J. Cole worked the final 1.1-innings and took the loss.
Cleveland tied it up in the top of the ninth
The A’s held a 2-1 lead as Cleveland came to bat in the top of the ninth inning. Blake Treinen was summoned from the bullpen to close out the game. Well, that is not how things would go for Oakland.
Jordan Luplow led off the inning with a single to left. Mike Freeman laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved Luplow up to second base. Carlos Gonzalez came in as a pinch hitter and struck out swinging. Leonys Martin then hit a single through the hole on the left side of the infield that allowed Luplow to come home and score the tying run.
The A’s walk it off again
With the score tied 2-2, the A’s had the opportunity to end the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. With A.J. Cole on the hill, Matt Olson led off the inning with a walk. Kendrys Morales then singled to center moving Olson up to second base. Stephen Piscotty laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved Olson to third and Morales to second. Ramon Laureano then singled to right field that drove Olson home to score the winning for Oakland.
The A’s are 1-14 when going homerless in a game
Oakland entered the game 0-14 when not hitting a home run a game. The A’s broke that streak today as they beat Cleveland without the aid of a round-tripper. Houston and Seattle have not won a game without hitting a home run.
Chapman loves playing Cleveland
Matt Chapman has reached base safely in his eight career games versus Cleveland. He is batting .483 (14-for-29) with nine runs, five doubles, a triple, three home runs, four RBI, and four walks versus the Northern Ohio team.
The three-game series will conclude on Sunday when Cleveland will send Jefry Rodriguez (0-2, 2.41 ERA) to the mound in search of a win. The A’s will call on Daniel Mengden for the first time this season. The righthanded mustached pitcher has been recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas after making six starts in the minors. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:07 PM.
The Oakland Athletics (6-6) lost their second consecutive game to the Houston Astros on Saturday as they were shutout by a combination of five Houston pitchers. The managed to pick up six hits off the Astros pitching, but only one of those hits was for extra bases.
Oakland went 0-for-5 with RISP and left a total of nine men on base. They struck out seven times and picked up four walks. It was a classic night where strong pitching dominated professional hitting.
Wade Miley made the start for the Astros and worked 5.2-innings. Miley gave up no runs on four hits. He struck out four A’s batters and walked two hitters. Miley threw 95 pitches (56 strikes). He was credited with the win, which was his first for the season.
Will Harris, Josh James, Chris Devenski, and Framber Valdez combined to work 3.1-innings of scoreless relief for the Astros. The four relievers gave up just two hits and walked no Oakland hitters. The relief corps combined for three strikeouts.
Houston Offense (4-5)
Free-agent addition Michael Brantley led the Astros attack with the bat by going 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBI. Brantley hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning which was his second HR of the season.
Yuli Gurriel had a 3-for-4 day with the bat. He added one RBI to his season total.
George Springer went 2-for-4 in the game versus A’s pitching. Springer hit his third home run of the young season off Aaron Brooks in the fifth inning. The round-tripper was a two-run shot.
The Astros scored six runs off 11 hits while leaving six runners on base.
Aaron Brooks really struggled in innings four, five and six. Brooks gave up five runs on nine hits. All five runs were earned. Brooks struck out two and walked out one. He also gave up two home runs.
The A’s used three relief pitchers–Yusmeiro Petit, Liam Hendricks, and Ryan Buchter, combined–to work the final three innings. They gave up no runs off just two hits. The relievers walked one and struck out two Astro hitters.
Brooks was charged with the loss – his first of the season. Brooks record is now 1-1 on the year.
Stephen Piscotty was the A’s leader with the bat. He went 2-for-3 at the plate and picked up the only Oakland extra-base hit. Piscotty also reached base via a walk.
Khris Davis, Chad Pinder, Kendrys Morales, and Mark Canha each picked up a base hit off Houston pitching.
Unfortunately for A’s fans, the Oakland hitters were unable to put those hits together to produce runs.
Manager Bob Melvin reaction after the game was that his team ran up against some great pitching and that is sometimes just too much to overcome. In other words, tomorrow is another day.
The A’s and Astros will wrap up their three-game series on Sunday with a game that is scheduled to begin at 11:10 AM on Sunday morning. RHP Mike Fiers will make his fourth start of the season. His record is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA.
RHP Brad Peacock will make the start for the Astros. It will be his second start of the season. Peacock is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA.