Let’s Play Two Day in Oakland: Game One Athletics crush the Astros 11-1

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Khris Davis hits 100th Rbi of 2017 Photo: Jordan Chapin Sports Radio Service

by Charlie O. Mallonee and Jordan Chapin

“Let’s play two” is the baseball quote made famous by the late, great Ernie Banks. The problem is for most baseball fans is they really have no idea what Banks was referring to when he made that famous statement.

Sure, most baseball fans have heard about day-night doubleheaders where one game is played in the afternoon then the stadium is cleared and the second game is played several hours later as a night game. Of course separate tickets are required for each game.

On Saturday, the Astros and Athletics scheduled a “twin bill” the old fashion way. The first game started at 1:05 p.m. and the second is scheduled to start approximately 45-minutes after game one is over. And, only one ticket is required to see both games.

As Bill King would say, “Holy Toledo!”

Game One

The Athletics needed a strong pitching performance from their starter Daniel Gossett because the pitching staff would be taxed playing a minimum of 18 innings on Saturday. Gossett was trying to bounce back from a less than stellar start last Sunday in Seattle that lasted just 3.2-innings and resulted in Gossett recording his eighth loss of the season.

The problem for Gossett has been the way opponents hit off him after they see him one time through the order. The batting average against Gossett the first time through the order is just .211. The batting average against Gossett jumps to .356 after that first time look at his pitches.

Gossett struck out four Astro hitters and gave up no runs on two hits in the first two innings. In the top of the third, Gossett issued back-to-back walks and the A’s dugout began holding their breath. Gossett then retired Bregman, Altuve and Correa to get out of the inning.

Gossett was able to come out to start the top of the seventh inning but he walked the first batter and Bob Melvin came to the mound to take him out the game. Melvin no doubt had some words of praise for his starter as well. Gossett (4-8,5.02) pitched 6.0-innings giving up just one run (earned) off five hits. He struck out seven and walked just three. The 99-pitch effort by Gossett was most definitely a “quality start”.

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Daniel Gossett exits the game in the 7th inning Photo: Jordan Chapin Sports Radio Service

The Athletics also exploded for 11 runs against the Astros. Houston starter Charlie Morton (11-7, 3.86) was expected to be a real problem for the A’s hitters on Saturday. Morton gave up a double to the Athletics leadoff batter Marcus Semien in the first inning and then proceeded to record three consecutive strikeouts. It looked like it might be a long day for the A’s.

The Athletics (61-80) broke through for three runs off Morton in the second inning and never looked back in the game. The A’s put three more runs up on the board in the sixth inning and then broke the bank with a five-run eighth inning that forced the Astros to use J.D. Davis ā€” an infielder ā€” to close out the game on the mound.

The powerful Astros (86-55) were not able to generate anything on offense. The scored only one run off their five hits.

On the hill

Oakland

  • The A’s relievers did their job in game one holding up their starter Gossett by putting up the coveted “Goose Eggs” in their three innings of work.
  • Ryan Dull and Simon Castro not only allow zero (Goose Eggs) runs in three innings of relief but they allowed not no hits and just one base runner via a walk. That is the perfect scenario for a bullpen to preserve a win.

Houston

  • The Astros pitchers were their own worst enemies in game one of the doubleheader. As a staff they issued 13 base-on-balls and struck out 12.
  • Houston pitchers walked in five of the 11 runs they gave up to the Athletics in game. That will give managers and pitching coaches ulcers and nightmares.
  • The Astros gave up 11 runs on just 11 hits to Oakland

In the batter’s box

Athletics

  • The “2 Matts” had another big game for the A’s. Matt Olson 2-for-3 with a double, two walks and two runs scored. Matt Chapman was 1-for-4 with two runs, one Rbi, one walk and one triple.
  • Boog Powell enjoyed his day with the bat going 2-for-4 posting two Rbi to go with three runs scored.
  • Khris Davis posted his 100th Rbi to become the first Athletic to have back-to-back 100-plus Rbi seasons since Miguel Tejada accomplished that feat in 2002-03.
  • A’s batters walked 13 times in the game and struck out 12 times ā€” that is bat control.

Astros

  • Frankly there are not many highlights for Houston. They were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Houston left six men on base.
  • The big blow for the ‘Stros was Alex Bregman’s double in the fifth inning that drove home the only run for Houston.
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Marisnick goes down on the back end of a 5-4-3 double play Photo: Jordan Chapin Sports Radio Service

Postgame note

Astros catcher Juan Centeno started the game but had to leave the contest in second inning when he took a bat off the back of the head from a hard swing by Matt Joyce. He is being evaluated for a possible concussion.

Orioles 12 runs, 20 hits & a win; A’s lose as Manaea goes only 1/3 of an inning

 

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Bob Melvin after the 12-5 loss on Manaea and more

A’s fans did not see this one coming

The Baltimore Orioles sent 11 men to the plate and Sean Manaea to the showers in the top the first inning on Saturday night in Oakland. Manaea was no mystery to the O’s hitters who roughed him up for six runs (all earned) on six hits in 1/3 inning of work.

RHP Michael Brady – who was just recalled from Nashville by the Athletics – took over for Manaea with one out in first inning. He gave up one run when he gave up a two RBI-double to the Orioles shortstop Tim Beckham (one run was charged to Manaea). After 1/2 inning of play, Baltimore led Oakland 7-0.

The A’s made some noise of their own in the bottom of the first. Newcomer Boog Powell picked up a leadoff walk. Chad Pinder struck out and Jed Lowrie grounded out. That brought Khris Davis to the plate to face RHP Dylan Bundy. Davis hit the first pitch from Bundy over center field wall for a two-run home run – his 32nd of the season. After one inning of play, the Baltimore led Oakland 7-2.

The Athletics held the Orioles scoreless in the top of the second inning. Rookie Matt Olson led off the bottom of the second for the A’s. He took the 1-0 pitch from Bundy over the right field wall on a line drive for his sixth home of the year to make a 7-3 game. The crowd of 29,742 fans started coming to life because it looked like the Athletics might make a game of it after all.

The Orioles began to dash the hopes of the Oakland fans in the top of the fourth inning. Joey Rickard led off and was hit by a pitch. Tim Beckham hit a double that moved Rickard to third. With two out and runners at second and third, the veteran Adam Jones singled to left-center field and drove the runners home to give Baltimore a 9-3 lead over the Athletics.

The A’s made some noise in the home half of the eighth inning with Orioles third pitcher of the game Miguel Castro on the mound. Ryon Healy led off with a single to right. With one out, Matt Chapman doubled to left moving Healy up to third base. Catcher Bruce Maxwell hit a sacrifice fly to center field that brought Healy home from third and moved Chapman up to third. Marcus Semien singled to right to drive Chapman in from third to make it a 9-5 game in favor of the Orioles. At that point, A’s fans felt like their team still had a chance to comeback in the game.

The Athletics went with their only left-handed reliever – Daniel Coulombe – to face the O’s in the ninth. The Orioles were not kind to Coulombe as they scored three runs on five hits (including three doubles). When the top half of the inning was over, Baltimore held a commanding 12-5 lead which would ultimately be the final score of the game.

The Orioles scored 12 runs on 20 hits. The committed one error and left nine runners on base. The A’s put up five runs on 10 hits. They played error free baseball and also left nine men on base.

Time of the game was 3 hours and 20 minutes.

In the batters box

Bal Jones vet hitting
Veteran Adam Jones went 3-for-5 at the plate*

Oakland

  • Khris Davis had a 2-for-4 game that included a home run (32) and two RBI (83)
  • Matt Olson showed his power with home run number six and RBI number 12
  • Matt Chapman went 2-for-3 with two doubles (12), one run and one RBI
  • DH Ryon Healy was 2-for-5 and scored a run
  • The A’s were just 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position

Baltimore

Bal Beckham Maxwell
The A’s saw way too much of Beckham on Saturday*
  • Tim Beckham continues to hit at another level since joining the Orioles. He went 4-for-5 in this game with three doubles (12), scored three runs and posted three RBI (45). Beckham extended his hitting streak to 12 games. There have to be some general managers asking how did we overlook him at the trade deadline?
  • The veteran Adam Jones had a 3-for-5 night at the plate and recorded three RBI. He also scored a run.
  • First baseman Chris Davis who has been struggling going just 1-for-14 on the current road trip had 2-for-4 night that included two RBI.
  • The O’s scored 12 runs without the benefit of hitting one home run in the contest. They did hit eight doubles in the game. Many of those extra-base hits banged off the walls.
  • As a team, Baltimore was 9-for-18 with runners in scoring position

On the hill

Oakland

  • It was a nightmare for starter Sean Manaea who takes the loss and falls to 8-7 on the season. He gave up six runs (all earned) on six hits in 0.1 innings of work. His ERA now stands at 4.59
  • Michael Brady worked hard coming into a very difficult long relief situation early in the game. He worked 5.1 innings giving up three runs (earned) on seven hits. Brady struck out five Orioles and walked none
  • Liam Hendriks worked a scoreless 1.1 innings
  • Josh Smith did not allow a run in his one inning of work
  • Daniel Coulombe allowed three runs (earned) on five hits in one inning of relief

Baltimore

BAL Dylan Bundy
Dylan Bundy struck out 10 A’s hitters on his way to the win
  • Dylan Bundy got the win and improves to 12-8 on the season. It was an odd win by the numbers. He pitched 6.0 innings giving up three runs (earned) on seven hits including two home runs which accounted for all three runs. Bundy walked three and struck out 10 (the second time his has struck out that many in his career)
  • Darren O’Day worked a perfect seventh inning
  • Miguel Castro lasted just 0.2 innings giving up two runs on three hits to the A’s in the eighth inning.
  • Mychal Givens (a converted infielder) closed the game giving up no runs or hits in his 1.1 innings on the hill

Up next

The Orioles and Athletics will conclude their four-game series on Sunday at the Coliseum beginning at 1:05 pm PDT. Baltimore will start RHP Jeremy Hellickson (1-1, 2.08) while Oakland will send RHP Kendall Graveman (2-3, 4.97) to the mound for the home team.

*Photos USA TODAY Sports