The Oakland A’s got back into the win column on Tuesday night as they downed the Kansas City Royals 2-1 at the Coliseum. The A’s were down 1-0 going into the bottom of the seventh inning when they bit back at the upstart Royals.
Matt Olson hit a 450-foot home run into the center-field stands off a 2-1 pitch from the Royals starting pitcher Jorge Lopez. Lopez then had the most logical response to Olson’s home run — he hit Mark Canha with a pitch. No, Canha was not pleased.
With Canha at first, Seth Brown doubled to left-center field and drove Canha home to score what would prove to be the winning run of the game. Brown, who has been “clutch” for Oakland since being called up to the majors, made Lopez pay for his stupidity of hitting the next batter after Olson hit his home run. Lopez should have been ejected from the contest.
Focus on the A’s
Oakland is now 24-8 (.750) versus the AL Central Division this season.
Liam Hendriks, who picked up his 23rd save of the season, has struck out 116 batters as a relief pitcher to set a franchise record. The old record was 115 and was set by Rollie Fingers in 1975.
A.J. Puk earned his second career win in this game. He has pitched 2.0 scoreless innings in each of his last outings. He gave up one hit and struck out two batters on Tuesday night.
Matt Olson now leads the A’s and American League first basemen with 35 home runs (that is after missing the first six weeks of the season due to injury).
Mark Canha has now been hit by a pitch 17 times this season. That ties him with Shin-soo Choo for the most HBP in the American League.
Relief pitcher Joakim Soria has not allowed a run in his last five appearances.
The A’s are now in Wild Card Slot #1 with a two-game lead over Tampa Bay, who is in Wild Card Slot #2. Cleveland is 1/2 game behind Tampa Bay for the second Wild Card spot.
Spotlight on the Royals
Royals starting pitcher Jorge Lopez has allowed three or fewer runs in each of his last three starts.
Cheslor Cuthbert recorded his first multi-hit game since August 8th in Detroit. He is hitting .341 with three doubles and one HR versus AL West teams this season.
Hunter Dozier is batting .345 with four doubles, a triple and seven RBI in the month of September.
The Royals and A’s meet in a getaway day game tomorrow that will get underway at 12:37 PM PDT. The Royals will send LHP Danny Duffy to the mound. He has a 6-6 record on the season with a 4.55 ERA. He had a no-decision in his last start in Houston.
The A’s will start RHP Homer Bailey, who they obtained from the Royals, on Wednesday afternoon. Bailey is 13-8 on the year with a 4.76 ERA. He won his last start versus the Astros in Houston.
The Oakland Athletics won their fifth consecutive game on Saturday night in Texas as they downed the Rangers 8-6. The victory keeps the A’s in sole possession of the AL Wild Card Slot #1 by 1/2 game over the Tampa Bay Rays. The other Wild Card contender — the Cleveland Indians — have dropped back 2.5-games in the standings.
The A’s will go for the sweep in Arlington on Sunday.
It may have been a costly win
Mike Fiers started the game for Oakland Saturday night. Fiers set the Rangers down in order in the bottom of the first inning, but things changed in the bottom of the second inning.
Nomar Mazara led off for Texas by flying out to center fielder Mark Canha. Danny Santana then singled to left-center field. Fiers committed a balk that moved Santana to second base.
Fiers then threw a wild pitch to Odor and Santana advanced to third base. Odor then hit a two-run home run to center field. Fiers then issued a walk to Delino DeShields.
Bob Melvin and the medical staff came out to check on Fiers and removed him from the game.
After the game, Fiers explained that he felt a shot of numbness and pain in pitching hand after throwing a “cutter” to Odor. He went on to explain that he was trying to avoid feeling that again, but he did not want to alter his pitching motion.
Fiers went on to say that he will undergo more medical examinations on Monday in the Bay Area.
The loss of Fiers for any time as the A’s are in this stretch run would be devastating
Oakland used six pitchers in the game
Paul Blackburn relieved Fiers working 2.0-innings and gave up two runs off four hits. Ryan Buchter worked 1.1-innings giving up no runs on two hits. Buchter earned the win.
Lou Trivino, Yusmeiro Petit, Jake Diekman, and Liam Hendriks also pitched for the A’s. Hendriks was credited with his 22nd save of the season.
The A’s used their power again on Saturday night
Matt Chapman hit his 33rd home run of the season — a three-run shot — in the third inning off Mike Minor. Chapman’s 33 home runs are a franchise record for third basemen.
Josh Phegley hit his 12th round-tripper off Minor the fourth inning. Mark Canha put his 24th HR over the wall in the fifth inning — again off Minor. Matt Olson hit his 34th home run of the year in the sixth inning — a solo shot — but this time it was off reliever Luke Farrell.
Minor took the loss
Mike Minor was a trade target for many contending clubs at the trade deadline, but the Rangers decided to hold on to their star pitcher. He was charged with the loss on Saturday night, and his record is now 13-9 for 2019. His ERA stands at 3.33.
The A’s will send LHP Sean Manaea to the mound for the third time this season on Sunday afternoon. Manaea is 1-0 with 0.75 ERA and is coming off a win over the Tigers on September 8th.
The Rangers will start RHP Jonathan Hernandez (1-0, 1.93 ERA). Hernandez will be “the opener” in what will be a “bullpen game” for the Rangers.
NEW YORK — The Oakland Athletics lost to the New York Yankees for the first time this season on Saturday afternoon, 4-3 in 11 innings, after DJ LeMahieu hit a home run on Lou Trivino’s first pitch in the 11th inning.
Trevino allowed no runs in two innings before throwing a fastball that LeMahieu hit right field out of the ballpark, his second walk-off hit of the season.
A’s manager Bob Melvin said he has seen signs of Trivino and pitcher Blake Treinen, who allowed no runs in the ninth inning, “pitching better recently” and “hopefully it’s a trend.”
The Yankees gained momentum in the first inning when Gary Sanchez hit a home run on a fly ball to left field for a 1-0 lead.
Oakland responded in the fourth inning when Matt Olson hit a homer on a fly ball to right center field, and Matt Chapman scored, putting the A’s up 2-1. But in the fifth inning, Sanchez hit another home run on a fly ball to right center field to tie the game at 2-2.
The A’s took a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning when Chapman doubled on a line drive to left field, allowing Robbie Grossman to score. New York evened the score at 3-3 in the eight inning when Aaron Judge hit a home run off Joakim Soriaon on a fly ball to right field, and the game went into extra innings. All of New York’s runs were solo home runs.
“That was kind of the theme of the game today—solo shots,” A’s starting pitcher Homer Bailey said.
Oakland left 15 players on base and was 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. A’s manager Bob Melvin did not think (too bad).
“You leave 15 on, it comes back to bite you at some time,” Melvin said. “But you know what, we came back and the lead and were one pitch away from going into the ninth inning with it and Chappie’s ball, unless you have a 10-foot outfielder in right field, it probably goes out.”
Melvin concluded “it’s a game of inches today,” and, “sometimes they don’t come through, most times here recently, they do.”
A’s batter Mark Canha said the bullpen gave them opportunities and “we just couldn’t do it.”
“We just have to have some better at-bats tomorrow because I felt like we were just bon the cusp of breaking it open a few times,” Canha said. “We just needed that one hit and it didn’t work out unfortunately.”
The A’s beat the Yankees 3-0 in Oakland and won Friday night at Yankee Stadium. The A’s (78-57) and Yankees (89-48) play the last game of the series, tied at 1-1, Sunday with first pitch at 1:05 p.m. ET.
OAKLAND–Well that’s not how great teams cap a superior home stand.
The A’s were flying high–and leading the wild card chase–after taking six of seven from the Astros and Yankees. But with two games remaining on their nine-game stand at the Coliseum, the A’s flopped dropping a second straight to the Giants on Sunday, 5-4.
Donovan Solano went 4-for-4 and Evan Longoria knocked in three runs as the Giants came across the Bay and achieved the two-game sweep. The A’s appeared to be in business after Mark Canha homered for the second time off San Francisco rookie Logan Webb to take a 4-3 lead in the fourth. But Webb and five relievers limited the A’s to a pair of hits the rest of the way, and the Giants kept their playoff hopes on life support with a second, straight win.
The A’s normally reliable bullpen played the culprit for the second straight game, as Blake Treinen allowed the go-ahead, two-run single to Longoria in the seventh. Treinen was on to pick up Jake Diekman, who walked Donovan Solano, and hit Mike Yastrzemski with a pitch, two of the only three batters he faced. After battling Buster Posey, Treinen allowed the hit to Longoria on the first pitch.
“I got a groundball,” Treinen explaned. “I can’t control where it goes.”
The A’s fell a half game behind the Rays in the wild card stack with the Indians a full game ahead, and in control of the top spot, and the opportunity to host the wild card game. All three teams fell on Sunday, putting greater focus on the A’s inability to pull out a win at home.
All three teams have concerns going into the season’s final 30 ballgames, mostly on the injury front. The Rays lost Brandon Lowe earlier this week, and now Kevin Kiermaier has bruised ribs. Tampa also just ended a lengthy, favorable portion of their schedule, and will face all playoff-worthy competition in the upcoming weeks.
The Indians placed Jose Ramirez on the injured list over the weekend, as they uncharacteristically lost a pair to the downtrodden Royals. Cleveland briefly lost control of the top wild card spot before regaining it on Saturday.
And the A’s are dealing with Stephen Piscotty’s high ankle sprain that will likely land him on the injured list. With Mark Canha getting hot, they might not miss Piscotty terribly over the short run, but Khris Davis’ prolonged slump continues to be an issue. Davis was benched Sunday in favor of Jurickson Profar as the designated hitter.
The A’s hope the schedule will aid their efforts with them visiting the Royals for four games, while the Rays visit Houston, then host Cleveland for the only three, remaining games between the three wild card hopefuls.
The A’s honored the 1989 World Series champs before the game, a chance for the fans to reconnect with Dave Stewart, Rickey Henderson and the other heroes of their most recent World Series title.
On Monday, the A’s open a week-long road trip at Kauffman Stadium with Homer Bailey facing Brad Keller.
OAKLAND — The A’s literally snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory on Saturday night as they watched a 4-2 lead going into the top of the eighth inning be wiped out when the San Francisco exploded for eight runs on seven hits off five Oakland pitchers. It was simply a stunning rally that the A’s did not see coming.
For the Giants, it felt like they had pent up emotion and energy that just had to be released. Madison Bumgarner did his best to keep his team in the game to give them the chance to win. When the A’s pitching staff gave the Giants the slightest of openings, the men from across the Bay took the opportunity and did the most with it.
The Giants took game one (game 3 of 4 total) of the Bay Bridge Series in Oakland 10-5 on Saturday night before 56,367 fans who were treated their money’s worth for coming out to the ballpark. The Giants scored 10 runs off 13 hits and left six men on base. For the A’s, they put five runs up on the board on 10 hits while leaving 10 men on base and committing one error. The game took three hours and 50 minutes to complete.
The Giants record for the season improved to 64-65 with the victory while the A’s fell to 74-54 on the year. San Francisco is now 5.0 games out the second Wild Card spot in the National League. The A’s are 0.5 games behind the Rays for the second Wild Card slot in the American League.
In this type of game where 14 pitchers were used, determining the winning and losing pitcher is almost “voodoo” science. Sam Coonrod (3-0) gets credit for the win while Yusmeiro Petit(3-3) was tagged with the loss.
Neither starter figured into the final decision
Chris Bassitt pitched 5.2 innings for the A’s on Saturday night. The right-hander ran into some trouble as he started through the Giants order for the third time. He gave up a home run to Brandon Crawford on 0-1 pitch with two out in the top of the fifth inning. In the top of the sixth inning, Evan Longoria drove in Alex Dickerson from second base to tie the game at 2-2. That would be all for Bassitt as he was replaced on the mound by Jake Diekman.
Bassitt gave up two runs (both earned) off four hits (1 HR). He struck out five Giants and walked none. Bassitt threw 92 pitches (64 strikes).
Madison Bumgarner worked 5.0 innings for San Francisco in the contest. He also gave up two runs. The first run came off a leadoff home run by Mark Canha in the home half of the second inning that easily cleared the left-field fence. The A’s touched “Mad Bum” for another run in the bottom of the third inning.
Jurickson Profar walked to lead off the third for Oakland. Josh Phegley then singled to left field which moved Profar to second base. With one out, Matt Chapman hit a double to left that drove Profar in from second base to score the A’s second run of the game. The A’s took a temporary 2-0 at that point.
Bumgarner also gave up two runs (both earned) on two hits (1 HR). He struck five A’s and walked one. Bumgarner threw 97 pitches (64 strikes).
Did I just see a sacrifice?
Jurickson Profar was the leadoff hitter for the A’s in the bottom of the seventh, and he hit a double to right field. Catcher Josh Phegley then laid down a sacrifice bunt on the third-base side of the infield that moved Profar to third base (yes, everyone including the Giants was surprised). Marcus Semien followed up with an RBI single to left field. Matt Chapman singled to center sending Semien to third base. That would all for Giants reliever Jandel Gustave who would be replaced by Fernando Abad.
Matt Olson was the first Athletic to face Abad, and he hit a single to right that drove Semien home to score the fourth run of the game for Oakland. That would end the scoring for the A’s in the seventh inning and gave them a 4-2 lead, which proved to be not enough.
Focus on the A’s
Mark Canha hit his 20th home run of the year off Bumgarner in the second inning of the game. He also extended his hitting streak to eight games.
The A’s now have five players with 20-plus home runs on the season: Canha (20), Chapman (29), Laureano (21), Olson (26), and Semien (22).
Oakland has a record of 22-11 versus left-handed starters in 2019.
Spotlight on the Giants
Brandon Crawford hit his 10th home run of the season in the win on Saturday night and his first home since July 15 at Colorado.
Kevin Pillar has hit safely in 13 of his last 16 games and is hitting .397 over that stretch.
Evan Longoria went 2-for-4 in the game, was hit-by-pitch and posted two RBI. He is hitting .347 since June 30.
The Bay Bridge Series concludes on Sunday afternoon at 1:07 PM at the Coliseum. The Giants will send rookie RHP Logan Webb (1-0, 1.80 era) to the hill to make his second start of the season. He made his major league debut last Saturday in Arizona picked up the win. Expect quite a few fans in the stands rooting for Webb who grew up in Rocklin just east of Sacramento.
The A’s will counter with LHP Brett Anderson (10-9, 4.06 era). Anderson has been having a rough go of things as he is 1-4 with a 5.02 ERA in his last five starts. Run support has been a big issue for Anderson. The A’s have provided three runs or fewer in 14 of his last 17 starts. Anderson was the losing pitcher in the game with the Giants in San Francisco on August 13.
Player’s Weekend Uni’s
The black and white themed uniforms created an interesting effect on the field Saturday night. It was really a throwback feel. In fact, I felt like I was watching the movie “Eight Men Out” at times.
I really liked the all-black uniforms the Giants wore as the visiting team. They were as the guy says in the SUV commercial — “sharp!”. The all-white worn by the A’s were had a very clean look, but the lettering and numerals were washed out. If they had outlined the lettering and numbers in black, the home uniforms would have been “sharp”.
The A’s pitchers did wear black hats because it was determined that the hitters were having trouble picking the baseball up against the all-white caps.
mercurynews.com file photo: Stephen Piscotty #25 is helped off the field by by manager Bob Melvin #6 and Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics after he injured his right leg as he avoids the tag by Luis Rengifo #4 of the Los Angeles Angels sliding into second base in the sixth inning of the game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 29, 2019
On the A’s podcast with Joey:
#1 A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty who has been out for a month due to a sprained knee who injured himself on June 29th in Anaheim is not too sure when he’ll be back but has been rehabbing.
#2 Piscotty will be joining the Las Vegas Aviators the A’s Triple A affiliate for rehab the Aviators will be using Piscotty as a designated hitter in his first game back and as an outfielder in his second game back.
#3 The A’s Mark Canha has started in right field in 18 of his last 20 games during Piscotty’s absence Canha has hit 18-68 for average .265 and on base percentage of .375.
#4 The A’s opened up Mount Davis for fireworks night on Saturday night sections 335-355 are obstructed views of the outfield but the tickets for those locations are half off.
#5 Starting pitchers for Sunday’s game at the Coliseum for the Texas Rangers Pedro Payano (1-0 ERA 1.50) for the A’s Mike Fiers (9-3 ERA 3.57).
All photos by Charlie O Mallonee Sports Radio Service
by Charlie O. Mallonee
Oakland — The Athletics had lost three straight games going into their contest on Saturday night with the Texas Rangers. More importantly, the A’s were no longer in possession of a Wild Card Playoff slot.
Yes, there is slightly over two months of baseball remaining to play, but with the tight race for the Wild Card spots, no team can afford to fall very far behind. Two of the teams that have a realistic chance to grab a Wild Card slot are in the Western Division – the Angels and the Rangers.
Major start for Homer Bailey
The A’s made the trade with Kansas City for the veteran Bailey hoping that he would be able to shore up their starting pitching woes. While it true that the team added Bailey for very little cost, that did not mean the Athletics had low expectations for what he could bring to the mound.
Bailey was spectacular in his first game for Oakland as he picked up a 10-2 win over the Mariners. His second start was extremely disappointing. On July 22, he made the start against the Astros in Houston. Bailey lasted only two innings while giving up nine earned runs. At that point, the front office was not sure who they had added to their team.
On Saturday night, Bailey was in control on the hill. He worked 6.2-innings allowing three runs (all earned) while striking out seven and walking just one. The three runs he allowed came with two in the seventh inning. As manager Bob Melvin said, Bailey just could not get that one pitch over to get Danny Santana out. Santana hit a two-out two-run double to keep the inning alive.
In his postgame analysis, Melvin said that Bailey on Saturday night was is exactly who they wanted him to be when they traded for him. Bailey threw a total of 105 pitches (71 strikes). He faced 28 Texas batters. Bailey induced six hitters to groundout and four to flyout.
Bailey is now 2-1 as a member of the A’s. His overall record is 9-7 with an ERA of 5.33.
National Enquirer Story of the game
This story actually began back on June 8 in Texas when Rangers starting pitcher Adrian Sampson had a problem with Mark Canha when the A’s outfielder flipped his bat after hitting a home run. Words were exchanged and people were removed from Christmas card lists.
Flash forward to Saturday night, Canha came to the plate to face Sampson for the second time in the game, and you guessed it. The pitcher hit Canha with a pitch. Canha just trotted to first base like the man he is and was ready to play on.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Oakland center fielder Ramon Laureano hit his 21st homer of the season off Sampson. It was a “screamer” that landed halfway up the steps behind the left-field wall. Laureano did take a little time to admire his work and then began his home run trot. Sampson came off the mound and began yelling at Laureano to start running and stop looking. Words were exchanged. Again, names were crossed off the Christmas card list. The benches all stood up but nothing happened.
By the way, the Laureano home run was the fourth round-tripper Sampson had issued in the game.
Now for the rest of the story. In the bottom of the eighth inning, relief pitcher Rafael Montero was on the hill for Texas when Ramon Laureano came to bat for the Athletics with Canha on at first. Montero hit Laureano with a pitch and the benches along with the bullpens cleared.
There was lots of yelling and screaming. Some players were discussing their favorite IPA brands. It was stupid like most baseball bench-clearing situations. The umpires took charge and ejected Montero along with his manager Chris Woodward just as baseball mandates.
This time nothing bad happened, but it is only a matter of time before a situation gets out of hand. Commissioner Rob Manfred has to “suck it up” and take charge before one of these stupid situations becomes tragic.
Focus on the Athletics
All of the Oakland runs came via the home in this game. All were solo shots except Matt Chapman’s fifth inning 2-run home run off Sampson. Sampson gave up all four home runs.
Ramon Laureano went 2-for-3 in the game with a home run (21), a double (26) and a hit-by-pitch. He is batting .348 versus Texas.
Marcus Semien had a 2-for-4 night at the plate that included his 16th home run and he scored two runs. Semien is batting .400 against the Rangers this season.
Homer Bailey (9-7) was the winner. Liam Hendriks picked up his ninth save of the year.
The A’s scored five runs on six hits and left just four runners on base.
Adrian Sampson – who took the loss – allowed a season-high-tying four home runs in 6.0-innings pitched. He did the same thing versus the Red Sox on June 13. Sampson is 3-11 with a 5.77 ERA as a starting pitcher. He is 3-1 with a 3.15 ERA as a reliever.
Nomar Mazara went 3-for-4 with the bat on Saturday night. He is 7-for-15 in his last four games. Yes, he is starting on Sunday.
Elvis Andrus snapped an 0-for-11 streak at the plate by having a 2-for-4 game against the A’s on Saturday night.
The fourth and final game of this series is set to begin 1:07 PM on Sunday. The Rangers will send RHP Pedro Payano (1-0, 1.50) to the mound. It will be Payano’s third appearance in his Major League career. This makes Payano a bit of a wild card because the Oakland hitters will have to look at some pitches to figure how to hit off him. The scouting reports and videotape will be in limited supply.
The Athletics will counter with veteran RHP Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.57) who is hoping to take young Mr. Payano to school. Fiers is 7-0 with a 2.26 ERA in his last 14 starts.
In the top of the ninth inning, the Oakland Athletics trailed the Minnesota Twins 4-3 with two outs when Mark Canha came to the plate to face Taylor Rogers. Rogers threw Canha a slider that hit the batter on the back foot to give the A’s a runner to keep the inning alive.
Ramon Laureano hit a double to left field that moved Canha into scoring position at third base. That set the table for Khris Davis who hit a line drive to the right side of the infield that deflected off the glove of first baseman Ehire Adrianza that allowed Canha and Laureano to score. The A’s took the lead 5-4.
The Twins did not go quietly into the night
The A’s brought in Liam Hendriks to close out the game in the bottom of the ninth. It was clear right from the first batter that Hendriks was not as sharp as he usually is on the mound. He had pitched on Friday night and that may have taken a toll on his effectiveness.
Hendriks ended up loading the bases with just one out. Mitch Garver came to bat and hit the first pitch from Hendriks on the ground to the shortstop Marcus Semien. Semien underhanded the ball to Profar who had plenty of time to make the throw to Olson at first to complete the double play. Just that quickly, the A’s had won the game 5-4.
Blake Treinen (3-3, 4.46) was credited with the win. Treinen pitched 0.2-innings giving up one hit and walking two hitters.
Liam Hendriks picked up his eighth save of the season while working his way out that ninth-inning jam.
Starting pitcher Brett Anderson did not figure into the final decision and had to leave the game due to a blister on the left middle finger. His status is listed as day-to-day.
Matt Olson extended his hitting streak to 15 games which is now the longest active streak in baseball. Olson is now hitting .295 (18-for-61) with four home runs over the 15 games.
Ramon Laureano recorded his 29th multi-hit game and fifth consecutive contest on Saturday night. The young outfielder has hit 20 home runs this season.
Mark Canha hit his 16th home run of the season on Saturday night. He is now just one home run short of tying his career-high of 17 which he set last season.
Taylor Rogers (2-2, 1.97) was the losing pitcher. Rogers was also charged with a blown save – ouch!
Minnesota starting pitcher Jose Berrios worked 5.2 innings and gave up no runs, but he did not figure into the final decision.
This was the first loss this season for the Twins when they were leading after eight innings. They are now 53-1 when leading after eight innings.
The Twins have hit 181 home runs this season tying them with the Dodgers, Brewers, and Braves for the most home runs hit in the Major Leagues.
Miguel Sano hit his 14th home run of the season in the game, but it was just his second round-tripper at Target Field this year.
Nelson Cruz hit his 379th career home run on Saturday night which allowed him to pass A’s coach Matt Williams on the All-Time list.
The A’s and Twins wrap up this four-game series on Sunday at 11:10 PM PDT. Oakland will send RHP Daniel Mengden (5-1, 4.21) to face the Twins RHP Michael Pineda (6-5, 4.38).
Photo credit sfgate.com: Oakland Athletics’ Mark Canha, right, is congratulated by third base coach Matt Williams (4) after hitting a home run off Seattle Mariners’ Tommy Milone in the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Oakland, Calif
On the A’s podcast with Charlie O for Jerry Feitelberg:
#1 Is the ball juiced? There were six home runs hit during the A’s-Mariners game in Oakland on Wednesday afternoon.
#2 A’s hit six home runs Wednesday from Jurickson Profar 12th and 13th, Mark Canha 14th and 15th, Chad Pinder 8th, and Ramon Laureano 19th. In this lineup, you just never know who is going to get a base knock, but on Wednesday, it was everybody.
#3 A’s starter Homer Bailey debuted for Oakland pitching six innings, two earned runs and six strikeouts. He might be what the doctor ordered for the A’s rotation.
#4 The Mariners have had a rough trip so far in Anaheim. They got no hit on Tyler Skaggs night. the odds were not with them that night, then in Oakland, the Mariners getting swept in a two-game series by a hot A’s club. Most likely will be sellers at the trade deadline.
#5 A’s head to Minnesota for a four-game series starting on Thursday night at Target Field. For the A’s, Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.61 ERA), and for the Twins, Kyle Gibson (8-4, 4.03 ERA).
OAKLAND–It’s official: the A’s lengthiest–and potentially most promising–homestand of 2019 is a dud…at least to this point.
The season as a whole? Of course, it’s to be determined, as is this home stand. But the point of determination is fast approaching. Last season at this juncture, the A’s were two games into the best finish in Major League Baseball (63 wins in the final 92 games of the season). This season to date, the A’s are coming to grips with a series loss at home to the scuffling Mariners, capped by a 6-3 loss on Sunday.
The manner of the loss–the A’s squandered 2-0 and 3-2 leads–another reminder of the team’s inability to sustain successes within a game, or over a stretch of games. As a result, the A’s (36-36) are stuck at .500 for the 16th time this season.
Individually, Sunday’s game fell on setup man Lou Trivino’s inability to navigate the eighth inning in which the Mariners struck for four runs to overcome a one-run deficit and put the game away in one fell swoop.
Trivino failed to retire any of the five batters he faced, although the biggest blow to his stint was a fly ball off the bat of Domingo Santana that right fielder Mark Canha lost in the sun for a two-base error.
The normally staunch Canha committed his first error in his last 152 game appearances.
“It was like the ball was falling faster than I could run,” Canha explained. “It was just a brutal play. Brutal.”
“I feel like it cost us the game. It put Lou in a really tough spot and I feel horrible about it.”
That set up the Mariners with runners at second and third with one out, at which point Trivino’s command issues cropped up. Designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach, a serious threat with 17 home runs, was walked on four pitches which loaded the bases. Then Kyle Seager doubled home a pair on a 1-0 pitch to give the Mariners the lead.
“I blow the lead for what seems to be the 10th time this year,” Trivino said. “It’s frustrating and Lord willing I can fight through this and come up for us.”
Bob Melvin summoned Yusmeiro Petit at that point, and he allowed a run-scoring, sacrifice fly to Tom Murphy. Dee Gordon’s RBI triple then capped the rally.
The A’s remained a season-worst 12 games behind the division-leading Astros, who lost to Toronto. More importantly, the Rangers fell in Cincinnati, which kept the A’s within 2 1/2 games of the team currently in possession of the second wild card.
Featured pitcher Tanner Anderson pitched 5 1/3 innings in relief of opener Ryan Buchter, allowing three hits and two runs. That second, impressive outing means the minor league call up will likely get a third opportunity. Khris Davis opened the day’s scoring with a two-run homer, his 15th. But those individual highlights couldn’t trump a disastrous eighth that decided it.
The A’s hoped to take full advantage of a home stretch against last-place clubs in Seattle and Baltimore, but now must turn their attention to fleecing the Orioles starting Monday.
Mike Fiers and Baltimore’s Andrew Cashner will face off in the opener at 7:07 pm.