Back In Stride Again: A’s stay hot, head into All-Star break with 7-4 win over Seattle

By Morris Phillips

Matt Chapman’s headed to the All-Star Game as a reserve, and as a last-minute addition to the Home Run Derby.

Not a bad choice. But the American League could probably do just as well with Matt Olson, Chapman’s Oakland teammate.

While Chapman enjoyed a well-deserved day of rest ahead of his flight to Cleveland, Olson showed off his All-Star worthiness with a first inning, three-run homer in the A’s 7-4 win over the Mariners. Olson’s shot was his sixth in his last 10 games, and his 19th of the season, all of them hit since May 12, five days after Olson’s delayed season debut due to a broken bone in his hand.

“You hear a lot about the hamate injury and the strength not coming back for a while,” manager Bob Melvin said of Olson. “But when you look at his home runs per at-bat, I can’t imagine it’s not right at the top of the league.”

While the A’s switched into blast-off mode in the first two innings of Sunday’s series finale, taking a 6-0 lead after Marcus Semien led off the second with a home run, the host Mariners were self-destructing, that according to manager Scott Servais.

After Olson’s blast, the next two A’s reached, then found their way around the basepaths when Dylan Moore inexplicably allowed Chad Pinder’s base hit to slide through his legs and go all the way to the wall. Chad Pinder and Ramon Laureano scored on Moore’s error.

“It was the walk. Somewhere in the middle there’s always a walk. You have to stay aggressive, and that led into the Olson three-run homer. We really couldn’t stop it after that,” Servais said.

Seattle’s response–single runs in the second, fourth, sixth and eighth innings, all of those four runs courtesy of Omar Narvaez–wasn’t enough to get the Mariners even, or knock A’s starter Daniel Mengden out of the winner’s circle. Still Narvaez’ outburst was impressive; he homered twice sandwiching a pair of run-scoring singles in a 4 for 4 performance.

Mengden’s been the perfect follow-up to Frankie Montas’ suspension, winning four of five decisions for the first time in his disjointed big-league career. On Sunday, he pitched into the sixth inning, allowing three runs on six hits and no walks.

“When you come out of the game after the fifth inning with a lead, you’ve done your job. He’s done that,” Melvin said of Mengden.

The A’s recent ascension in the standings couldn’t be more reminiscent of what the club did in 2018. At 50-41, they’re only one game off their pace of last season, the precursor to the major’s best second half record that took them to 97 wins and a wild card playoff spot. But there are a couple of key differences.

Unlike last season, the A’s still have a realistic shot at winning the AL West. The Astros have a sizeable lead at 7 1/2 games, but they A’s still have 11 of the 19 games in the season series between the clubs to make up ground. Of course, the A’s will have to quickly reverse course in the rivalry, they’ve lost seven of the first eight to the Astros in 2019.

Also unlike 2018, the A’s haven’t found a couple of opponents to take advantage of like they did with the Tigers and Blue Jays (14-0 in 2018). Instead they’ve been dominated by the same Jays and Astros (1-13 in 2019). They could find some vulnerable opponents in the second half: the A’s have season series left with the improving White Sox, the downtrodden Royals and the dominant Yankees (seven games against each club).

Most importantly, unlike 2018, the wild card race is wide open. The A’s are right in the middle of a tight race with the Rays, Indians, Red Sox and Rangers with none of the five running away with the top spot as the Yankees did in 2018. That means the A’s have a realistic shot at hosting the game this time, and if they don’t finish on top, not having to play on the road against a clearly, superior club as the Yankees were last October.

 

Semien powers the A’s to a 7-2 win over the Twins

Photo credit: @atleticos

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND — On a very lovely Thursday at the Oakland Coliseum, the A’s beat the Minnesota Twins 7-2 to win the three-game series 2-1. A’s shortstop Marcus Semien was the hero as he blasted two home runs and drove in five to lead the A’s to a 7-2 victory.

A’s starter Tanner Anderson was looking for his first win of the season, but it didn’t happen for him as he was removed from the game with two out in the fifth inning. He was replaced by Wei-Chung Wang. The young Taiwanese lefty was the winning pitcher and earned his first major league win.

The Twins drew first blood in the top of the first with an unearned run. Tanner Anderson retired the first two hitters he faced. He gave up singles to Nelson Cruz and Luis Arraez. He walked Miguel Sano to load the bases. The next hitter, Ehire Adrianza, was awarded first base when A’s catcher Chris Herrmann interfered with his swing. Herrmann was charged with an error. Cruz trotted home with the Twins’ first run.

The A’s tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. A’s DH Khris Davis led off with a single. Twins’ starter Jose Berrios retired the next two hitters. Robbie Grossman and Chris Herrmann each singled. Herrmann’s single allowed Davis to score. The score was 1-1 after four.

The tie didn’t last long as the Twins put their second run of the game on the board in the top of the fifth. Nelson Cruz, who loves to torment the A’s, led off with a double. Cruz went to third on a wild pitch. Anderson retired the next two hitters. He did not get by Ehire Adrianza who singled to drive in Cruz. Jonathan Schoop followed with a single, and that ended Anderson’s day. A’s manager brought in Wei-Chung Wang to pitch. Wang got Jason Castro to fly out for the final out of the inning. In the A’s half of the fifth, they were able to grab the lead 3-2. Marcus Semien led off the frame with his 12th bomb of the season. Matt Chapman walked and moved to second on a single by Matt Olson. Berrios walked Khris Davis to load the bases. Mark Canha had a golden opportunity to break the game open, but he hit into a double play. Chapman scored on the play. Berrios got Laureano to fly out to Max Kepler in right to end the inning. The A’s led 3-2.

In the bottom of the eighth, Marcus Semien hit a grand slam to blow open the game for the A’s. Robbie Grossman and Chris Herrman singled to start the rally. Jurickson Profar was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no out. Marcus Semien, who had hit a solo home run in the fifth, sent the first pitch from Mike Morin over the fence for a grand slam and the A’s now led 7-2. A’s manager Bob Melvin, brought in Joakim Soria to pitch the ninth. The Twins right-fielder, Max Kepler, doubled to start the inning, but Soria settled down and retired the next three hitters to ice the win for Oakland. The A’s won 7-2.

Game Notes and Stats: The A’s, with the win, improve to 48-40 and now lead the Texas Rangers by one game in the race for second place in the AL West. They trail the first place Houston Astros by 7 1/2 games.

The A’s had three players that had multiple hits in the game. These three had nine of the A’s 12 hits. Robbie Grossman had three singles. Chris Herrmann had his first four-hit game. He had a double and three singles. Semien had two hits, both home runs. Semien’s first was a solo blast in the fifth, and a grand slam in the eighth. Semien has hit 13 so far this season. His five RBI game matched a career-high, It was also his fifth career two-homer game, and his fourth career grand slam.

The line score for Oakland was seven runs, 12 hits, and one error. The Twins’ line was two runs, 11 hits, and no errors. The winning pitcher was Wang, and Jose Berrios took the loss. Berrios is now 8-5 for the year.

Time of game was three hours and 20 minutes. 20,836 fans watched the A’s win.

Up Next: The A’s travel to Seattle to face the Mariners for three games before the All-Star break. Lefty Brett Anderson will pitch for the Green and Gold Friday night. Brett is 8-5 and has an ERA of 3.92. Seattle’s Yusei Kikuchi (4-5, 5.12 ERA) will be on the hill for the M’s. Kikuchi is also left-handed.

A’s shutout Angels 4-0 on Saturday night in Anaheim

Halos Anderson
Brett Anderson gave up just two hits on Saturday night Photo: @Athltetics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics won their second consecutive game over the Angels on Saturday night 4-0. The A’s combined strong pitching and key hitting to stop “the Halos” in their tracks.

The win upped the Athletics record to 45-39 for the season and made them 4-1 on this six-game road trip. They are 7.0 games behind first-place Houston and 1.5 games back of second-place Texas. Oakland is now 1.5 games out of the Wild Card race.

Pitching was key for the A’s

Brett Anderson had an outstanding start for the Athletics on Saturday night. He was able to work 7.2-innings of shutout baseball. Anderson allowed just two hits, two walks and struck out three Los Angeles batters. He threw 100 pitches (63 strikes). Anderson’s record improved to 8-5 for the year.

Liam Hendricks came in to close out the game for Oakland. Hendricks worked 1.1-innings giving up one hit and striking out two. It was not a save situation for Hendricks.

A’s used their power to score

Halos Chapman
Chapman hit home run #20 on Saturday night Photo: @Athletics

Oakland put three runs up on the board in the fifth inning. Marcus Semien doubled to left field to send Jurickson Profar home to score. For Semien, it was his 19th double and 42nd RBI of the season.

Also in the fifth inning, Matt Chapman hit a two-run home run (20) with Semien on base. That gave the A’s a 3-0 lead.

In the top of the seventh inning, Josh Phegley hit a single to right field that allowed Profar to score again. That put the A’s up 4-0.

The four-game series concludes on Sunday

Oakland will send Chris Bassitt (4-3, 3.86) to the hill to face off against Andrew Heaney (1-1, 4.99). The first pitch is scheduled for 1:07 PM.

A’s come alive in an 11-2 rout of the Mariners on Saturday night

A's Canha Hood
Mark Canha was ready for the cold temperatures Photo @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

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”.

A's Montas Line
Montas Line Graphic: @Athletics

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

A's Semien
Semien had a big night with the bat Photo @Athletics
  • 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.

Seattle Notes

  • 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.

Charlie O on Twitter: @Charlieo1320

Semien Spectacular, A’s Edge Rangers 5-3

Photo credit: sfchronicle.com

By Matthew Harrington

The Oakland A’s found themselves a game over .500 once again after beating the Texas Rangers 5-3 in Arlington Friday night. Marcus Semien went 4 for 5 with two homeruns, including the game-winning two-run shot in the ninth and Blake Treinen wriggled out of a bases loaded one-out rally in the ninth to preserve the win for Yusmeiro Petit. Petit (1-1) also escaped a bases loaded jam in the seventh.

The A’s were trailing 3-2 entering the seventh inning, but Semien stepped up with one out and runners on first and third, singling home Mark Canha off Shelby Miller to tie the game. He knocked in his third and fourth runs of the game, launching a Jose Leclerc (1-2) offering over the wall in right for a two-run blast in the top of the 9th and a 5-3 A’s lead.

Treinen entered the bottom of the inning looking to nail down the game. He got a fly out of Rougned Odor but pinch-hitter Ronald Guzman singled and Delino DeShields and Logan Forsythe walked to load the bases. Treinen coaxed a 5-4-3 double play out of Elvis Andrus to end the game and notch his 13th save.

Oakland led 2-0 by the fifth inning after a Matt Olson RBI single and Marcus Semien’s first homer of the game, his eighth of the season, both of Texas starter Lance Lynn. A’s starter Brett Anderson was cruising through five, giving up no runs, but the 6th inning proved his downfall. Elvis Andrus hit an RBI triple, Nomar Mazara grounded out but plated a run and Hunter Pence blasted his 13th longball of the season to give the Rangers a 3-2 edge late in the game, a lead Semien would single-handedly erase.

The A’s and Rangers, separated by one game in the standings, will play two Saturday. Paul Blackburn draws the game one assignment for the Green and Gold, while Chris Bassitt gets game two. Joe Palumbo and Adrian Sampson get the ball for Texas.

HOU 2
Photo/Graphic: @Astros

By Charlie O. Mallonee

Coming home to the Oakland Coliseum has not been a good thing for the Oakland Athletics. After winning 11 consecutive games, the A’s have now lost four games in a row at home. They have also lost a second consecutive series at home.

The first-place Houston Astros downed the A’s 5-1 on Saturday night at the Coliseum behind the “lights out” pitching of Justin Verlander (9-2, 2.27 ERA). The perennial All-Star pitcher worked 8.0-innings allowing just one run (earned) off four hits. Verlander struck out eight Oakland hitters while walking just two.

The A’s only run of the game came in the second inning when Stephen Piscotty hit the first pitch from Verlander over the wall in right field for his seventh home run of the season.

Brett Anderson (6-4, 3.95 ERA) made the start for Oakland. He worked 5.1-innings giving up three runs (all earned) on eight hits. Anderson struck out two and walked two.

The A’s used two relief pitchers in the contest. Yusmeiro Petit pitched 2.2-innings of perfect baseball while striking out two Astros. Joakim Soria closed out the game pitching the ninth inning and giving up two runs off two hits (1 HR).

A’s Spotlight

HOU3
Marcus Semien ejected Photo: @Athletics

  • Anderson has allowed five home runs in his last four starts after he gave up just one homer in his previous eight starts.
  • Ramon Laureano recorded his sixth assist of the year on Saturday. The center fielder threw Robinson Chirinos out as he attempted to advance to second base in the fourth inning.
  • Speaking of Laureano, he extended his career-long hitting streak to 14 games when he singled off Verlander in the fifth inning.
  • Marcus Semien was ejected in the fifth inning of the game. It was the first time Semien has been ejected from a game in his career.
  • Stephen Piscotty has possessed the hot bat for the A’s during this homestand. He went 2-for-4 on Saturday and he is batting .417 (10-for-24) with five runs, two doubles, two home runs, and four RBI in the eight games.

Houston Notes

HOU 4
Graphic: @Astros

  • Justin Verlander passed Cy Young for 21st on the all-time strikeout list (that’s impressive). Verlander is now for tied for the most wins in the Major Leagues with nine victories.
  • Josh Reddick is happy to back in the Coliseum. He has hit home runs in consecutive games for the first time since September 15 and 16, 2018. Reddick is hitting .412 (7-for-17) with three home runs and five RBI in four games in the Coliseum this season.
  • Michael Brantley now leads the MLB in multi-hit games after going 2-for-3 with a walk on Saturday. He has posted 27 multi-hit games. Brantley has recorded 72 hits already this season and is tied for first in the American League.

Up Next

The Astros and A’s will wrap up their series on Sunday at 1:07 PM PDT. Houston will send RHP Gerrit Cole (5-5, 4.04 ERA) to the mound to try and make it a sweep over Oakland. The A’s will counter with RHP Chris Bassitt (3-1, 3.27 ERA) in order to try and stop their losing streak.

Mariners nip the A’s 4-3 to sweep the 2-game series

photo from yahoosports.com: Seattle Mariners closing pitcher Roenis Elias reacts as stadium lights flash after the team’s baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Seattle. Elias earned the save as the Mariners won 4-3.

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland  A’s road woes continued as they fell to the Seattle Mariners 4-3 in Seattle Tuesday night. The A’s, who were 1-8 on their last nine-game road trip, started this road trip 0-2. The A’s are off on Wednesday and will start a four-game set with the Tigers in Detroit before finishing the trip with three games with the Cleveland Indians.

Brett Anderson was on the mound for Oakland Tuesday night. Anderson gave the A’s six innings, and he allowed six hits and four runs. He was the losing pitcher, and his record dropped to 4-3. Mike Leake started for Seattle, and he picked up his third win of the year. Leake went 6 2/3 innings and allowed five hits and three runs (one earned).

The M’s put two on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Anderson gave up solo homers to Daniel Vogelbach and Tim Beckham.

The A’s tied the game in the top of the fifth. Leake walked Ramon Laureano and gave up a single to Robbie Grossman. Both runners advanced when Josh Phegley flew out to deep center field. Marcus Semien reached on Beckham’s throwing error, and that allowed Laureano and Grossman to score.

The game didn’t stay tied for long. With one out, Anderson walked J.P. Crawford. M’s centerfielder, Mitch Haniger, who loves to play against Oakland, hit his second home of the series to give the Mariners the lead 4-2.

The A’s scored a run in the top of the seventh. Stephen Piscotty led off with a double. Robbie Grossman singled to drive in Piscotty. The A’s trail 4-3.

The M’s brought in Roenis Elias to pitch with two-out in the seventh. Elias responded by getting the final seven outs of the game to preserve the win for Seattle.

The A’s drop to 19-24 while the M’s improve to 21-23.

Time of game was two hours and 37 minutes. 11,355 fans were in attendance.

Up Next: The A’s will have the day off on Wednesday before heading to Detroit and Comerica Park. Starting for the A’s on Thursday night Chris Bassitt (1-1, 2.55 ERA). The Tigers starter is yet to be determined.

Jerry Feitelberg is the Oakland A’s beat reporter for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s sweep the Rangers out of Oakland with a 6-5 win in the series finale

Rangers final
Photo/Graphic: @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics completed a sweep of the Texas Rangers with a 6-5 win on Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum. The victory did not come easily. The A’s had to battle the boys from Texas and finally won it in the bottom of the ninth in a walkoff.

As the A’s came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning, the game was tied at five runs apiece. Matt Chapman grounded out to lead off the inning. Stephen Piscotty then singled up the middle to give the A’s a baserunner. Khris Davis flied out for the second out of the inning. Piscotty moved up to second base with a steal. Chad Pinder singled to right and Piscotty was able to score the winning run for the A’s.

The A’s record improved to 14-13 with the win. The Rangers dropped to 12-11 with the loss. Blake Treinen (1-1) picked up the victory while Chris Martin (0-2) was saddled with the loss.

Seven of the 11 runs scored in the contest came via home runs. The A’s recorded two home runs. The Rangers recorded three round-trippers.

A’s key performances

  • Oakland starting pitcher Aaron Brooks gave up three earned runs in 5.0 innings of work. He tied a career-high with seven strikeouts. Brooks did not issue a base-on-balls. Unfortunately, Brooks did not figure into the final decision.
  • The A’s relievers gave up two runs which allowed the Rangers to tie the game. Soria was charged with a Blown Save after he gave up an earned run in the seventh inning.
  • Blake Treinen walked two and struck out one Ranger en route to picking up the win. He has now pitched 28.0 consecutive scoreless innings at the Coliseum dating back to July 31, 2018.
  • Marcus Semien had a 2-for-5 game that included a 3-run home run. Semien is currently batting .321 with five doubles and three home runs.
  • Stephen Piscotty has picked up a hit in each of his last six games. He is hitting .522 (12-for-23) over that stretch. Wednesday was also his 500th career game.
  • Chad Pinder’s walkoff single was his the first walkoff hit of his career. Pinder now has three consecutive multi-hit games.

Rangers Piscotty
Graphic: @Athletics

Texas stars

  • Nomar Mazara recorded the third multi-home run game of his career on Wednesday as he went yard against Brooks and Petit. Mazara now has four home on the season.
  • Logan Forsythe had a big day at the plate for Texas. He went 2-for-3 with a home run, a double and a walk.
  • Pitcher Kyle Dowdy made his first career start against the A’s and allowed three runs (all earned) on four hits in 3.0 innings on the hill.
  • Texas used four pitchers in the game.

Up Next

The A’s have Thursday off and will start a three-game series in Toronto with the Blue Jays on Friday. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. will make his MLB debut for the Blue Jays on Friday night.

The Rangers head to Seattle for a four-game series that begins on Thursday night.

Don’t give in: The A’s keep fighting in dramatic, 6-5 win over the Angels in 11 innings

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND–After a rough week, and after a rough, first eight innings on Sunday with just three hits, as well as their continued struggles against suddenly superior AL West competition, the A’s struck back.

And lo and behold, the Angels–beset by injuries and saddled with a shaky bullpen–capitulated.

The A’s came up with a pair of runs in the ninth to tie, and Jonathan Lucroy’s game-winning hit scoring Jed Lowrie in the 11th to beat the Angels, 6-5.

“On the homestand, we had some good teams coming in here. We were trying to make up for that Astros series,” Lucroy said.

The win allowed the A’s to capture the three-game series on the heels of an embarrassing three-game sweep at the hands of the World Series champion Astros. After the twists and turns of the first 72 games of the season, the A’s are 36-36, the 13th time their record has landed at .500. The A’s concluded a 5-5 home stand, and they’re 15-14 over their last 29 games. All the symmetry hasn’t left the A’s in good position within their division. They trail the first-place Astros by a season-high 11 1/2 games after Houston won their 11th in a row, a 7-4 win over the Royals on Sunday.

The win allowed the A’s to disrupt their season-long, late inning pattern of winning when leading, and losing when trailing. Prior to Sunday, the A’s were 0-33 when trailing after eight and 31-0 when leading.

Oakland starter Daniel Mengden pitched more effectively than he did in his previous two starts, battling into the sixth inning where he departed trailing 4-2. Mengden allowed a combined 12 earned runs to the Rangers and Astros in his first two June starts, then gave up solo shots to veterans Chris Young and Albert Pujols on Sunday. But when Mengden could have unraveled, he didn’t. In the sixth, after Pujols’ shot gave the Angels the lead, Mengden uncorked a wild pitch with runners at first and third, allowing Andrelton Simmons to score. But Mengden recovered, striking out Martin Maldonado with a runner in scoring position before he was lifted for reliever Yusmeiro Petit.

“I’m just missing spots,” Mengden explained. “But we know we are in every game. With a few good at-bats, we’re right there.”

Those good at-bats did take place until after Andrew Heaney departed. The Angels’ starter finished eight innings, striking out eight while walking one. At one point, he retired 13 of 14 A’s batters. But things unraveled when he departed.

The Angels used five relievers, and four allowed a base hit, and three issued at least one walk. Blake Parker entered first and allowed a leadoff home run to Marcus Semien that trimmed the Angels’ lead. But Parker couldn’t settle down, walking two of the next three hitters.

“I’ve got to get ahead with better pitches. Go out there and one pitch, one run, I gotta regain my focus. I can’t have a four-pitch walk right after that,” Parker admitted.

Cam Bedrosian came on needing only to record the final out, but he surrendered the game-tying base hit to Mark Canha. Jake Jewell started the 11th, but allowed a leadoff single to Jed Lowrie, then hit Khris Davis on the first pitch with an errant curveball. And Eduardo Paredes failed to throw strikes on five of his first six pitches before Lucroy’s game-winner one-hopped the centerfield wall.

Of the 15 players currently on the disabled list for the Angels, relievers Kenyan Middleton and Blake Wood are lost for the season, and Jim Johnson, who was woefully ineffective as an Athletic in 2014, landed on the list last week with lumbar strain. Top option Justin Anderson couldn’t go on Sunday after throwing 28 pitches Friday night. So when the 11th inning opened, manager Mike Scioscia turned to Jewell in just his second major league appearance, then Paredes, who dragged a 7.15 ERA to the mound.

The A’s concluded a stretch of 20 home games in their last 25 with Sunday’s win. Now they hit the road for 27 of their next 35 games starting Tuesday in San Diego.  Paul Blackburn will make that start opposed by the Padres’ Eric Lauer.

 

A’s power their way past the Angels 6-4 on Saturday to end the losing streak

Semien HR
Semien hits his sixth HR in the top of the sixth inning Photo: @Athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics can cross two things off of their to-do list after beating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6-4 on Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum. First, they needed desperately needed end a four-game losing streak that began last Tuesday. Task completed.

Secondly, the A’s needed to get a win versus an AL West division opponent. They had lost six straight games to AL West teams and 12 of their last 13 games versus the West. The win on Saturday allows the team to check that off their list as well.

The A’s cannot let down after this victory, but it should prove to them that they are very capable of playing and winning in the Western Division.

Manaea looked unstoppable for four innings

Manaea vs LAA
Manaea looked unstoppable for the first four innings Photo: @Athletics

Sean Manaea made the start for the A’s and his slider was really working for him. The lefty set the Angels down in order for the first four innings. He looked unbeatable especially after Chad Pinder hit a home run to stake Manaea to a 1-0 lead.

Then came the top of the fifth inning. Albert Pujols led off the inning with a single. Martin Maldonado followed up with a single to right field. With runners at first and second, that brought Chris Young to bat. Young was the last minute replacement for Justin Upton who was scratched due to a stiff lower back.

Young HR
Young crushes a HR off Manaea Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Young hit a no doubt about it home run to over the left field wall to give the Angels a 3-1 lead. Manaea was able to work his way out of trouble to end the inning, but the mood of the team and fans had definitely changed.

The sixth inning was the Angels’ downfall
The Angels had to use LHP John Lamb — who was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake — to make the start. Lamb gave up a home run to Pinder in the fourth inning and then, Marcus Semien hit his sixth round-tripper of the season off Lamb to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. That would be all for Lamb, who exited the game with a 3-2 lead.

Reliever Noe Ramirez entered the game and hit the first batter he faced — Chad Pinder. Jed Lowrie flied out to center for the first out of the inning. DH Khris Davis walked. Rameriez then hit Matt Olson for his second hit-batsmen of the inning. With the bases loaded, Stephen Piscotty hit a blistering single up the middle that drove Davis and Olson home to score. When the inning ended, the A’s led the game 5-3.

Oakland would add one more run in the seventh inning on a Jed Lowrie RBI single.

The top of the ninth inning got a little exciting
Blake Treinen was brought in to close out the game in the top of the ninth. It was his first time on the mound in six games and he looked a little rusty.

The A’s closer gave up a run (earned) on one hit while walking two and striking out one Angels hitter. The situation did not become desperate, but it was not as clean of a close as the team would have liked it to have been.

Bob Melvin’s postgame comments

In the Batter’s Box
Oakland (35-36)

  • Chad Pinder had a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate for the A’s. He was just a double short of posting a cycle on Saturday. Pinder’s home run was his sixth of the season and he recorded his 14th RBI. Pinder hit his first triple of the year in the game.
  • Marcus Semiem hit his sixth HR to pick up his 27th RBI of the year.
  • Stephen Piscotty raised his RBI total to 29.
  • Jed Lowrie now has 43 RBI which is keeping close to the leaders in the majors
  • The A’s scored six runs off six hits and recorded six RBI. Their batters struck out eight times.
  • The A’s left six men on base while going 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

Los Angeles of Anaheim (38-33)

  • No batter for the Angels had a multi-hit game.
  • Chris Young picked up the big hit with his 3-run home run in the fifth inning. That upped his RBI total to 10.
  • Mike Trout and Albert Pujols each recorded a hit.
  • The Angels scored four runs on six hits while striking out six times.
  • The Angels left four men on base and went 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

On the Hill
A’s (Streak: Lost 1 game; 4-6 in last 10)

  • The win went to starting pitcher Sean Manaea, who is now 6-5 on the season. It was his first win since back in May. Manaea worked 6.0-innings giving up three runs (all earned) off four hits. He walked one and struck out four. He did give up one home run.
  • Treinen earned the save (15) but struggled to get there.
  • Petit and Trivino each worked an inning of scorless relief.

Angels (Streak: Lost 1 game; 5-5 in last 10)

  • John Lamb who made the start did not figure into the decision.
  • Noe’ Rameriez (2-3) was charged with the loss.
  • Jake Jewell was used for one inning of relief by the Angels and it was his Major League debut.

Up Next

The Angels and A’s will close out  this three-game series with the “rubber game” of the match on Sunday at 1:05 pm PDT. The Angels will start LHP Andrew Heaney (3-5, 3.68) -who will the third lefthander to start for LA in this series. The A’s will counter with RHP Daniel Mengden (6-6, 3.90).

big foul
Foul territory is tough to cover at the Coliseum Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee