Podcast: Duca on baseball and the Giants

greyscale photography of condenser microphone
Photo by Tommy Lopez on Pexels.com

Podcasts: Duca on baseball and the Giants

  • Michael Duca joins Charlie O to talk about the most important topics in baseball
  • Is the new trade deadline a good thing?
  • Why didn’t the Yankees and Dodgers get a deal done at the deadline?
  • Did the Giants do good hanging on to “MadBum”?
  • Did San Francisco move out the right players at the deadline?
  • What about Scooter? Does he fill a need?
  • Plus a discussion about hair or no hair!

Check out the talk! If you are a baseball fan, you will have a good time!!!

Not Here, Not Now: Scuffling Giants don’t get a reprieve against the Rockies’ Gray

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–The consensus: yeah, the Giants’ offense is struggling, but Jon Gray was on top of his game Monday at Oracle Park.

Gray, a familiar face starting for the eighth time against the Giants since 2015, won for the first time against San Francisco, pitching shutout baseball for six innings in the Rockies 2-0 win.

And it wasn’t how Gray did it, it was when he did it. Three of his six strikeouts came in the fifth and sixth innings with a runner in scoring position, and with all of his arsenal working at that point, the hitters–Alex Dickerson, Mike Yastrzemski and Evan Longoria–were left looking foolish.

Opportunities for the Giants to get back into what was a two-run ballgame throughout, appeared and vanished so quickly, the home crowd had little time to gasp, groan or fuss.

“His fastball had a bit more life, carry and location to it than he’s shown the last few starts,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “Then he started landing the curveball later in the game.”

Gray was 0-3 with a 5.18 ERA against the Giants coming in, but he wasn’t that guy on Monday. He started fast–striking out Yastrzemski and Buster Posey in the first–and finished faster. As the game progressed, Gray maintained the life on his fastball, while not missing on his slider, which confused the Giants’ hitters by consistently arriving at the plate 8 mph slower than his heater. All three of his final strikeout victims swung and missed at the slider to conclude their at-bat, but they also whiffed on it earlier in their at-bats as well.

“I have so much confidence in (my slider) right now. I feel like I can throw it in any count, any time, and use it as a put-away pitch,” Gray said.

Drew Pomeranz was similarly effective for the Giants, striking out a career-best 11 batters in just five innings of work, but his one mistake–a home run allowed to David Dahl–was a familiar one. Pomeranz has given up 15 home runs in his 15 starts this season, already a career-high for him.

Still, Pomeranz needed to pitch better given his 2-7 record and 7.09 ERA coming in, and he did that by pitching effectively up in the zone, and displaying good, late movement on his heater with the exception of the pitch to Dahl. The score ended the evening for Pomeranz prematurely with manager Bruce Bochy needing a pinch-hitter to maximize a rally in the fifth.

“I just was thinking attack. I didn’t want to walk guys, even though I did walk a couple guys,” Pomeranz said. “Some of the other guys had three-pitch strikeouts so it kind of helped balance it out.”

In conclusion, the Giants’ offense just didn’t respond. After a disappointing end on Sunday, in which they went hitless in the final, four innings of tie ballgame, losing 3-2 to the Diamondbacks in 10 innings, they managed just six hits on Monday.

And the clutch hitting was non-existent: the Giants are 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position over their last two games. They were shut out for the ninth time this season, and the fifth at Oracle Park.

The Giants, losers of five of their last seven, will have Madison Bumgarner on the mound Tuesday.

Pomeranz continues miserable season, gets pounded by LA, 9-2

Photo credit: mercurynews.com

By Jeremy Harness

Drew Pomeranz’s Wednesday night got off to a bad start, and it continued to get worse as the night progressed.

Chris Taylor touched the left-hander up for a three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning to give the Dodgers an early lead, and LA would only add to it in the next few innings during a 9-2 victory over the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

The very next inning, Kyle Garlick took Pomeranz deep for a solo shot, and the Dodgers got two more runs on and RBI single and a run-scoring sac fly in the third, which gave them a 6-0 lead, a hole the Giants could not get out of.

The Giants tried to make a game out of it, as Tyler Austin and Mike Yastrzemski both went deep – in the fourth and sixth innings – but they were mere solo homers and did not put a dent into what had been a commanding lead.

Pomeranz only lasted 4 1/3 innings on Wednesday, giving up seven runs on nine hits, walking one and striking out four and serving up those three home-run balls. The subpar outing – which have been plenty for Pomeranz this season – boosted his ERA to 7.09 after only three months.

Aside from the two homers by Yastrzemski and Austin, the Giants’ bats fell into their customary deep sleep, despite starter Rich Hill having to leave the game after the first inning with discomfort in his pitching forearm. He is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday and has been subsequently placed on the injured list.

The Giants managed just two more hits against a slew of Dodgers relievers, and no Giant got any more than one. After a promising four-game winning streak, the Giants have fallen back into their losing ways, and they now sit in the NL West cellar with a 31-41 mark, 17 ½ games out of first place.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Giants getting key pitching in recent wins

Photo credit: @SFGiants

On the Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 Shaun Anderson looks like a keeper he pitched an effective game against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night, going six innings, four hits, two runs, six strikeouts and three walks.

#2 Giants closer Will Smith brought his A game with the bags juiced in the top of the ninth. He got his 16th save in 16 tries.

#3 The Padres had a short time lead in the top of the fifth 2-1 until the bottom of the fifth when the Giants scored twice and Padres manager Andy Green said that they had a shot at winning the game, but just didn’t have enough to get over the hump.

#4 When the Padres acquired star third baseman Manny Machado, the Padres thought they had their road paved to postseason, but now the Padres are two below .500 and in fifth place just a place above the Giants.

#5 Friday the 14th, the Milwaukee Brewers and Giants open a three-game series with the Brewers sending out starter Zach Davies (7-0 ERA 2.41) against Giants starter Drew Pomeranz (1-6, 7.16 ERA).

Michael Duca does the Giants podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Rough outing for Pomeranz in 9-6 loss to O’s

photo from mercurynews.com: San Francisco Giants pitcher Drew Pomeranz delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Friday May 31st’s contest to open a three-game series.

By Jeremy Kahn

BALTIMORE — Things got off to a great start for the San Francisco Giants, but they all disappeared before a blink of an eye.

After scoring five runs in the top of the frame, Drew Pomeranz gave it all away in the bottom half and the Baltimore Orioles ended up defeating the Giants 9-6 before a crowd of 17,545 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Thats baseball, it humbles you pretty quick, said Mike Yastrzemski.

Dwight Smith, Jr., hit a grand slam to complete the first inning comeback and Trey Mancini added a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning to add on to the damage that was suffered in the first inning.

Things got rough for Orioles starter Andrew Cashner in the top of the first inning, as he walked leadoff batter Joe Panik, then Yastrzemski began the hit parade, as he tripled down the right field line to score Panik.

Buster Posey then singled in Yastrzemski, and moved to third on a Pablo Sandoval single and then scored the third run of the inning on a Brandon Crawford sacrifice fly.

After Kevin Pillar, singled that loaded the bases, Steven Duggar got in on the act, as he singled to left field to score Sandoval and Evan Longoria.

All of that disappeared in the bottom of the first inning, as Pomeranz was unable to hold on to the lead.

Jonathan Villar got the rally started for the Orioles, as he walked, then Mancini singled and then the Orioles got on the board, when Renato Nunez singled to score Villar and on the errant Crawford throw, Mancini went to third.

It was a great play by Crawford, who dove into the hole to stop the ball from going into left field; however, his throw to Panik went behind him and Villar scored easily from third.

Mancini then scored on a single by Pedro Severino, and after Keon Broxton walked to load the bases, Smith, Jr., hit his first career grand slam to give the Orioles a 6-5 lead.

In all, that first inning took 40 minutes and saw 90 pitches thrown.

I cant think of one, said Bruce Bochy.

Yastrzemski tied up the game in the top of the second inning, as he powered his first major league home run into the right-center field seats. “Deep down, I always wanted to come here and hit one. Always. Now its a reality, and thats pretty special, said Yastrzemski.

Nice to get one, Yastrzemski added, who hit a Cashner fastball and met the gentleman after the game who caught the ball.

The man identified as Tim Smith received a signed bat from Yastrzemski and took a picture together.

Yastrzemski ended the night going 2-for-3 with a walk, as he continues to make a great impression in his first week in the majors.
Great nice by the kid, said Bochy.

Unfortunately, Pomeranz was unable to hold on to the tie, as Villar singled with one out and then Mancini smashed his 11th home run of the season and the Orioles reclaimed the lead.

That would be the end of the night for Pomeranz, who went 1.1 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out two, as he saw his record fall to 1-5 on the season.

This was the shortest outing of Pomeranz’ career and continues a stretch where he was unable to go past five innings, as the streak now stands at five consecutive starts. It was the first career loss for Pomeranz when he received five-or-more runs, as he is now 19-1 when he receives that many runs.

I do not want to make excuses, said Pomeranz.

As for Cashner, who got roughed up in that first inning, he ended up with the victory, as he went the necessary five innings, allowing six runs on eight hits, walking five and did not require a strikeout and saw his record improve to 6-2 on the season.

Dereck Rodriguez went 4.2 innings, allowing just two hits, walking two, striking out two and hitting a batter.

He used all four pitches, said Bochy.

Since returning to the majors, Rodriguez has pitched twice out of the bullpen and it was the fourth of his career.

I came out of the bullpen in winter ball, said Rodriguez, who was a starter for most of last season.

Sam Dyson came on to replace Rodriguez, and was greeted ratherly rudely, as Nunez slammed a 444 foot home run into the left field seats.

NOTES: Brandon Belt extended his hitting streak up to six games, and has a six-game hitting streak versus the Orioles and is (9-for-29) with two doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs during the streak.

On the flipside of the Belt streak, Posey snapped a 0-for-17 streak against the Orioles and was 1-for-21 prior to getting two hits in four at-bats. Overall, he is now 3-for-25 lifetime against the Orioles, the lowest versus any opponent.

As a starting rotation, this will be a month that the Giants will want to forget and definitely put behind them. They ended the month with a 7.32 earned run average (96 earned runs in 118 innings pitched). That is the highest earned run average by a Giants starting staff since they moved to San Francisco in 1958. The previous high was a 6.56 earned run average in September of 2006.

Smith Jr.s grand slam was the second of the season by an Orioles player, with the first coming on May 6 off the bat of Villar and the Orioles defeated the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox 4-1.

This weekend marks the Giants first appearance since the 2004 season, when they won two out of three.

The starting rotation consisted of Dustin Hermanson, Noah Lowry and Jerome Williams. Barry Bonds went 5-for-11 with two home runs, five runs batted in and was walked six times. In the second game of a doubleheader on June 12, 2004, Bonds was walked five times (four of those intentionally).

UP NEXT: Shaun Anderson looks to get the Giants back into the win column on Saturday afternoon, as he will make his first ever start on the road. David Hess will take the mound on Saturday, as he looks to improve on his 1-6 record.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Giants’ Williamson and company lacking the hits

Photo credit: @NBCSGiants

On the Giants podcast with Miguel:

#1 What’s off with the Giants’ Mac Williamson swing? He was striking out five times on Thursday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves

#2 Five times they needed that bat of Williamson to make hay in a one-run loss that went 13 innings.

#3 Williamson is trying to make this club and be a main stay. We ask Michael is this a temporary hang up or something that needs a quick fix?

#4 Another bat out of the Giants’ lineup: shortstop Brandon Crawford, who missed Thursday night’s contest due to pink eye.

#5 The Giants opened a three-game series on Friday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks started Robbie Ray (3-1) and the Giants went with Drew Pomeranz (1-4)

Michael does the Giants podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Reds Smash Giants, 12-4 and Other Odd Occurences at the Great American Ballpark

By Morris Phillips

Hard to believe, but when the Giants-Reds series commenced on Friday, it was billed as a meeting of similarly struggling offenses.

Four days later, no one would tab that description.

The Reds capped four games of record-setting offense with three home runs in the first two innings off Drew Pomeranz on Monday, a small slice of a 12-4 win that earned Cincinnati a series split.

Led by rookie Nick Senzel’s sizzling debut weekend in which he homered three times in his first four big league games, the Reds smashed 15 home runs in the series, tying a franchise record set in 1999.

Oddly, the Reds’ home run deluge ended after the second inning, just part of an unique afternoon at Great American Ballpark in which a whole lot transpired before and after the Reds chased Pomeranz after essentially putting the game to rest with a 7-1 lead.

“A lot of runs scored this whole series, a lot of balls flying out, a lot of balls dropping in,” said Pomeranz.

Senzel was promoted to inject life into an offense that had scored two runs or fewer 11 times in Cincinnati’s first 31 ballgames. The organization’s top-rated prospect didn’t disappoint, homering Friday before adding a pair of solo shots off Pomeranz. Senzel’s home run barrage could have totaled four had he not been famously robbed by Kevin Pillar in Friday’s game. Senzel had opportunities to increase his total, but he struck out three times an hit into a double play in his final, four at-bats. That finish led to the rookie’s unimpressed assessment of the afternoon.

“I was pretty happy, but I wasn’t too happy with my last couple of ABs,” Senzel said. “I’m just glad we won.”

The game was delayed 18 minutes as groundskeepers coaxed a swarm of bees gathered at the backstop netting to leave. The bee swarm reportedly was a first at Great American Ballpark, but had happened twice at the team’s old home, Riverfront Stadium.

That oddity didn’t inspire the Giants. Once again, they were beaten to the punch by their opponent, and trailed by at least four runs at some point in each game of the series. Their sixth inning rally (a three-run homer by Pablo Sandoval) briefly hatched thoughts of another big comeback, but that unraveled in the bottom of the inning when the Reds put it away with five runs of their own.

So to recap thus far: Senzel produced the most powerful debut in franchise history (first Reds player to home three times in their first four major league games), and the Cincinnati run total for the series (37) matched a team record established 21 seasons ago.

But the records didn’t stop there. In the Reds’ sixth inning rally that put the game away, four batters were hit by pitches, which tied a Major League record that had stood since 1893. Five Reds’ batters were plunked in all which also set a Reds’ franchise record, and tied a National League record that was first established in 1900.

And the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval made sure history was on the Giants’ side as well by homering, stealing a base and pitching a scoreless inning in the same game. The Jack-of-all-trades compiled a stat line that had been established just once before at the big league level (Christy Mathewson, 1905).

“You know Pablo, he gets excited about stuff like that,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He had one of the easiest innings we had, similar to the last time he pitched.”

Rangers Derail A’s Comeback, Rout Athletics 14-8

By Matthew Harrington

OAKLAND, Calif. — When the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers last met at O.Co Coliseum for a three-game set April 21-23, the visitors scored 12 runs total en route to a sweep. The series marked a tightly-pitched affair after Rangers hurlers stifled the potent A’s offense to just seven runs and three-straight losses. The A’s welcomed Texas back to Alameda County Monday night in a game no one would confuse for a pitchers’ duel. Texas tallied 14 runs while the A’s scored eight runs, both surpassing the team totals from the April set at the Coliseum.

Rangers first baseman Donnie Murphy picked up three RBIs on a pair of home runs, his fourth career multi-homer game while Yoenis Cespedes went 1 for 3 with four runs batted in for the A’s. Brandon Moss also homered for Oakland, but four Texas long balls lifted the Rangers (35-35) passed the Green and Gold 14-8. The loss matches the second-largest margin of defeat the A’s (42-28) have suffered all season, with only last Friday’s 7-0 shutout at the hands of the Yankees marking a worse run differential.

Neither starting pitcher hurled a memorable game but Rangers righty Colby Lewis (5-4, 5.97 ERA) threw well enough to pick up the win. He went 5 1/3 innings allowing fives runs. Pomeranz (5-4, 2.91) struggled to complete 3 2/3 innings, serving up eight Texas runs (seven earned) on eight hits on start removed from a seven inning, one-run performance against the Los Angeles Angels.

“I wasn’t as sharp in the beginning,” said Pomeranz. “I actually felt really good up there. They were patient at the plate. I didn’t make some pitches, they just waited for some mistakes.”
The A’s bullpen yielded six runs, with Ryan Cook , Jeff Francis and Fernando Abad all guilty of surrendering two runs apiece. The A’s committed three errors.

After Pomeranz held the Rangers in check to open the first inning, Coco Crisp had the A’s running right out of the gate. Crisp ripped a 2-2 pitch to left-center for a double, then came around to score on John Jaso’s flare to shallow center. Jaso, one of three catchers in A’s manager Bob Melvin’s line-up, advanced to second base on the throw to the plate. Lewis gifted Jaso third base after bouncing a wild pitch to backstop Robinson Chirinos. The free base allowed Jaso to score easily after Cespedes lofted the 2-1 delivery to left fielder Michael Choice for the sacrifice fly.

“We had some opportunities early,” said Melvin. “We went ahead 2-0. We had some opportunities in the next inning and we didn’t come through. We didn’t play a great game after that. Even though in the later innings we came back and made a game of it, it was just not far enough.”

Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios reached base to open the second, then advanced into scoring position on a Donnie Murphy sacrifice bunt. Chirinos then wrapped a two-run base hit to tie the ballgame after battling Pomeranz in a full count.

Former A’s utility man Donnie Murphy provided the tie-shattering blast in the fourth inning, depositing a no-out, two-run home run over the wall in deep left center. The first basemen entered play amidst a 0-for-14 cold snap at the plate before emphatically turning around his fortunes. The Rangers tacked on four more runs in the inning, highlighted by a two-out, two-run double off the bat of former American League All-star Beltre for a comfortable 8-2 advantage.

Michael Choice, the Rangers haul for shipping Craig Gentry to Oakland in the offseason, burned his former parent club with a two-run shot of his own. The dinger snapped 16 at-bats without a hit for the right-hander, placing Choice amongst Chirinos (3), Beltre (3) and Murphy (3) for Rangers with two RBIs or more Monday night. Chirinos and Murphy would later hit back-to-back homers off Fernando Abad in the ninth inning, the first two extra-base hits the southpaw has allowed this season.

A’s clean-up hitter Brandon Moss lifted his 17th home run of the season to bring Oakland within seven runs. Moss now has 31 big flys since the 2013 All-Star Break, tied with Edwin Encarnacion for the second most in the Major Leagues during that time. The Lone Star sluggers answered back, scoring on a rare sacrifice fly to third base for their 11th run.

Oakland scratched out a run of its own in the bottom half of the inning after back-to-back doubles from Alberto Callaspo and Coco Crisp to chase Lewis after four runs. Callaspo, returning from paternity leave Monday night, went 4 for 5 while sporting a new uniform number. The A’s second basemen donned a “7” between his shoulder blades Monday night.

Cespedes added three runs on a towering shot later in the inning, his 13th homer of the season, to cut the deficit to 11-7. Callaspo chipped in a run-scoring base hit in the eighth.

Kyle Blanks, who entered the game as a pinch hitter for John Jaso in the sixth, came up to the plate in the eighth representing the tying run with Callaspo at second and Vogt at first. He worked a full count off Neal Cotts but froze on a fastball right at the knees for strike three. In total, the A’s stranded 12 runners.
The Rangers added three more runs over the final two innings while holding the A’s in check despite a two-hit ninth inning rally.

“We scored some runs tonight,” said Melvin. “We’re a club that leads the league in pitching. We’re used to holding teams under four runs. The last couple games we haven’t been able to do that.”

Submariner Ben Rowen finished off the win, coaxing a ground ball out from Blanks to wrap up game one of the series. Tuesday’s match-up won’t be any easier for the A’s, with Texas sending Yu Darvish and his 2.11 ERA to the mound to face Tommy Milone.

Two Homer Night for Cespedes Puts A’s in Line for Sweep Over Yankees

By Matthew Harrington

The Oakland Athletics won their fifth-straight contest, coming from behind to beat the New York Yankees 7-4 at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night. Yoenis Cespedes mashed a pair of home runs to support starter Jesse Chavez (5-3, 3.04 ERA) while Josh Donaldson’s solo shot in the seventh inning provided the game-winning run. Sean Doolittle pitched a perfect ninth inning for his seventh save of the season to put Oakland (37-22) one win away from sweeping the Yankees.

The Yankees (29-29) scored all their runs in the bottom of the third inning with Derek Jeter lacing an run-scoring single and Jacoby Ellsbury ripping a three-run home run to right center field for a 4-0 off Chavez. Cespedes put the A’s on the board with a deep fly to center off pinstripes starter Vidal Nuno in the top of the fourth, then pounded his twelve four-bagger of reliever Matt Daley top open the sixth. Jed Lowrie and Alberto Callaspo also hit a sac fly each for the A’s to set up Donaldson’s go-ahead knock.

After Donaldson tagged Jose Ramirez (0-1, 4.50) with the loss for his team-best 16th homer of the season, the A’s picked up a pair of runs in the ninth. First came a bases loaded hit-by-pitch by Brandon Moss who played right field Wednesday for the first time since exiting Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels with an injury. Kyle Blanks added the third sacrifice fly of the night for the visitors for the 7-4 final tally.

Chavez went six innings for the green and gold, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five. Fernando Abad pitched a third of an inning for the A’s in relief of Chavez, but Dan Otero did the heavy lifting with 1 2/3 scoreless innings before turning the ninth inning over to Doolittle.

The A’s send Drew Pomeranz to the mound in his first start since the Angels snapped his string of solid outings. The Halos roughed Pomeranz up for five runs after the lefty allowed only two in his previous 19 innings as a starter. He draws the assignment of facing Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees marquee free-agent signing of the offseason.

New York earned the right to sign Tanaka after paying a posting fee of $20 million to the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan, the maximum in the new posting fee implemented this offseason. Under the new reals, any team that posts the highest bid is allowed to negotiate with the player, meaning the Yankees then had to outbid numerous other teams who matched the fee to sign the international sensation to a seven-year, $155 million contract. The 25-year-old is 8-1 on the season with 88 punchouts over 78.2 innings and a stellar 2.06 ERA.

Moss and Donaldson Knock The Halo Off The Angels, A’s Win 9-5

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 30: Brandon Moss #37 of the Oakand Athletics is congratulated by Coco Crisp #4 and Josh Donaldson #20 after Moss hit a grand slam home run in the bottom of the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at O.co Coliseum on May 30, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – MAY 30: Brandon Moss #37 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by Coco Crisp #4 and Josh Donaldson #20 after Moss hit a grand slam home run in the bottom of the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at O.co Coliseum on May 30, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

By Kahlil Najar

OAKLAND – Brandon Moss hit his first grand slam of his career and Josh Donaldson launched two deep home runs in the first game of this critical home series against the Angels (30-24) and propelled the A’s (33-22) to a 9-5 victory. The A’s ran through the entire lineup in the bottom of the first inning and scored five runs to knock out Angels starter Garret Richards in only 2/3 of an inning pitched. Donaldson went 3 for 4 with four RBI and Moss went  1 for 2 with four RBI to contribute a majority of the Athletics offense tonight. On the mound, Drew Pomeranz (5-2) went 5 1/3 innings and struck out five for his fifth win of the year.

“We had good energy right out of the gate,” said Athletics head coach Bob Melvin. “It didn’t feel like it was going to be one of those nights where you’d see too many balls leave the ballpark but there were strong guys. It doesn’t surprise me when they hit homers (Donaldson, Moss).”

Tonight was Donaldson’s second ever multi-homer game of his career and Melvin said, “He’s playing really well right now, across the board. He has great focus. He knows how he’s going to get pitched and his defense comes with him.”

Moss, who ended up leaving the game early because of calf stiffness spoke on his first grand slam and said, “I’ve never come close to one. I came close-ish once last year when I flied out to the wall. It was on my mind, not that I was trying to hit one. I just thought it would be cool to do it. And it felt good, for sure.”

Putting up five runs in the first made the entire O.Co Coliseum crowd feel good especially when going up against a team like the Angels.

The A’s added to their lead in the second and third inning when Donaldson hit his first of two homers in the game to right field over the out of town scoreboard. In the third, Donaldson received his second RBI of the night when he singled home Crisp and gave the A’s a 7-0 lead after three.

The Angels won the fourth inning when Mike Trout hit his eleventh homer of the year and Howie Kendrick hit his third of the year and gave the Angels three run and brought the lead to only four runs.

However in the bottom of the fifth, Donaldson launched a line drive home run to center field off of a two seam fastball that catapulted the A’s to 9 runs to the Angels 3.

The Angels C.J. Cron doubled in a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth but then the A’s relief squad of Otero, Gregerson and Dolittle came in for 3 2/3 scoreless innings and gave the A’s their 33rd win of the year.

The Angels send Tyler Skaggs (4-2, 3.97 ERA) to the mound against Tommy Milone (3-3, 3.50) who is 3-0 and has an ERA a little over one in his last four starts.