By Morris Phillips
It was if the A’s were running late to their division-clinching party. Running late all afternoon.
In a 14-2 loss to the revenge-minded Giants, the A’s just couldn’t get started. And with the Giants piling on early and often, it wasn’t like the A’s got a bunch of chances to chalk up one more home win to capture their first division crown since 2013.
The A’s first hit didn’t materialize until the fourth inning, on an infield job by Matt Olson. Their first runner in scoring position came in the fifth, and Khris Davis couldn’t score. Their first runs were knocked in by Jake Lamb in the sixth, but they already trailed 8-0.
“Everybody came to the field thinking, get another ‘W,’ get another win, lock it up,” said A’s starter Mike Minor, who was roughed up and lifted in the sixth. “Didn’t happen. But you know guys are still positive. They’re going to get to LA and do work there.”
Minor allowed a pair of two-run homers, then gave way to J.B. Wendelken in the sixth. The third batter Wendelken faced–Brandon Crawford–greeted him with a grand slam. Down 8-0, all Oakland social engagements were postponed.
The three relievers that followed didn’t far much better as Jordan Weems, Lou Trivino and T.J. McFarland coughed up six more Giants runs. McFarland somehow managed to surrender six hits and three runs in a 24-pitch span.
Manager Bob Melvin had to get creative to explain his bullpen’s bad day.
“They’re used to coming in games where it’s close and every pitch matters,” Melvin said.
The A’s turn their attention to a trip to Dodgers Stadium, where they could end up if they advance to the ALDS in a couple of weeks. For now, it’s an opportunity to see baseball’s best team in their environment while chasing that next, critical win.
The A’s then return to the Coliseum to finish the regular season against the Mariners.