A’s run in ninth edges Reds 5-4 to avoid sweep at Coliseum

Oakland Athletics’ Esteury Ruiz hits the game-wining RBI single against the Cincinnati Reds during the ninth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Sun Apr 30, 2023 (AP News photo)

Cincinnati 010 003 000 – 4 12 1

Oakland. 200 100 101- 5. 9. 1

Time: 2:48.

Attendance: 18,271

Sunday, April 30, 2023

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–The Las Vegas Athletics’ (6-23) farm team in Oakland went into today’s encounter with the Cincinnati Reds 12-16) with several dubious distinctions on the debit side of its balance sheet. They were tied for fourth place for the worst record after 28 games in major league history since 1901.

That includes the Federal League but not the Negro Leagues that have achieved posthumous big league status. They set the MLB record for most losses in April. Here the proviso is that opening day used to be April 15. The 226 runs their pitching staff had allowed were the most in major league history in a season’s first 28 games with the exception of the 1923 Philadelphia Phillies.

The Elias Sports Bureau reports that the A’s starting pitchers, with their 0-15, 8.68 records hold the record for longest winless streak to open a season in the history of the major leagues. The starters also had the highest ERA in the show, almost 2-1/2 runs higher than the Red Sox’ woeful rotation.

The bullpen’s ERA of 6.95 was a little better than the starters’ but still managed to be highest in the majors. The relievers are MLB’s worst in save percentage, is tied for least saves, and tied for second in blown saves. The Athletics also are tied for second worst in fielding percentage. Oh, and did I mention that Oakland’s team batting average is .227? It’s not at the very bottom of leader board, but it barely reaches mediocrity.

That’s why this afternoon’s 5-4 walk off win was such a surprise.

Ken Waldichuk (0-2, 7.82 at game time) represented this woeful crew on the mound. The 25 year old lefty, who came to the A’s last August in the deal that sent Frankie Montás and Lou Trivino to the Bronx, was opposed another southpaw, sophomore Nick Lodolo, 2-1, 6.31 this year and 6-8, 4.26 lifetime.

Oakland went ahead early. With two out and the bases empty, Brent Rocker, one of the few bright spots on the roster, singled to right and the up and down Jesús Aguilar brought him home with an authoritive 428 foot blast over the State Farm sign in left center field for his fifth home run of the season and a 2-0 Athletic lead.

In an all too familiar scenario, the Reds cut that advantage in half. Nick Senzel’s second round tripper of ’23 landed in the stairs separating the Coliseum proper from the seats at the base of Mt. Davis. It came off a hanging curve.

Rooker restored the A’s two run margin all by himself by leading off the hoe fourth with a 411 foot drive to left that just stayed fair. The curve he hit came in at 80.4 mph and left at 112 mph. It was his eighth home run and 21st RBI. Seeing number 25 trotting around third and heading towards home brought back memories.

Cincy threatened in the fifth. Matt Reynolds led off with a fly that dropped safely between Smith and Ruíz . José Barrero followed with a single to left that sent Fairchild to third, after which Barrero stole second. With two out, Waldichuk plunked Spencer Steer to clog the base paths. The A’s starter wiggled out of the jam by getting Fairchild to fly out to center.

The visitors surged ahead in their next turn at bat. With one away, Ramos singled to left and went to second on a similar hit by Senzel. Reynolds flew out to center for the second out, and that ended Waldichuk’s day’s work. Domingo Acevedo came on and yielded a particularly ugly single to TJ Friedl, pinch hitting for Barrero.

Fried smacked a liner up the middle that bounced off Acevedo, who unwisely decided to throw to first. The ball sailed into foul territory, and Ramos sailed all the way home, Senzel raced to third, and Friedl ended up at second on the error. Kevin Newman rubbed salt in Oakland’s wounds with an RBI single to right before Steer lined out to third. Cincinnati now lead, 4-3.

Waldichuk managed to escape with a no decision. In his 5-2/3 innings of work, he allowed three runs, all earned but one posthumous He walked one batter and hit another, struck out seven, and allowed six hits, one for the distance.

He threw 91 pitches, 59 for strikes. Acevedo, who followed Waldichuk was charged with a blown save. Adam Oller and Sam Moll kept Cincinnati off the board, and Zach Jackson pitched an heroic top of the ninth to get the win .

Lodolo also departed the scene early in the day. He lasted five frames and surrendered three tallies, all. earned. He gavee up five hits and hit one batter. Two of the hits he allowed left the park He struck out seven and, like Waldichuk, a no decision. 49 of his 70 offerings were considered strikes.

Rooker’s sac fly to left in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded reknotted the score. Peterson had led off with a ssafety to left center, been sacrificed to second by Kevin Smith and gone to second and then to third on Laureano’s infield hit.

The Reds almost won it in the top of the ninth. Newman led off the frame against Jackson with a single to left, and Steere’s double, also to left, put two men in scoring position with no outs and the heart of the order coming to bat. Two strike outs and a grounder to third, and the threat was gone.

The A’s pulled off their win in the bottom of the ninth. Peterson single to left. Smith dropped a bunt down the first base line. Reynolds, how playing first, also dropped the bunt. He picked it up and threw the ball away. The error gave Oakland two men in scoring position and the top of the order coming up.

Alexis Díaz came in to relieve Derek Law, who had relieved Buck Farmer, who had relieved Lucas Sims, who had relieved Lodolo. Díaz hit Ruíz with a pitch. Or so it seemed. But the Reds challenged the call, and New York reversed it. Ruíz had no other choice but to hit a walk off single to left.

The A’s will return to the Coliseum Tuesday evening to face the Seattle Mariners at 6:40pm. Logan Gilbert (1-1 ERA 4.23) will start for Seattle, and Mason Miller (0-1 ERA 6.48) will toe the rubber for the rebounding at denizens of the decrepit pleasure dome on the banks of the River Nimitz.

A’s cough it up in ninth on Reds Fraley pinch double 3-2

Cincinnati Reds’ Luke Maile runs the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning  at the Oakland Coliseum on Sat Apr 29, 2023 (AP News photo)

Cincinnati. 001 000 002 – 3. 9. 1

Oakland. 020 000 000 – 2 7. 1

Time: 2:54

Attendance: 7,052

Saturday, April 29, 2023

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–Every so often, the A’s find a promising young pitcher and hype him as a second coming of Cy Young. Tod Van Poppel, Tyson Ross, and AJ Puk have come and gone. But, then, so have Tim Hudson, Sonny Gray, and Barry Zito. This year’s candidate for greatness is Kyle Muller.

After the 2022 season, both Baseball America and MLB.com ranked him as the Braves’ top prospect. After he came to the A’s as part of a nine player in December, Baseball America listed him as the A’s #2 prospect, and MLB.com had him at #5 on their equivalent list.

The 25 year old lefty more or less lived up to his billings today. He threw five innings and gave up as many hits. They yielded one run, which came on a homer, and issued two walks while striking out three.Of his 80 pitches, only 33 were balls. Domingo Acevedo replaced him at the start of the sixth. Richard Lovelady took over for the seventh.

Muller’s opposite number for the Reds was another fireballer, Hunter Greene, making his 30th big league start. In the 29 that preceded it, he threw 34 or more pitches at more than 100 mph.

His average fast ball last year, his rookie season, was 98.9 mph. Like Muller, Greene lasted five innings this afternoon and surrendered an equal number of hits. None of them left the park, but they yielded two runs, both earned. Greene walked three Athletics and was guilty of one wild pitch. He struck out 10. His pitch count reach 112, 68 of them strikes.

Alex Young started the sixth to replace him and pitched an inning and a third, allowing only a down the line to left single to Peterson, the first batter he faced. Young handed the ball to Ian Gibaut with no one on and one down in the home half of the seventh,

Muller got into some trouble in the top of the second, thanks to some bad luck. Tyler Stephenson led off with a drive into left that went just under the glove of a diving Aledmys Díaz at short. Then Jace Peterson, who made two costly errors last night, made a beautiful stop of a hard shot to third by Henry Ramos, who beat out Peterson’s one bounce throw to first for a single that put runners on first and second with none down.

Then Ramón Laureano, restored from the injured list today, showed just how good an arm he has. He caught Newman’s foul fly near the home plate area of the visitors’ bullpen and fired a laser to third, nabbing Stephenson, who was trying to advance. That broke the back of a nascent Redleg rally.

The A’s, riding the momentum of Laureano’s throw, played heads up baseball to forge a 2-0 lead ion their half of the second. Carlos Pérez reached first on a throwing error by third baseman Senzel, a play that could just have as justifiably scored as a hit.

After Conner Capel struct out swinging, Laureano double to right, sending Pérez to third, where Kevin Smith replaced him as pinch runner. With Peterson, who eventual fanned, at bat, the A’s speedy right fielder stole third. Jordan Díaz sent a single into right that plated Laureano before Ruíz went down swinging for the third out.

Cincy got one of those two runs back in the top of the third on Luke Maille’s lead off 408 foot blast to right off a 93.9 mph slider. Maille’s homer, his first of the year, raised his batting average from .211 to .250.

The A’s still were leading, 2-1, after seven when Zach Jackson took over mound duties and held the visitors to an innocuous single.

Casey Legumina went to the hill for Cincinnati in the bottom of the eighth. He walked Peterson, but a strike out and a pitcher’s best friend kept Oakland at bay.

Jeurys Familia entered the fray in the top of the ninth looking for his third save in four opportunities. He fanned Stephenson for the first out. He went to a full count on Ramos before walking him, putting the potential tying run on base. Kevin Newman hit a grounder up the middle.

Smith went to his left to make a nice play, but Newman beat out his throw. Senzel drew a walk to load the bases. Barrero went down swinging. Jake Fraley, who had pinch hit for Maile in the eigth, doubled to right, drivving in Ramo and Newman, and, just like that, theA’s were looking up at the Reds, who led 3-2.

It now was Alexis Díaz who came in to pitch, looking for the save. Ruíz attempted a two strike but. It went foul for a strike out. Noda took a full swing for his K. And so did Rooker. A pleasant surprise for A’s fans had turned into a disappointing loss.

Legumina got the win, He’s now 1-0, 1.69. The save went to Díaz, his fourth. The loser was Familia, 0-1. It was his second blown save.

The A’s will try to salvage a little bit of this atroious home stand tomorrow, Sunday, afternoon, at 1:07. Two southpaws, Ken Waldichuk (0-2, 7.82) will toe the rubber for the green and gold. Nick Lodolo (2-1, 6.31) will do the honors for Cincinnati.

A’s come up short against Reds 11-7 to open 3 game set at Coliseum

Oakland Athletics fans hang signs at RingCentral Coliseum to protest the team’s potential move to Las Vegas and to call for team owner John Fisher to sell the team during a baseball game between the Athletics and the Cincinnati Reds on Fri Apr 28, 2023 (AP News photo)

Cincinnati. 032 000 312. – 11. 16. 1

Oakland. 100 002 202. – 7. 11. 2

Time: 2:56

Attendance: 6,423

Friday, April 28, 2023

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–Friday night’s solid 11-7 defeat of the A’s at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds in the Coliseum brought back the sort of bittersweet memories we can expect as fans of the A’s undergo the long agony that precedes their move to Las Vegas. Not for nothing is one of the Spanish slang expressions to for dying is “to move to the other barrio.”

1988-1990 was one of the golden (or at least gilded) age of the now moribund Oakland franchise. It also was an age fraught with mixed emotions, especially, but not exclusively in the microcosm that is baseball. The ’88 Athletics won the AL pennant but got swept by the Dodgers, perhaps because Kirk Gibson’s walk off homer in game one destroyed Oakland’s morale the way the 1954 Cleveland Indians were demoralized by Willie Mays’s catch of Vic Wertz’s blast in the opener of that year’s series.

The A’s swept the Giants in ’89 in an October classic that was over shadowed by the Loma Prieta earthquake. The resumption of the series after a week’s delay contributed to the bay area’s recovery and return to what passes for normal around here. But the 1990 World Series was all about baseball, and Cincinnati won it in four games. Oakland didn’t even make it to the ALDS again until 2000.

The Cincinnati team that visited the Coliseum tonight was no Big Red Machine. And its starting pitcher, Luis Cessa, a 31 year old righty who brought an 0-3, 10.80 record to work with him. He didn’t need to be.

The A’s sent a well travelled veteran, 34 year old Drew Ruckinski, fresh off the injured list and making his fist appearance of the season, KO the mound. His baggage included a lifetime MLB record of 4-4, 5.33, but the last time he had appeared in the show was 2018. He spent the last four seasons toiling for the NC Dinos in the Korea Baseball Organization, where he went 53-36, 3.06, including marks of 19-5, 3.05 in 2020 and 10-12, 2.97 in ’22.

That year he either led the league or was second on the list in starts, strike outs, inning pitched, and strike out to walks ratio. On the other hand, only two pitchers allowed more hits than he did, and only three unleashed more wild pitches.

The Athletics jumped to an early lead on back to back to back singles by Ryan Noda, Brent Rooker, and Shea Langeliers. Cincy answered with three runs in the top of the second. It would have been less if Kemp and Esteury Ruíz hadn’t bumped into each other on Henry Ramos’s fly to left center that should have been caught but fell to the grass for a safety.

It would have more if Ruíz hadn’t mowed Ramos down at third when he tried to advance on Nick Senzel’s single that drove in Jake Fraily. In any case, the Reds led 3-1 after an inning and a half.

They didn’t stop there. Jace Petereson made two errors at third, one throwing and one fielding. Just the fielding error would have been enough to make both runs that Cincinnati scored in the frame unearned. Fraley, who picked up a couple of RBI with his second round tripper of the year wouldn’t have come to bat if Peterson had handled Spencer Steer’s hard hit drive down the line properly.

Still, it was 5-1 after two and a half frames were in the book. It would have been more if an inning later if the Friedl had violated the slide rule at second base, resulting in an inning ending double play. The Redlegs challenged the invocation of the rule, but New York ruled that it was correct.

The score still stood at 5-1 in the top of the sixth when Sam Long was called on to get the final out with a runner on second and number two batter Friedl at the plate. He got Friedl to foul out to third, preventing further damage.

Rucinski had lasted 5-2/3 innings and allowed five runs, two of which were unearned. He struck out one and walked one. His pitch count reached 89, 56 if them strikes.

Oakland’s bats came alive briefly in the bottom of the sixth with a single to right by Noda, followed by a walk to Rooker, and a bases clearing triple to center off the bat of Langeliers that closed the gap between the teams to 5-3 and spelled the end of Cessa’s tenure on the mound, replaced by another righty, Derek Law, who restored order.

Cessa threw 71 pitches, 50 of them for strikes, over five innings, in which all three runs he yielded were earned. They came on eight hits and a walk, and he recorded a pair of strike outs.

Senezel’s two on, out double in the top of the seventh and Stuart Fairchild’s seeing eye single to left restored the Red’s four run margin and tacked another on for good measure.

After the crowd, if you can call it that, finished singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” Noda took the ball out of the park, driving in Ruíz, who had singled and stolen second, and driving a hanging curve ball 427 feet into the right field seats.

The Athletics’ first sacker’s third dinger of the season also drove Law to the showers and brought Buck Farmer in from the pen with the Rheinlanders still leading, now by a score of 8-5. A hit batter and a walk later, Jordán Díaz was at bat, representing the potential tying run. Farmer struck him out to end the inning.

Jonathan India walked to open the visitors’ eighth, and Friedl sacrificed him over to second, which ended Farmer’s chores for the evening. Shintaro Fujinami made his second appearance as a reliever and looked sharp striking out Spencer Steel, but India stole third in the process and then scored when Tyler Stephenson beat out a slow nubber between the mound and the plate for a single.

Fraley forced him out at second on a grounder to short, and Lucas Sims had a 9-5 lead to work with when he came in to hurl the eighth for the visitors. He put the home team down in order.

Fujinami looked uncomfortable on the mound in the ninth, and he was wild. He walked the first three batters he faced before José Barrero lashed a vicious liner to Smith at short, who was playing drawn in still managed to hold on to the ball. But Smith’s heroics were undone by Fujinami’s control problems.

A wild pitch to India moved everyone up a notch, with Ramos crossing the plate. India’s single to left brought in Senzel, the recipient of Fujinami’s second base on balls. Sam Moll then replaced Fujinami and retired Friedl and Steer.

Fernando Cruz was given the assingment of preserving Cincy’s 11-5 lead in the ninth. He didn’t quite succeed. Rooker’s eighth HR of the season, a no doubter that travelled 392 feet into the left field seats with Noda, who had walked, on base made it 11-7. But that was it.

Cessa got the win, making hin 1-3, 9.55. Rucinki took the loss and now stands at 0-1, 4.76.

A’s Fireballer Kyle Muller (0-2, 7.23) will face the Reds and Hunter Greene (0-1, 3.52) tomorrow, Saturday, at 1:07.

Oakland A’s podcast with Daniel Dullum: A’s open six game homestand against Reds tonight

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani was a little shocked when the Oakland A’s reached him for five runs in the top of the fourth inning at the Big A in Anaheim on Thu Apr 27, 2023 (AP News photo)

On the A’s podcast with Daniel:

#1 Daniel, tough loss for Oakland on Thursday 8-7 by one run to Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels there was the thought that Ohtani would dominate the A’s line up but they got guys on and were able to score on him.

#2 The A’s picked up five runs on the fourth inning to cut it close, it would seem the A’s knew that had to get Ohtani, they had struggled in this series and wanted to at least try and end the series with a hard effort to get after Ohtani.

#3 The A’s have some future hitters in the their line up Brent Rooker went deep with a three run home run and catcher Shea Langeliers hit a two run homer in the fourth during that A’s five run rally.

#4 Shohei had one of his most off balanced games in recent memories and struggled against the last place A’s line up going six innings, giving up three hits on five runs, walked two batters, however Ohtani did strike out eight batters.

#5 The A’s open a three game series tonight against the Cincinnati Reds the A’s come off a tough road trip but hope to take advantage of home field. The Reds have been struggling losing six of their last ten games and are 10-15 coming into the Coliseum tonight.

Join Daniel for the A’s podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

MLB podcast with Charlie O: It just continues to get worse for A’s; It just keeps getting better for Rays

Tampa Bay Rays Randy Arozarena with folded arms is hitting .359 with two home runs and 11 RBIs one of the top hitters in the Rays line up (@RaysBaseball photo)

On the MLB podcast with Charlie O:

#1 Charlie O, it’s the tale of two teams one team the Oakland A’s are predicted to have a even rougher and tougher season than their 102 loss season and it’s not getting off to a great start either with a loses starting to mount now sitting on a 2-8 start of 2023.

#2 The other team that’s already getting lots of props the Tampa Bay Rays who have won their first ten games defeating the Red Sox in their last game at Tropicana Field Monday night. The Rays have been getting both plenty of pitching and hitting defeating the A’s last Saturday and Sunday in landslide wins 11-0.

#3 Got to ask you have impressive it is for the Rays were in good company with the 1939 New York Yankees. The Rays had a nine game win streak scoring four or more runs going and needed four games to catch the 39 Yankees who have 13 straight wins scoring four or more runs it didn’t happen as the Rays topped the Sox by a run 1-0 on Monday for their tenth straight win.

#4 The Rays also got some top notch hitting Sunday from lead off hitter Brandon Lowe with four RBIs and two runs scored, Randy Arozarena who got two hits and an RBI. The Rays simply are the talk of baseball right now with their 10-0 record.

#5 Charlie, you’ve been around minor league baseball a time or two talk about the Los Angeles Angels affiliate on Sunday the Rocket City Trash Pandas who allowed a hit in a doubleheader and came away with a split. Three Panda pitchers combined for a seven inning no hitter against the Cincinnati Reds affiliate the Chattanooga Lookouts Sunday. The Pandas allowed seven runs in the top of the seventh, five walks, hit five batters, a run scoring wild pitch and a dropped fly ball with the bases loaded which would have been the final out.

#6 Atlanta catcher Travis D’Arnaud has been placed on the seven day injured list. D’Arnaud received a concussion after the San Diego Padres Rougned Odor collided with D’Arnaud at the plate in the Padres loss to the Braves 4-1 Saturday at Sun Trust Stadium in Cobb County. How much or how little did the Buster Posey rule play a part in this collision?

Charlie O does the MLB podcasts Sundays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco Giants podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Pederson will sit out home run derby; Luis Gonzalez meets Luis Gonzalez

San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson hits a single against the Cincinnati Reds on Fri May 27, 2022 at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati will not participate in the Home Run Derby on Mon Jul 18, 2022 in Los Angeles (AP News photo)

On the Giants podcast with Marko:

#1 Marko, San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson will sit out Monday’s home run derby while nursing some aches and pains he said you can’t move too much for 24-38 hours it hurts too much.

#2 Pederson should be ready to get into Tuesday night’s All Star game in Los Angeles after getting some rest and he looks ready to get some batting practice in and meeting his National League teammates.

#3 Pederson this season is hitting .253, with 35 runs, 17 home runs, and 41 RBIs as of Thursday night which earned him a pick on the All Star team.

#4 Luis Gonzalez the former Arizona Diamondbacks player now a D-Backs broadcaster met with his namesake on Wednesday Giants outfielder Luis Gonzalez. They both shared Gonzo nicknames, talked about the D-Backs Gonzalez’ 2001 World Series home run that beat the New York Yankees and the Giants Gonzalez’s position player pitching debut this season as they posed for pictures in front of the Giants dugout. Good times.

#5 Marko, taking a look at Friday’s starting pitchers for the Milwaukee Brewers Bradnon Woodruff (7-3, 4.01) for the Giants Alex Wood (6-7, 4.43). The Giants have been playing .500 ball of late winning five of their last 11 games.

Marko is filling in for Daniel Dullum who does the Giants podcasts Fridays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco Giants podcast with Marko Ukalovic: DeScalfani simply got rocked in third inning Sunday; Giants host Tigers for two games starting Tuesday

The San Francisco Giants Anthony DeSclafani is seen here pitching to the Cincinnati Reds line up in the top of the first inning at Oracle Park on Sun Jun 26, 2022. DeSclafani was later rocked for seven runs in the top of the third inning. (AP News photo)

On the Giants podcast with Marko Ukalovic:

#1 Marko it was just too much Cincinnati Reds (25-47) on Sunday afternoon at Oracle Park where the San Francisco Giants (39-33) go lit up 10-3 thanks to a seven run rally by the Reds that pretty much put it away.

#2 Giant starter Anthony DeSclafani was touched up in just 2.2 innings of work, giving up seven hits and seven earned runs to say he was struggling was an understatement.

#3 The Reds Nick Senzel said everybody in the line up was contributing and when that happens the Reds could be a dangerous club. Senzel wound up with three singles in the ball game.

#4 Reds pitcher Terrry Mahle did his part on holding the Giants back in his starting role with 6.2 innings of work, four hits, three earned runs, just one walk and seven strikeouts.

#5 The Giants have Monday off and open up a brief two game series against the Detroit Tigers (28-44) on Tuesday and Wednesday. For Tuesday the Tigers will be sending Tarik Skubal (5-5, 5.63) against the Giants Carlos Rodon (6-4, 2.70) a 6:40 pm PDT first pitch at Oracle Park.

Marko is filling in for Morris Phillips on the San Francisco Giants podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Big seven run Reds third inning does in Giants 10-3 at Oracle

The Cincinnati Reds Matt Reynolds swings for an RBI double part of a seven run rally in the top of the third inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Sun Jun 26, 2022 (AP News photo)

Cincinnati (25-47). 10. 15. 1

San Francisco (39-33). 3. 5. 1

Sunday, June 26, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

SAN FRANCISCO–David Bell’s crew sent Tyler Mahle (2-6,4.57) to the mound for today’s set-to with the San Francisco Giants, while Gabe Kapler & Co. elected to start Anthony DeSclafani (0-1,7.71) as his counterpart. If you just looked at those figures, you’d expect this afternoon’s set-to between the two teams to be a slugfest and it was but a one sided slugfest as the Cincinnati Reds won it in a laugher at Oracle Park in San Francisco 10-2 on Sunday.

You’d be only half right. Although DeSclafani had a horrid afternoon, Mahle acquitted himself handsomely over 6-2/3 innings of pretty decent work. He was charged with three runs, one of which was inherited, all earned, on four hits, one a homer, and a walk, while striking out seven. He threw 97 pitches, of which 30 were balls.

He took the win, his third of the season against six losses, home and lowered his ERA to 4.53. Before a pitch was thrown in anger, the Giants announced a move that many people had been expecting for a while.

They placed Brandon Crawford on the 10 day injured list, effective yesterday, with an inflamed left knee. To fill his place on the roster, San Francisco recalled the versatile Yermín Mercedes, who can catch, play in the infield, and serve as a designated hitter.

San Francisco suffered The Curse of the Leadoff Double in the home second. Joc Pederson bounced a two bagger against the Visa advertisement on the right center field fence and moved to third on Evan Longoria’s fly to deep left.

With the infield drawn in and shifted, Belt took a 1-2 pitch for a third strike. Home plate umpire Néstor Ceja’s call on that pitch raised some eyebrows. With the infield back to normal depth, Darin Ruf went down swinging.

Cininnati didn’t waste its opportunity to draw first blood in the top of the third. Nick Senzel led off by beating Longoria’s poor throw to first for a single to third. Aramis García sacrificed him over to second. After Mas Schrock fanned, Brandon Drury showed us why right centerfield at Oracle is called Triples Alley.

Tommy Pham then made some more enemies in the Bay Area by driving Drury in with a single to center. Drury scored moments later on Joey Votto’s two bagger to right. After Donovan Solano walked, Matt whacked a fly to deep center that kept drifting back until it bounced over the fence for an automatic double.

Alberto Almora, Jr., drove the last nail into DeSciafani’s coffin with a sharp single to left that plated Solano and Reynolds. The Giants’ starter had lasted 2-2/3 innings and given up a half a dozen runs plus the inherited runner he left and who came in on the single Yúnior Marte gave up to Nick Senzel.

All of those runs were earned. DeSciafani also yielded seven hits and a walk, striking out two. His pitch count was 53, 34 of them strikes. He would get tagged with the loss, leaving him 0-2, 9.95. In all, Cincinnati sent 11 men to the plate in their seven run outburst.

Mike Yastrzemski got one of those runs back with. lead off home run in the fourth. His 373 foot drive over the 354 foot sign between the Toyota and Game Up boards in left field was his eighth round tripper of ’22 and came on a 92 mph splitter.

Southpaw Jarlín García, replacing Marte, retired Votto to open the fifth. Then he almost got his head knocked off when Solano lined a single up the middle.

A walk to Reynolds, followed by Almora’s ground out, catcher to first, put runners on second and third with two out. Then everything fell apart for San Francisco’s third pitcher of the afternoon. Senzel grounded to Belt, whose errant throw to García arrived late.

The play was ruled a single and an error on the throw. Both runners scored, one on the hit and the other on the error, making it three for the inning and ten for the game. García did better in the sixth, allowing only an infield single before a strikeout and a double play ended it

After García’s unfortunate intervention, Camilo Doval shut Cincy out in the seventh, as did Dominic Leone in the following frame and John Brebbia in the ninth, ending that inning with a called third strike on Reynolds that led to manager Bell’s ejection by umpire Ceja.

San Francisco put two runs on the board and chased Mahle from the box in the seventh with a one out single by Donovan Walton, pinch hitting for Pederson, and a walk to Longoria. After Belt popped out to second, Ruf singled to left, scoring Walton and allowing Longoria to reach third.

Pham’s throw home from left was wild, which allowed Ruf to advance to second. At this point, Luis Cessa replaced Mahle for the Reds. Estrada beat out a grounder to third, bringing in Longoria and reducing the visitors’ lead to 10-3.

Reiver Sanmartín held the Giants scoreless in the eighth. Art Warren retired San Francisco 1,2,3 in the ninth to end the Giants’ dismal performance on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

The struggling home team will have a day off on Monday before facing Tarik Skubal (5-5,3.63) and the Detroit Tigers at 6:45. Carlos Rodón is scheduled to start for the Giants.

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.

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).