photo from seattlepi.com: Former Seattle Mariners’ slugger Edwin Encarnacion, right, hits a two-run home run as Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy watches during the seventh inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 9, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif.
On the MLB podcast with Daniel:
1 Seattle trades AL home run leader Edwin Encarnación to Yankees
2 Big Papi’s surgeons reveal the extent of damage from gunshots
3 A’s rout Mariners 11-2; A’s Stephen Piscotty has surgery for melanoma
4 Braves’ Sean Newcomb OK after taking a 102-mph liner to the head
5 Bambino’s game-worn jersey sets record: $5.64 million at auction
6 Mitch Garver is the fifth player in Twins history to break a 0-0 tie with a home run in the eighth inning or later
OAKLAND — After losing the opening contest of this 10-game homestand, the Athletics (36-35) were intent on getting back into the win column on Saturday night against the last-place Seattle Mariners (30-44). The A’s jumped on the Mariners early scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning, and they never looked back en route to an 11-2 win over Seattle.
The A’s had their good luck piece in Frankie Montas on the mound for them in the game. On June 4, Montas put an end to a five-game losing streak when he beat the Angels in Anaheim 4-2. Montas picked his club up again on June 9 when he helped to put them back into the win column after a demoralizing doubleheader loss in Texas.
Montas picked his club up again as he pitched 6.0-innings allowing just two runs (earned) off six hits. Montas struck out nine Mariners and walked just one. He threw 93 pitches (60 strikes). Montas upped his record to 9-2 for the season which has to put him into consideration for the All-Star team.
If Montas continues to pick his club up as he has done in his last three starts, his new nickname will have to be “the fixer”.
An Important Western Division Win
Oakland entered the game with a 16-19 record versus teams in the Western Division of the American League. In fact, only one team in their division has a winning record inside the Western Division. Houston is 21-6 while the other four teams have losing records. The A’s can help themselves by beating the teams they play the most over the course of the season.
By the way, the A’s are the best versus the America League Central where they have won eight games and lost only once.
Focus on the A’s
Marcus Semien went 3-for-4 in the game. He hit his 10th home of the season on a 2-1 count off Wade LeBlanc. Semien now has a 12-game hitting streak.
Jurickson Profar also went 3-for-4 and posted four RBI. He leads the team with 39 runs batted in. Profar is batting .333 for the month of June.
Matt Chapman had a 2-for-4 game with an RBI and two runs scored.
Mark Canha hit his fifth double of the season and scored three runs.
The M’s committed four errors in the game. It was the third time this season Seattle has made four miscues in a game.
“The Opener” — Gerson Bautista (0-1) took the loss as he gave up three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Domingo Santana went 2-for-4 in the game. He is batting .354 (17-for-48) with nine walks, one double, three home runs, seven RBI, and four walks over last 11 games.
Mallex Smith went hitless and snapped a career-high 13-game hitting streak.
Factoid: There has been at least one home run hit in all 74 games that the Mariners have played this season. That is the longest streak in a single season in MLB history.
Mariners skipper watched the game on TV
Seattle manager Scott Servais was sent to the showers in the fourth inning after arguing a called third strike with home plate umpire Carlos Torres. Kyle Seager was called out and began arguing with Torres. Servais came out to protect his player. Torres showed a great deal of patience with the Mariners manager, but finally, he had enough. It was the second ejection of the season for Servais.
Mariners, Yankees make a trade
The M’s made the official announcement that American League home run leader Edwin Encarnacion has been sent to the New York Yankees along with a large amount of cash to help cover the slugger’s contract option or buyout. The Yankees are sending minor league pitcher – Juan Then – to Seattle. Ironically, the Yankees acquired from the M’s in 2017.
On Deck for the A’s
The M’s and A’s will wrap up this three-game series on Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 1:07 PM on Father’s Day. The A’s will send RHP Tanner Anderson (0-1, 3.18) to the mound to face off against the M’s RHP Mike Leake (5-6, 4.26). The A’s will then be done with Seattle until July 5 when they will begin a three-game series in the Northwest.
The A’s return home after a successful 6-2 road trip. The A’s were beating the Tigers in one game that was suspended due to bad weather. That game will be completed when the Tigers play the A’s in September. The two losses on the trip happened when the A’s played the Mariners in Seattle.
The Mariners and A’s have met four times this season, and the M’s have won them all. The A’s lost the first two in Japan to open the season and the last two in Seattle on May 13th and 14th. The games in Seattle were close. The Mariners won on May 13th 6-5 even though the A’s hit five home runs in that game. They beat the A’s again on May 14th, 4-3. Since that time the A’s won three in Detroit and three in Cleveland.
The A’s have also moved up in the standings in the AL Central. Oakland ‘s record is 25-25, and they are in third place just 1/2 game behind the surprising Texas Rangers. Seattle, on the other hand, played well to start the season but have fallen on hard times. They currently reside in last place in the AL West with a record of 23-29. They have lost 3 in a row and are 3-7 in their previous 10 games.
The Mariners have placed several key players on the 10-day IL. They include second baseman Dee Gordon, first baseman Ryon Healy, pitcher King Felix Hernandez, and third baseman Kyle Seager.
The Mariners still have a potent lineup. First baseman Daniel Vogelbach, DH Edwin Encarnacion, outfielders Jay Bruce, Domingo Santana, and Mitch Haniger all have power, and all of them have hurt the A’s with their bats. Infielder Tim Beckham has also punished the A’s with his power.
The pitching matchups for the series will be the following. On Friday, Oakland will send Daniel Mengden (1-1 3.65 ERA) out to pitch. Mengden is 0-2 with an ERA of 5.89 in four career starts against the Mariners. The Mariners will counter with lefty Wade LeBlanc. LeBlanc, in his last outing against the Minnesota Twins, went 2 and 1/3rd innings and gave up seven hits and seven runs. LeBlanc missed five weeks due to a strained oblique. In two starts against the A’s last year, LeBlanc held the A’s scoreless for eleven innings.
Saturdays’ game will feature Mike Fiers (3-3, 5.05 ERA) going for his fourth win of the year. Fiers has an ERA of 2.53 over his last five starts, and that includes the no-hitter that he had against the Cincinnati Reds. Fiers is 2-2 with an ERA of 6.36 in 10 starts against Seattle. Rookie Yusei Kikuchi (3-1, ERA 3.43) will go for the M’s. Kikuchi is 2-0 with an ERA of 2.03 in his last four starts.
On Sunday, The A’s will have lefty Brett Anderson on the mound. Anderson (5-3, ERA 4.14)is returning to action after he left the game last Monday in Cleveland with a cervical strain. Anderson is 8-5 and has an ERA of 2.38 in 20 games against the M’s. Mike Leake goes for Seattle. Leake is 3-5 for the year and has an ERA of 4.73. Leake is 2-2 against Oakland in nine career starts.
The A’s are playing better as the offense has come alive and the pitching has been better. The A’s have seen improvement from Chris Bassitt, Mike Fiers, and Frankie Montas. Anderson has pitched well, and Mengden is still a work in progress.
Following the three-game series with Seattle, the A’s will face the LA Angels and then host the first-place Houston Astros.
Cleveland sent veteran All-Star Corey Kluber to the hill to face the Athletics rookie Paul Blackburn who was just making the third start of his major league career on Saturday night. The game really belonged to the hurlers for much of the early stages. Pitching mistakes highlighted the runs that were scored early.
Kluber (7-3, 2.86) certainly would like to have the 2-1 offering back that Matt Chapman hit over the left-center field wall in the bottom of the third inning for the first home run of his MLB career. Kluber had not allowed a hit until the home run which put the A’s up 1-0.
The young Mr. Blackburn (1-0, 1.83) put himself and the A’s into jeopardy in the top of the fourth by giving up a leadoff walk to Michael Brantley. Edwin Encarnacion then followed up by taking the 0-1 pitch from Blackburn down the left field line for a two -run home run (19). Blackburn fought his way through the inning without allowing any additional runs but the Indians held a 2-1 lead.
With two out and the bases empty in the home-half of the fifth, Chapman hit a solid double to right off Kluber. Rajai Davis followed with an RBi-single to right and the A’s had tied the game at 2-2.
In the top of the sixth, Blackburn put himself back on the griddle when he issued a leadoff walk to Encarnacion. Jose Ramirez singled to right and Encarnacion advanced to third. Carlos Santana grounded to the right side of the infield but because the shift was on the only play was to first base. Encarnacion scored easily from third to give Cleveland a 3-2 lead.
A trio of A’s relievers finished the game for Oakland giving no runs on no hits and did not allow a Cleveland baserunner.
Kluber came out and started the eighth inning for the Indians. He was still looking strong as he had struck out 12 A’s batters. The first Oakland hitter was Matt Chapman who hit Kluber’s first pitch over the center field wall for his second home run of the night. That tied the game at 3-3 and chased Kluber from the contest.
The Indians were unable to score in the top of the ninth so the game remained tied as the A’s came to bat.
Cleveland reliever Andrew Miller walked Oakland’s leadoff man Yonder Alonso. Terry Francona pulled Miller and inserted Bryan Shaw into the game. The first batter to face Shaw was Khris Davis. Davis worked the count to 3-2 and then Davis hit the next pitch over the right-center field wall for a two-run walkoff home run giving the A’s a 5-3 win over the Indians.
The win guarantees that Oakland (41-50) will the series which concludes on Sunday.
The win goes to Ryan Madson (2-4, 2.06). The Indians reliever Andrew Miller (3-3, 1.60) takes the loss.
Take a bow
Come back out for an encore Mr. Chapman. The rookie third baseman was a perfect 3-for-3 in the game with all three hits coming off Corey Kluber. Chapman not only hit his first major league home run but he also had the first multi-home run game of his career. Do not forget his other hit was a double that turned into a run when Rajai Davis hit a single that drove him home. So, Chapman also posted three runs and two RBi on Saturday night.
Indians pitcher Corey Kluber does deserve honorable mention even though he did not figure into the decision. He struck out 12 hitters in his 7.1 innings of work while walking none. The reason Kluber also gets kudos is he threw 106 pitches (72 strikes). 100-plus pitches: “that’s old school” and it deserves an nod.
In the batter’s box
Khris Davis has to be brought out for a standing ovation for hitting his second walk-off home run of the season (the fourth of his career). It was his 25th round-tripper of the year to go with 62 RBi.
The Indians Edwin Encarnacion also deserves a nod for 2-for-3 game that included his 19th home run and two RBi.
On the hill
Hats off to the A’s trio of relievers who worked the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Liam Hendriks, Daniel Coulombe and Ryan Madson combined to pitch a perfect final three innings to give the Athletics a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth.
Up next for the Athletics
The Indians and Athletics wrap up this three-game series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at the Coliseum on Rickey Henderson Field.
Indians – RHP Trevor Bauer (7-7, 5.24) will be the starter for Cleveland. It will be his 18th start of the season and his first start in nine days. Bauer lost his last start 6-2 to the San Diego on July 5 when he allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits in 5.0 innings.
Athletics – Oakland will counter with LHP Sean Manaea (7-5, 3.76). He lost his last start on July 7 in Seattle giving up three runs (earned) on eight hits in 7.0 innings on the mound. Manaea walked one and struck out three Mariners. He beat the Indians back on May 31 in Cleveland as he struck out nine Indians in seven innings. The A’s won that game 3-1.
For you long-range planners
Sonny Gray is scheduled to start the final game of the Tampa Bay series on Wednesday at 12:35 p.m. If you are a Gray fan, I’m just saying …