The Oakland A’s Austin Allen rounds first base after hitting a home run off Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20) at the Oakland Coliseum Sat May 8, 2021 (AP News photo)
Tampa Bay 3 – 10 – 1
Oakland 6 – 6 – 2
By Lewis Rubman
May 8, 2021
OAKLAND–The A’s announced this morning that Mike Fiers is back on the Injured List. He pitched gamely but vainly the day before yesterday in his last outing, during which he was battered for nine hits and five earned runs in 3-1/3 innings.
Burch Smith, who had been on the IL, also pitched on Thursday, giving up a run and two hits in an inning and a third of rehab relief for Las Vegas, took Fiers place on the roster. The diagnosis for Fiers was a sprained elbow in his right, pitching, arm. This his second visit to the IL this year and the third over his career. Smith had been sidelined with a strained right groin.
There also was a lot of movement in the Athletics’ starting line up. After a week of facing a diet of nothing but left handed opposing starting pitchers, the home team preseented an enhanced array of lefty batters to combat the offerings of Tampa Bay’s right hander Tyler Glasnow, who brought a 4-1, 2.06 mark to the mound.
Seth Brown, who drove in both Oakland runs in last night’s stirring victory with a pinch hit single and his heroic walk off homer, replaced Stephen Piscotty in right and batted second. Austin Allen, hitting in the eighth position, handled the catching duties.
The versatile and weak hitting Vimael Machín, batting ninth, took over at short for the weak hitting Elvis Andrus. And Tony Kemp was played second base, taking over for the switch hitting Jed Lowrie, whose hits better on the right side than on the left.
The decision to start Brown turned out to be a wise one. With Mark Canha on firsst and no one down, he blasted Glasnow´s first pitch to him 412 feet for a two run homer to center.
Meanwhile, Frankie Montás, who’s had a seesaw 2021, which shows in his 3-2,5.87 game time numbers, had pitched a scorelesss first inning, marred only by a walk to Yandy Díaz. He walked Kevin Kiermeir in the second, but his unsuccessful attempt to steal second ended the inning and his day´s work.
He sprained his wrist sliding into Chapman, covering in the shift, and brought Manuel Margot into the game to take over in right field for the bottom of the frame, right fielder Brett Phillips moving over to center. The results of x-rays of Kiermeir’s wrist were negative.
Inserting Austin Allen into the line up also proved to be the right move for Bob Melvin to make. Allen padded Montás’s cushion by driving a 96 mph four seamer 373 to right with no one on in the second. Hot, dry afternoons can compensate for playing day games after night games at the Coliseum.
Although two Rays batters had walked, and another, ex-A JoeyWendle reached first on a fielding error by the usuallly sure handed Olson, Montás didn’t yield a hit until Yoshi Tsuzsugo got a clean single to left with one out in the fifth.
The first real threat from Tampa Bay came an inning later. Austin Meadows led off with a double to the base of the center field wall. Yandy Díaz flew out to deep right field to move him up to thid. Then Brandon Lowe unloaded on an 0-1 95 mph four seamer for 407 foot home run. Montás no longer was coasting, and Yusmeiro Petit was warming up quickliy in the bull pen. After Wendle singled in left center, Petit entered the fray.
Montás had gone 5-1/3 innings and allowed two runs, both earned, five hits, including one home run, and two walks. 59 of his 88 pitches were strikes.
Petit got Margot to pop out to Machín, but, with Zunino at the plate, Wendle stole second and kept on motoring to third when Allen’s errant throw went into the outfield. Zunino then went down swing on an 88 mph four seamer from Petit.
After Glasnow issued ball four to Chapman with two out and no one on base, southpaw Cody Reed entered the game. The next four men due up were left handed. He needed to. face only one to end the frame. Although Chapman took second on a wild pitch to Moreland, the A’s DH flew out to right, which retired the side.
In spite of his rocky start, Glasnow pitched well, throwing 101 pitches, 64 for strikes over 5-2/3 innings. All three of the runs he allowed were earned and came before the end of the second frame. The two home runs the A’s got off him accounted for 2/3 of their total hits at the time. He. walked four and struck out 11.
Petit continued his excellent relief work into the Tampa Bay seventh, strikingout Tsuzsugo and Margot before Randhy Arozarena got Texas League single to left. At that point, good old relilable Diekman came in to face his fellow left hander Austin Meadows. Diekman struck him out on four pitches, preserving the Athletics’ slender lead.
Kemp singled to left and advanced to second when Murphy, who was hitting for Allen now that a southpaw was on the mound, grounded out, 1-3. When Andrus was announced as hitting for Machín, Kevin Cash brought 83 in right handed ex-Giant Hunter Strickland to face him. Andrus grounded out to Tsuzsugo at first, allowing Kemp to take third. Canha, whose BA was.248 but knows how to finagle his way on base with the best of them, walked, belringing Brown to the plate.
He had struck out in both at bats following his first inning homer. He took a 3-2 83 mph slider to the opposite field, beating the shift and upping Oakland’s advantage to 4-2. The run was charged to Reed. Strickland got out of trouble after walking Laureano by inducing Olson to ground out to his opposite number at first.
But Diekman found himself pitching in trouble in the visitors’ eighth. A clean single to right center by Meadows and a bunt that died just fair at third put runners on first and second with no outs. Diekman struck out Wendle on a full count and reitred Margot on a liner to Brown in right but surrendered a hard single to left, and it was a one rungame when Lou Trivino made his first appearance since his debacle three days ago. Mike Brousseau, pinch hitting for Tsuzsugo, took a 76 mph curve for called strike three.
The run charged against Diekman run came on three hits. He threw 25 pitches in an inning’s work in which he struck out two. Petit had thrown 16 in 1-1/3 innings, allowing a hit but no runs while recording three strike outs
Kemp’s two out double to left center in the bottom of the eighth drove Strickland from the mound. Ryan Thompson, also a right handed hurler, got Murphy smack a bouncer to Brousseaiu now playing first. Brousseau’s wild throw past the covering Thompson brought in Kemp but did’t earn Murphy and RBI. Andrus’s double, also to left center, which brought in Murphy, did earn one for the short stop. Canha’s ground out to third put an end to the inning. Neither of the two insurance runs was earned.
Trivino, now guarding a 6-3 lead, continued pitching into the ninth. He immediatel found himself in hot water dagain. Phillips singled to center. Next, Arozarena got plunked by a 95 mph Trivino fast ball, bringing the potential tying run to the plate with nobody out.
It took Trivino only four pitches to load the bases with a walk to Meadows. There now was double barrelled action in the Oakland bullpen with the three, four, and five batters due up. Díaz flew out to right. Lowe struck out swinging. Wendle swung on the first pitch and grounded out to Andrus.
The win went to Montás, leaving him 4-2, 5.50. Trivino earned his sixth save, an exciting one at that. His ERA is down to 3.86, but he remains a question mark as Oakland goes deeper into the season, even though Bob Melvin voiced confidence in his his closer during his post game remarks to the media. Glasnow got the tough loss. His record now is 4-2, 2.37.
The A’s will go for a series sweep tomorrow at 1:07. The anticipated match up is between two lefties, ShaneMcClanahan(0-0,2.25) and Cole Irvin (3-3,3.09).