Fiers is on fire, leads the A’s to an 8-3 victory over the Cardinals on Saturday

Cards 1
Chris Herrmann celebrates scoring a run Photo: @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics have become the St. Louis Cardinals’ worst nightmare. Back in June, the A’s swept their two-game series in St. Louis. On Saturday night, the A’s never trailed in game one of the two-game series in Oakland.

The Athletics jumped on the Cardinals early on Saturday night when they scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning off the Cards starting pitcher Dakota Hudson. The A’s sent eight batters to the plate collecting two hits, two walks, and one hit batsman. It became very apparent that it was going to be a short evening for Hudson.

The A’s scored two more runs in the bottom of the second inning. Oakland sent seven hitters to bat in the inning taking advantage of a double, sacrifice fly, two walks and one passed ball.

The Cardinals closed the gap to 5-2 by the end of 6 1/2 innings, but Chad Pinder hit a two-out three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to make an 8-2 score. The Cardinals’ Lane Thomas hit a pinch-hit home run in the top of the ninth inning which made the final score 8-3 in favor of the A’s.

Oakland is now 63-48 on the season — 8.5 games back of Houston in the AL West and 1/2 game out of the second Wild Card slot behind Tampa Bay. St. Louis falls to 58-51 and into second place in NL Central — 1/2 game behind the Cubs. The Cardinals now are in the number one Wild Card slot in the National League.

Focus on the A’s

Fiers line
Graphic: @Athletics
  • Mike Fiers pitched 5.2 innings and allowed just one run en route to his 10th win of the season. Fiers now owns the second-longest active winning streak in the American League with eight wins. His last loss was May 1st. Fiers struck out four, walked just one while giving up six hits. He made 94 pitches. In his postgame comments, manager Bob Melvin said he wanted to keep Fiers pitch count down tonight.
  • Stephen Piscotty went 2-for-3 plus a hit-by-pitch in his first game back from the injury list.
  • Khris Davis extended his hitting streak to five games. He is batting .320 (7-for-20) over those five games. Davis scored a run in the fifth inning of the game.
  • Matt Chapman put a three-walk game into the scorebook for the second time this season. He did it versus the Rangers back on April 23rd. Chapman scored a run in the first inning of the contest.
  • Chad Pinder was brought to pinch-hit for Grossman in the bottom of the seventh inning with two out and two runners on base. Pinder hit an 0-2 pitch from Tyler Webb over the left-field fence for a three-run home — his 10th of the year. Skipper Bob mentioned after the game that this team really uses everyone on the 25-man roster. Everyone is ready to contribute at all times.
  • “Mr. I can play anywhere coach” — Mark Canha had a 2-for-5 night with the bat and drove in two runs. So far this season, Canha has played all three outfield positions and first base for the A’s.

Athletics roster changes

  • Stephen Piscotty has rejoined the team. He was placed on the 10-day IL back on June 30 with a knee sprain. Piscotty went to Las Vegas for a rehab assignment where he played three games in the outfield and two at designated hitter.
  • The A’s claimed catcher Dustin Garneau off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels. Garneau is a right-handed hitter while Chris Herrmann is a lefty (Josh Phegley is on the IL due to a deeply bruised thumb). Garneau is familiar with some of the Oakland pitchers as he played 19 games with the A’s in 2017 plus seeing them in head to head competition.
  • Infielder Franklin Barreto has been optioned back to Triple-A Las Vegas. He was hitting just .106 at the time he was sent down. Manager Bob Melvin commented that Barreto had nothing left to prove at Triple-A which means it could be the end of the road for the infielder and the Athletics organization.

Cardinals watch

  • Cardinals starting pitcher Dakota Hudson walked a season-high five batters in just 3.2 innings of work on the mound. His record drops to 10-6 for the season after being charged with the loss.
  • Paul DeJong had a 2-for-4 game with an RBI. He now has a career monthly best 43 RBI in August. He is second for the Cards in total bases with 185.
  • Lane Thomas hit his second home run of the season in the top of the ninth inning. Both of his home runs have come when he has been a pinch-hitter.

Up next

A’s fans will get their first look at RHP Tanner Roark on Sunday. Roark came to the A’s at the trade deadline from the Cincinnati Reds for minor league outfielder Jameson Hannah. Roark was 6-7 with a 4.24 ERA in 21 starts for the Reds.

The Cardinals will counter with RHP Adam Wainwright, who is 7-7 with a 4.47 ERA so far in 2019. Wainwright started against Oakland back on June 26 in St. Louis. He lost that game 2-0. Wainwright worked 6.2 innings giving up two runs (both earned) off seven hits. He walked one, struck out nine, but he gave up two home runs. Wainwright will be a free agent at the end of the season.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 PM PDT.

Longoria wins it on home run in seventh SF wins 1-0

photo from sfgate.com: San Francisco Giants’ Evan Longoria, left, is congratulated by third base coach Ron Wotus (23) after hitting a solo home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the seventh inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, July 7, 2019.

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO-Evan Longoria ended two things against Jack Flaherty with one swing of the bat.

Longoria hit a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, breaking up both a shutout and a no-hitter and it helped the San Francisco Giants to a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals before a crowd of 33,841 at Oracle Park.

This was only the third shutout of the season for the Giants and the first since April 24 against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

On the afternoon, the Giants only got two hits, and this was the fewest hits in a game where they won since a two-hit over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on March 30, 2018.

Flaherty was throwing a perfect game until he walked Alex Dickerson to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning.

After the Longoria home run, Dickerson singled to left, but then Flaherty got Stephen Vogt to fly out to Dexter Fowler and then Kevin Pillar lined out to Paul DeJong to end the inning.

It was the 12th home run of the season for Longoria, and his fifth in his last six games. During the six-game stretch, Longoria is hitting .429 (9-for-21) with seven extra base hits (two doubles and five home runs), 10 RBI and eight runs scored.

Longoria is no stranger to breaking up no-hitter, as it was the fourth time in his career that he broke up a no-hitter in the 7th inning or later.

With DeJong on first base in the top of the seventh inning, Paul Goldschmidt hit a line drive into the right-center gap; however, Pillar flew through into the air and made a fantastic catch that kept the game scoreless.

The Longoria home run made a winner out of Jeff Samardzija, who pitched a tremendous game, as he went seven innings, scattering four hits and striking out two on his way to picking up his sixth win of the season.

This was the first time since August 28 and September 2, 2017 that Samardzija went seven innings with two or fewer runs. That was also the last time he pitched at seven innings in consecutive starts.

It was a tough loss for Flaherty, who also went seven innings, allowing one run on just two hits, walking one and striking out six and saw his record fall to 4-6 on the season.

Sam Dyson pitched one inning, allowing one hit and struck out three. Closer Will Smith came on in the top of the ninth inning and despite giving up a single to Goldschmidt, he picked up his 23rd save in 23 chances, as Fowler grounded into a double play to end the game.

Over his last 19 outings, Smith has not allowed a run in 17 of those games and is possessing a 0.96 earned run average (two earned runs in 18.2 ip) with 30 strikeouts and opposing hitters are hitting .156 against him.

NOTES: Pillar also drove in the only run of the game on April 11, when he homered against the Colorado Rockies in a 1-0 Giants victory that made a winner out of Samardzija.

The Giants are now 18-9 in one-run games and 4-7 in final games of the series.

This was the seventh time this season that the Cardinals have been shutout, and it was the first time that the Cardinals have lost a series to the Giant since May 19-21, 2017 at Busch Stadium.

UP NEXT: Following the All-Star break, the Giants begin a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.

Shaun Anderson will open the series against the Brewers at Miller Park on Friday night, followed by Madison Bumgarner and Tyler Beede. The Brewers starter has yet to be determined.