Pollock and Betts go deep in Dodgers 6-2 win over SF

Los Angeles Dodgers’ A.J. Pollock, left, hits a three-run home run as San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Tyler Rogers, right, watches along with catcher Tyler Heineman, second from right, and home plate umpire Adam Hamari during the seventh inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

By Jeremy Kahn

Two bad pitches by relievers for the San Francisco Giants gave the game and the series to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

AJ Pollock hit a three-run home run off of Tyler Rogers in the bottom of the seventh inning, as the Dodgers would go on to defeat the Giants 6-2 at Dodger Stadium.

Cody Bellinger hit a single off of starter Kevin Gausman with one out in the inning and then Justin Turner picked up a single off of Rogers. After Rogers struck out max Muncy for the second out of the inning, and then Pollock put a 3-2 offering from Rogers and put it into the left field pavilion.

Just one inning later, Mookie Betts put the game out of reach, as he launched a three-run home run of his own.

Will Smith picked up a leadoff walk and then Enrique Hernandez doubled off of Caleb Baragar, and then Betts picked up his first hit in four at-bats, when took a Baragar pitch and put into the left field pavilion just like Pollocks.

Jake McGee struck out one in his only inning of work to pick up his first win of the season for the Dodgers.

Mike Yastrzemski picked up the Giants first hit of the afternoon, as he singled to center field off of Walker Buehler that scored both Pablo Sandoval and Austin Slater from second and third respectively. Sandoval walked and then Buehler hit Slater, and then after a wild pitch by Buehler, Yastrzemski broke the scoreless tie with a single to centerfield.

Donovan Solano, who leads the major leagues in hitting, extended his hitting streak up to a career-high 14 games, when he singled in the top of the eighth.

Solano is hitting .455 on the season, as he attempts to become the first player since Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox in 1941 to finish the season with over a .400 batting average. That season, Williams, a native of San Diego finished the season with a .406 batting average and won the American League Most Valuable Player Award over San Francisco native Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees, who set a major-league record by hitting in 56 consecutive games.

Gausman went 6.1 innings, allowing just one run on three hits, not walking a batter and struck out six, as he did not fare in the decision.

NOTES: Right-handed pitcher Jordan Humphreys was placed on the restricted list for personal reasons and left-hander pitcher Jarlin Garcia was reinstated 60-day injured list.

The Giants acquired outfielder Luis Basabe and he will report to the teams alternate site in Sacramento. Former Oakland As pitcher Trevor Cahill was called up to the taxi squad, while Andrew Suarez was sent to Sacramento and Abiatal Avelino was designated for assignment.

UP NEXT: Lance McCullers, Jr. will open the three-game series for the Houston Astros on Monday night, while the Giants have yet to announce a starter.

Headline Sports podcast with Daniel Dullum: Flyers and Knights top seeds in Stanley Cup; Suns remain undefeated in the bubble; plus more

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (79) makes a save on Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17) during the first period of an NHL hockey playoff game Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

On Headlines podcast with Daniel:

1 From under the NHL bubbles: Flyers are top seed in the East, Golden Knights are No. 1 in the West

2 Fighting is up in NHL playoffs

3 NBA: Suns are 5-0 in the bubble, T.J. Warren continues scoring binge for Pacers

4 MLB: Giants’ Johnny Cueto — close but no no-hitter; Cubs-Cardinals series postponed after more positive Covid-19 tests

5 NCAA: Mid-American Conference cancels all of its fall sports for 2020

6 If college football season doesn’t happen, NFL might play on Saturdays

Daniel does Headline Sports each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Slater homers twice off of Kershaw in Giants win 5-4

San Francisco Giants’ Austin Slater, left, runs to first base as he hits a solo home run while Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, center, and catcher Austin Barnes, right, watch during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

By Jeremy Kahn

Austin Slater joined an exclusive club in Game Two of the three-game series between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Slater became only the seventh player to hit two home runs in the same game versus Kershaw in the same game, as the Giants hung on to defeat the Dodgers 5-4 at Dodger Stadium.

Leading off the top of the third inning, Slater hit a solo home run over the center field wall to give the Giants a 1-0 lead and then two batters later, Mike Yastrzemski made it 2-0, as he hit a home run into the right field bleachers.

Just two innings later in the top of the fifth inning, Slater did it again, as he launched his second home run of the game and the season to give the Giants a 3-0 lead.

After Donovan Solano doubled to left field, Yastrzemski made it 4-0, as he doubled off of Kershaw and that was the end of the night for Kershaw.

Johnny Cueto was cruising into the bottom of the sixth inning, as he was throwing a no-hiter; however, he it was gone after the first batter of the inning after a weird play in the outfield.

Enrique Hernandez hit a fly ball to left field that should have been an easy out for Hunter Pence, but Pence lost the ball in the lights and Hernandez ended up on third base with a triple. Immediately after the Hernandez triple, Austin Barnes grounded to shortstop that allowed Hernandez to score from third base.

Both Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger walked, but inside of pulling Cueto, who was limping from an apparent leg injury, Giants manager Gabe Kapler allowed Cueto to stay in the game and face nemesis Justin Turner, who took the right-hander deep to cut the Giants down to 5-4 and that was the end of the line for Cueto, who was replaced by Tony Watson, who got Max Muncy to pop out to Chadwick Tromp.

In all, Cueto was fantastic, as he went five and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs on just two hits, walking three and striking out three to pick up his first win of the season.

On the other side of things, Kershaw went 4.1 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out six.

This was the second shortest start in Kershaws career against the Giants, a team that he was 23-12 with a 1.74 earned run average in his career. It was also the first time that he ever allowed three home runs to the Giants in the same game in 49 starts.

Trevor Gott walked one in the bottom of the ninth inning, but was able to get the final out for his fourth save of the season.

The quartet of Slater, Solano, Yastrzemski and Evan Longoria, the first four batters of the Giants lineup went a combined 9-for-19 with three home runs and four batted in.

Once again, the Giants bullpen was outstanding, as Watson, Trevor Rogers and Gott went the final 3.1 innings, allowing just a walk and strikeout, as the Giants put an end to their two-game losing streak.

NOTES: Cueto was forced to leave the game with blister on his toe, and Jeff Samardzija will not throw for seven to 10 days due to inflammation to his rotator cuff and will return to the Bay Area, when the Giants head to Houston.

With the two home runs versus Kershaw, Slater joined Adam Dunn of the Washington Nationals on (August 6, 2010), Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies (May 2, 2012), Jayson Werth (July 21, 2013), for the Nationals, Jay Bruce (September 8, 2013) of the Cincinnati Reds, Jose Reyes of the New York Mets (June 19, 2017) and Bo Bichette of the Toronto Blue Jays (August 20, 2019).

UP NEXT: Kevin Gausman will start the finale for the Giants, as he looks for his first win of the season, while Walker Buehler will take the ball for the Dodgers.

BaseballReference.Com contributed to this report

Oakland A’s game wrap: Good pitching beats good hitting A’s win eighth straight 3-1 defeat Astros

Oakland Athletics’ Sean Murphy, Liam Hendriks (16) and Marcus Semien, from left, and teammates celebrate the 3-1 win over the Houston Astros in a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Charlie O

The Oakland A’s became baseball’s hottest team after they defeated the visiting Houston Astros on Saturday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum 3-1 winning their eighth straight game. The A’s Marcus Semien who got the game winning hit the night before in the 13th inning to send the Astros packing this time lead off the ball game on Saturday with a home run in the first inning.

The A’s also got some great pitching help from starter Frankie Montas who picked up his second win against one loss throwing seven innings of shutout ball against a Astros line up that can pound the ball. Montas was pitching out of his mind and looked like he could have completed the game if it weren’t for the pitch count.

Montas surrendered two hits and walked a hitter the seven innings of work and top it off Montas struck out five batters. For the Astros their suffering in their own right taking a fourth straight loss, they have three starting pitchers that are shelved and can’t seem to get that old magic feeling like when they won their three previous AL West division title seasons.

Semien is off to the races during the A’s eight game win streak Semien is the first A’s player in the team’s franchise history to get a get a walk off hit to win a ball game and the very next day to leadoff with a home run.

Mark Chapman also provided some offense for the club he belted an eighth inning homer and picked up an RBI when he grounded out in the sixth. The A’s scored a single run in each of the first, sixth, and eighth inning frames good enough to defeat the Astros.

This was Astros manager Dusty Baker’s first visit back to the Bay Area. Dusty worked in the San Francisco Giants front office last season before getting hired as the Astros manager for this season. Dusty is trying to weather the storm with an injured pitching staff of starters and the team in the middle of a four game losing streak.

Sunday’s starting pitchers: The Houston Astros for game three of this series will be starting right hander Cristian Javier (1-0 ERA 1.42) with 11 strikeouts on Sunday. Javier won his first major league game on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

The A’s will be starting left hander Jesus Luzardo (0-0 ERA 2.31) threw five innings of shutout ball in his major league starting debut against the Texas Rangers. Luzardo made his major league pitching  debut in releif against the Houston Astros last season.




San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Giants hoping to have a better go of it in LA after struggles in Colorado

The San Francisco Giants Mauricio Dubon shooshes the empty stands at Coors Field in Denver after belting a three run homer in the seventh inning but it wasn’t enough as the Giants lost by two runs to the Colorado Rockies on Thursday 6-4 (AP photo)

On the San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca:

#1 The Giants have lost three out of four the the Rockies before heading to LA on Friday. The way you saw that series in Denver was it a matter of just a lot of good hitting for the Rockies or the Giants bullpen couldn’t get tracked?

#2 It’s a shame that Tyler Anderson couldn’t complete a game we know about the pitch count 66 for Anderson five innings, two hits, two walks, and three strike outs a decent start for Anderson.

#3 Talk about Brandon Belt he helped the Giants from getting swept in Colorado with a big fly to edge the Rockies on Wednesday 4-3. Belt’s been hitting .182 talk about how effective he could be in the line up?

#4 There were times that people just gave up on Pablo Sandoval in the past but he’s still durable on Wednesday he got two hits and right now Sandoval is hitting .206, no homers an RBI.

#5 Michael talk a little about catcher Chad Tromp hitting .318 and Mauricio Dubon hitting .258 with a homer on Thursday and they can help the Giants.

Michael joins Sports Talk every other Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com


Oak A’s Fri game wrap: Semien’s basehit scores Grossman for 13th inning 3-2 win; A’s 7th consecutive win

The Oakland A’s Marcus Semien connected for the game winning base hit in the bottom of the 13th inning of Friday night’s game at the Oakland Coliseum to score Robbie Grossman for the win (AP photo)

By Barbara Mason

The Oakland A’s had a decent start to the 2020 season. They were by no means on fire and quite frankly their bats were a bit on the sleepy side. They won a few games and then the mediocre start turned into something very special.

It started slowly, but those bats came to attention and there has been no looking back. In the last six games the A’s have outscored their opponents 34-14. The team is riding on a six game winning streak and are sitting atop the AL West two and a half games ahead of the second place Houston Astros. This 3-game series against the Astros could turn out to be a very important one in this shortened season.

The A’s Chris Bassitt was on the mound in the opening game of the series. He breezed through the first two innings allowing the Astros a single hit. The Astros Zach Greinke had two nice innings allowing only one hit by Kris Davis. It was the first for the A’s a double in the second inning. Grossman would strike out leaving Davis stranded going into the third inning.

Martin Maldonado would advance to 1st base on a walk followed by a bullet to deep center field by Myles Straw. Maldonado would score off that hit giving the Astros the first score of the game 1-0. In the bottom of the third inning the A’s managed a single by Marcus Semien but was left stranded when Ramon Laureano was thrown out at first.

After a quiet fourth inning by both teams, the A’s started to make some noise in the 5th inning. With the bases loaded and 1 out the A’s were threatening. A double play ended Oakland’s hopes to get up on the scoreboard and this game would go into the 6th inning.

It was a very frustrating 6th inning for the A’s. After a leadoff triple by Ramon Laureano the team came away empty. Offensively, the A’s were not getting the job done. They had the bases loaded in the 5th and a runner on third with no outs in the 6th but no cigar for Oakland. The only good news for the A’s through 6 innings was the slim lead for Houston.

Houston’s Josh James would take over for Greinke in the bottom of the 7th inning. It would prove disastrous for Houston as Robbie Grossman would knock the ball out of the park to tie the game 1-1. Hopefully that at bat would inject some life into the A’s offense.

Joakim Soria would come in for the A’s to start the 8th inning. Chris Bassitt had allowed only 3 hits having another solid game. The new and improved Soria took care of business stranding a single Astro player heading into the bottom of the 8th inning.

It had been a battle of the starters but now we saw the battle of the bullpen. This battle would carry into the top of the 9th inning with Liam Hendriks. Hendriks would make short work of the Astros and the A’s would head into walk off territory in the bottom of the 9th inning.

The walk off was not to be and so it was off to extra innings. Jake Diekman would start the 10th inning. Matt Chapman would make a diving play to get the third out at first and the A’s would have a second chance for a walk off.

Astros pitcher Enoli Paredes would take the mound in an effort to keep his team in the game. Oakland would leave a runner on third and first heading into the 11th inning. The A’s had opportunity and just weren’t able to take advantage of those opportunities putting their winning streak on the line. J.B. Wendelken would pitch the 11th inning navigating through 3 batters the final out being Correa.

In the 11th inning, the A’s would load the bases for the second time in the game to no avail. It was off to the 12th inning. The Astros with runners on 3rd and 1st with no outs had an opportunity to bury the A’s. Houston was unable to cash in on the opportunity and the A’s had yet another chance to put this one away. They simply had to put the ball into play. A very frustrating game for both managers. The A’s would load the bases for the 3rd time in the game and come up empty yet again.

It was just a matter of time when one of these teams would take advantage of the missed opportunities. The Astros would be that team as Stubbs crossed home plate taking a 2-1 lead. The A’s would have one last chance in this game. With the bases loaded again the A’s finally broke through to even the score 2-2. Would this game continue or could the A’s finally finish it in the 13th inning? Apparently Marcus Semien was frustrated enough to belt a deep ball center field winning the game for Oakland in a marathon. “For us we just wanted to play our game. We’re hot right now. This was a tough game,” Semien said post game.. So the Oakland A’s keep their win streak intact at 7 in a row. It sure makes for another interesting game tomorrow as these two rivals meet for the second game of their series.

Defensive miscue costs Giants in 7-2 loss to LA

Fresh Prince of Home Run: The Los Angeles Dodgers Will Smith hits one deep that eludes San Francisco Giants left fielder Darrin Ruf’s glove over the Dodgers bullpen in the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium (AP photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

It seems that the San Francisco Giants defense is not getting any better and once again it cost them a game in the long run.

Justin Turner singled to left field immediately following a fielding error by Darrin Ruf in left field that Cody Bellinger to advance to second in the bottom of the third inning, and then scored on the Turner and the Los Angeles Dodgers took a 2-1 lead on their way to a 7-2 victory over the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

The error by Ruf was their major league leading 18th error of the season in 15 games this season.

Mookie Betts continues to get better as the shortened season continues, as he hit a solo home run off of Jeff Samardzija that tied up the game. It was the first home run for Betts at Dodger Stadium.

Donovan Solano gave the Giants a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning, as he singled in Mike Yastrzemski, who doubled to left-center field with one out in the inning.

The Dodgers broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Max Muncy hit a solo home run into the right field pavilion and then three batters later, Will Smith launched a two-run home run into the left field pavilion that gave the Dodgers a 5-1 lead over their longtime rivals.

Samardzija did not make it out of the fifth inning, as the Dodgers loaded the bases with nobody out after Samardzija walked Bellinger and then hit Turner and Enrique Hernandez before being replaced by Sam Selman, who was able to get Muncy; however, the Dodgers added another run, when Chris Taylor grounded into a fielders choice to score Bellinger.

The right-handed throwing Samardzija went four innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits, walking two and striking out three, as his record fell to 0-2 on the season.

Wilmer Flores homered off of Dennis Santana in the top of the sixth inning for the Giants final run of the evening, and are now 1-4 on their road trip.

Dylan Floro picked up the win for the Dodgers, his first of the season after he replaced starter Julio Urias, who gave up one run in four innings of work.

UP NEXT: Johnny Cueto will take the mound for the Giants on Saturday evening, while Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers.

MLB podcast with London Marq: Kids, call ups, rookies, all make Marlins best team in baseball; Did A’s coach really do the Nazi salute following game Wednesday?

Miami Marlins shortstop Jonathan Villar (2) and center fielder Monte Harrison, right, celebrate after defeating the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, in Baltimore. Marlins’ Corey Dickerson, left, looks on. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

On the MLB podcast with London Marq:

#1 Who would have thought that after losing half the roster 14 players and two coaches to Covid 19 the Miami Marlins who had to use call ups, free agents, and rookies would turn the ship around and put the Marlins in first place with five straight wins and have one of the best records in baseball?

#2 MLB did come out with a directive on Thursday saying that all 30 teams must follow a directive to stay in their hotel rooms and only go out to the ball park to work. The Marlins and St Louis Cardinals were apparently going shopping, socializing outside of their hotels and someone got infected. MLB is saying that players caught getting Covid 19 carelessly will be suspended for the rest of the season.

#3 Oakland A’s bench coach Ryan Christiansen who did a salute that looked like a Nazi salute in front of the Oakland A’s dugout right after the conclusion of Wednesday’s game against the Texas Rangers had apologized after it made social media. The video of the salute show Christianson standing in front of the dugout with his arm extended and pitcher Liam Hendriks putting his arm down as he walked by. After Hendriks walked by Christiansen extended the arm again and saluted again in the same way.

#4 Christianson did not deny the salute saying it was not the Nazi salute and it only looked like it and it was not intended to offend anyone and he was doing it as an alternative to the elbow bump. On video you can see Christiansen doing it not only once but twice.

#5 The Houston Astros who are having huge starting pitching issues will open a three game series against the Oakland A’s who are on a six game winning after sweeping the Texas Rangers in Oakland. The A’s have been getting key hitting can good hitting beat a struggling Astros starting rotation?

Join London each Friday for Sports podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com


A’s game wrap: Four run 4th helps put A’s on top 6-4; Win streak extends to six

Oakland Athletics’ Khris Davis swings for a two run single off Texas Rangers’ Mike Minor in the fourth inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Texas Rangers 4-12-0

Oakland Athletics 6- 6- 0

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–Mike Fiers seems to find himself in the most unusual circumstances.

Last May 7, at 6:50 in the evening, just fifteen minutes before he was scheduled to start against the Cincinnati Reds, the lights in the outfield at the Coliseum hadn’t fully turned on . Fiers’ first pitch was delayed, postponed, repeatedly put off, until, finally, at 8:45, the lights functioned well enough to allow the game to start. Most pitchers would have had trouble adjusting to a disruption of this magnitude to their pregame routine. Fiers went on to toss a no hitter against the Reds.

Two and a half weeks earlier, the A’s right hander, then the ace of the Athletics’ rotation, had found himself in another unaccustomed place. He was Oakland’s starting pitcher that night in the MLB’s season’s opener, played in the Tokyo Dome. His performance on that occasion was, however, lackluster, as it would continue to be until he took his 2-3, 6.81 record to the mound against Cincinnati and turned his season around

This past off-season found Fiers at the center of what seemed at the time to be baseball’s dominant controversy. It was he who blew the whistle on the Astros’ high tech garbage can sign stealing scandal.

We’ll be sure to hear more about that when Houston comes to town for a three game series starting tomorrow. So, in spite of the unsettling nature of all activities in this season of COVID-19 and the veteran hurler’s unimpressive record of 0-0, 5.40-not unlike the one he brought to his masterpiece against Cincinnati, it seemed likely that this afternoon’s contest between the division leading Athletics and the struggling Rangers would be just another day at the office for the veteran right hander.

Indeed, the A’s starter went about his business efficiently for the first four innings, although he began to wobble in the fifth frame. Nick Solak led off with a single to left, only the second hit of the game for Texas.

Before throwing his first pitcher to the next batter, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Fiers attempted to pick Solak off at first. Umpire Rob Drake ruled him safe, but the A’s requested, and got, a review. It took only a minute and 38 seconds for the umpire crew in New York to reverse Drake’s call.

That provided Fiers a respite, but all respites are brief and this was no exception. Fiers threw an 83 mph slider to Kiner-Falefa, and Kiner-Falefa hit a sinking line drive that Ramón dove for in center field in an unsuccessful attempt to make a circus catch. When the dust had settled, there was Kiner-Falefa a-hugging third. Andeerson Tejada promptly singled him home for the first Texas tally.

While Fiers was mowing down the Rangers line up, his teammates were making hay in the sunshine of the Coliseum, his opposite number for Texas, Mike Minor,was having major problems.

The Rangers’ southpaw, making his third start of the season after a decent outing against Colorado in Arlington and an unsuccessful one against the Giants in San Francisco, brought a 0-2, 5.91 mark and did not improve upon it. His troubles began in the second inning, when Matt Olson slammed his fourth home run of the season, his second in as many days, this one a blast that flew over the Eva Air advertisement in right field.

Minor held his own for a while, but Laureano led off the home fourth with a single to right and advanced to second on Matt Chapman’s wa;l . Mark Canha’s safety to center scored Laureano and moved Chappy up a base. After Minor got Olson on a fly to left, he walked Chad Pinder to load the bases.

The resurgent Khris Davis unloaded them with a two run single to left. which brought Pinder to third. Stephen Piscotty’s sacrifice fly to center drove in Pinder, and Oakland was up by five before Texas scored its first run when Fiers began to unravel in the fifth.

That unravelling began slowly and unsteadily, but it progressed surely. In the sixth, Todd Frzier narrowed the gap between the team to 5-2 with a 429 foot round tripper over an 86 mph sinker from Fiers.

After he surrendered a single to Kiner-Falefa and a two run and two run, 391 foot homer to on a change up to Anderson Tejada, making his major league debut, Fiers waa through for the day.He left the game leading 5-4 after posting a line of four runs, all earned, on seven hits, two of which went the distance, and two walks. He struck out two in his six plus innings of work. Of his 80 pitches, 49 were, by MLB’s statistical definition, strikes. T.J. McFarland, last night’s winning pitcher in relief, closed out the inning, although he allowed a double to left by Shin-Soo Choo.

Minor had left the game after recovering enough to retire the A;s 1-2-3 in the fifth, a feat his successor, Jimmy Herget, accomplished in the sixth. But the A’s put additional distance between themselves and pursuing Rangers in the bottom half of the seventh episode.

Joely Rodríguez took over for Herget to open the frame. Davis greeted him with an infield single. Piscotty sacrificed (yes, you read that right) him over to second, and he scored on Sean Murphy’s single to left center. Oakland now led 6-4.

The Rangers’ biggest threat came in the top of the eighth, with the old war horse Yusmeiro Petit on the mound for the Green and Gold. He merged bloody but unbowed, and, most important, unscored upon.

Petit began the inning by striking out Joey Gallo, which is not as easy to do these days as it was a couple of years ago. Then a trio of well-sprayed singles, to left, center, and right by Frazier, Solak, and Kiner-Falefa, respectively, loaded the bases with one out. Tejada, fresh from his single and homer (both to right) popped out on an infield fly to Semien. Then Robinson Chirinos pinch hit for Jeff Mathis. Petit came up big and struck him out on three pitches, all of them cut fast balls.

All that was left was for Liam Hendricks to keep the Rangers at bay for one more inning. He started inauspiciously at the top of bating order, allowing a single to right center by Choo. But he struck out Elvis Andrus on four pitches, three 95 mph four seamers in a row, followed an 87 mph slider.

Then Willie Calhoun hit a scorching line drive between first and second. It was fortunate for the A’s that they were playing in a shift and the ball came straight to Semien, who caught it and threw to first to double off Chou and end the game.

The win, not a pretty one, but a win nonetheless, went to Fiers; the save, his fourth, to Petit. Once again, the Athletics’ bullpen put it all together. It would be nice if you could a recognition joint wins; holds and saves just don’t cut it, especially in a season like this. Minor took the loss. He’s now 0-3 with an ERA of 6.89.

Before the game, the A’s announced that they had optioned Seth Brown and James Kaprielian to their alternate site in San José.

As I write this, Oakland has a two game lead over the Astros in the AL West, but Houston is ahead of the Diamondback 4-3 in the top of the eighth.

Speaking of the Astros, they come to Oakland for a three game series starting tomorrow. Zack Greinke (0-0, 5.00) is scheduled to pitch for the Garbage Can Bangers; Chris Basitt (1-0,0.93) for the Hometown Heroes.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Memory Lane The 1981 Oakland A’s

Copy of a delivered Sports Illustrated cover of the starting rotation of the 1981 Oakland A’s pitching staff top left to right, Rick Langford, Steve McCatty, Brian Kingman, bottom Matt Keough (left) and Mike Norris (right)

Memory Lane: The 1981 Oakland Athletics

That’s Amaury News Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

This current 60-game abbreviated season and the strike-abbreviated season of 1981 have many similarities. For the Oakland A’s 1981 was a bittersweet year. The A’s went far in the postseason, but felt short of the World Series. Some of us remember that year, in my case it was another crazy baseball season. The 1981 season and strike lasted from June 12 until July 31. It was all about arguing for free-agent compensation, in case anybody forgot. About one-third of the regular season was cancelled that year.

The 1981 season was actually split in half and there was quite a controversy because some teams missed out the postseason. The strike lasted a total of 50 days. All Star Game was postponed and then played August 9 in Cleveland, the second time an ASG was played in the month of August. Seems were settled and owners gave teams that won their divisions the right to advance to the Postseason.

The Oakland Athletics won the west that year with a record of 64-45 and got the right to travel to Kansas City for the best of five Divisional Series vs. the Royals. My broadcast partner, Julio González (RIP) and yours truly traveled to Kansas City for the first two games. The A’S won their two games in Kansas City and then returned to Oakland, were they finished the Royals via sweep.

While in Kansas City I wanted to visit the Harry Truman Library, in Independence, Missouri, not far from Kansas City, I convinced Julio we should visit. As somebody who likes history, I thought that would have been a good time to visit the former President hometown and library, but time was of an essence and we never visited. We were not more than 12 miles or so away, since we were staying at the hotel just outside Kaufman Stadium across the freeway, a big Marriott Hotel.

The next stop for the Athletics was New York. Yankee Stadium as we traveled for the American League Championship Series and a win would find us in the World Series. The first two games where in New York, I remember we took the team bus and I was wearing an A’s warm-up jacket (I should have known better, I lived in NY in the late 60’s) as we came out of the bus, some kids where throwing pebbles and stuff at all of us, players and alike as we came out of the bus right in front the stadium. Not a good omen.

The Yankees took the first two games in New York, and ultimately they also beat the A’s on the game at the Oakland Coliseum. We were done for the season. A crazy strike-year, A’s swept the Royals, and then got swept by the Yankees.

In 1981 Julio and yours truly were doing the games for KIQI 1010AM when the owner was Cuban-born Rene DeLa Rosa, a lifelong baseball aficionado, who just a couple of years’ before bought the station from Bay Area communications magnate James Gabbert.

Today and during the last few years the A’s broadcast Spanish station are aired on that same frequency 1010AM/990AM although with new management, studios, but still in San Francisco. The 1981 World Series matched the New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I covered the games in LA for the radio station with interviews and pre-post game reports, Fernando Valenzuela who was the man for the Dodgers and one of the most popular players in all of baseball sat down with me for a one-on-one, among other players, also colleague friend and Dodger Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, with whom I would be working a few years later during playoffs for the US and Latin-American Radio networks.

At the end, the Los Angeles Dodgers won in six games and their celebration took place inside their dressing room at Yankee Stadium, as they took that game six in the Bronx.

My memories of the 1981 season are still there, and it reminded me of the current 2020 season. We all know the reasons this season was “delayed” and we know a player strike also reduced 1981 which ended with a bi-coastal World Series between the Yankees and the Dodgers, the TV network dream. Ironically, today 39 years later, the two favorite teams to meet in the World Series in this 60-game season are, the Yankees and the Dodgers. Stay well and stay tuned.

Catch Amaury Pi Gonzalez and Manolo Hernandez-Douen for all of the Oakland A’s Spanish play by play on 1010 KIQI Le Grande San Francisco and Amaury does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com