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Game #39: Chum for the Shark, A's lose 7-3

Max Muncy's first career home run hits the top of the wall in deep center
Max Muncy's first career home run hits the top of the wall in deep center
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The A's lose 7-3 to the White Sox for the third straight game committing 4 errors in a "what can go wrong, will go wrong" outing.  Samardzija picks up his 3rd win in this series sweep as he goes 8 innings, nearly double the innings of Kazmir who left after 4 and 1/3.  The A's left 12 on base with 8 hits, 3 of those by Burns.  The Pale Hose scored 7 (2 of them in the 9th) on 10 hits all the while racking up 10 strikeouts.

The difficulty began in the first inning.  Eaton puts one past Sogard for a leadoff double that was secured by an inaccurate throw by Burns.  Bonifacio bunts and Kazmir—unable to get a grip on it—commits the 39th error of the season in the 14th straight error-ridden game.  Melky Cabrera sends a shot to Lawrie who can only knock it down and throw to first for the out. Abreu, who's average is .296 and an 11 game hitting streak, gets an "unintentional" walk to load the bases. Avisail Garcia then sends one back to Kazmir who under-hands it to Vogt to get Eaton at the plate and Vogt overthrows Muncy at first and for the second error of the inning.  Gordon Beckham puts us out of our misery by committing the 3rd out, and we head to the dugout with error #40 in our pockets and down by one.

Billy Burns leads off with his first of three hits in this game with a first-pitch, opposite field hit. Semien hits into a 4-6-3 double play but appears to have trimmed Samardzija's hair on up-the-middle shot.  Reddick picks up a two-out walk and Billy Butler follows with a base hit between first and second, advancing Reddick to third.  Clean-shaven Vogt looks determined to win back the run he gave away to the Sox but settles for an inside-pitch walk.   Samardzija smiles, clearly frustrated at the call, and confers with Soto.  Bases loaded, two outs, and Coco flies out to right.

The second inning sees Kazmir still trying to settle in.  Alexi Ramirez hits a shot into short center.  Geovany Soto check swings but goes too far and is called out by first base umpire.  This is the first of three strikeouts for Soto.  Then, base hit left-center from Carlos Sanchez who should have only gotten a single but stretched it into a double as Crisp and Burns seemed to be waiting for the other; lack of defensive speed allows the extra base.  Not good defensive modeling for the little leaguers attending today. Eaton gets on with a fielders choice as Semien throws home where Vogt is set up early easily tags Ramirez.  That was the biggest threat of the inning as Bonifacio goes down looking to end the inning.

But the A's pose no threat in the bottom of the second.  Brett Lawrie leads off and gets behind 0-2 then lines a short hop to Sanchez for the 4-3 putout.  Max Muncy skies it to short just onto the grass, and then Sogard becomes Samardzija's first strikeout victim.

The third inning begins with Cabrera being thrown out by Sogard to Muncy.  Abreu strikes out swinging followed by a copy-cat move:  Avisail Garcia goes down as Kazmir's 4th strikeout.  Kazmir is settling in.  Atta boy!  But that is the best he will have and only goes 1/3 of an inning more.

In the bottom of the 4th, Burns delivers his second opposite field single.  Semien delivers a shot past first baseman Jose Abreu who ends up having a busy day, including a face plant on the infield fines.  Burns holds at second and lacks the aggressiveness in his jump off first.  He should have been on 3rd, and we lose out as a result. With no pressure of a runner advancing third-to-home, Reddick hits into a 4-6-3 double play and then Billy butler grounds out to second.

With spin on the ball, Adam Eaton starts off the 5th when he sends one to Semien who flubs it out of his glove and off his shoulder (team error #41) for the first hit of the inning.  Bonifacio follows with a base hit to the left side and Melky Cabrera attempts his second awkward (a.k.a. lame) bunt attempts by stabbing at the ball while dropping the bat head; maybe he should refrain from switch-hitting. (Cabrera started today's game at 3-34 from the right side and his bunting looks even worse!)  Cabrera finishes with a grounder to Semien who feeds to Sogard to get Bonifacio.  Melky just barely beats it out for the fielder's choice.  Abreu then follows with a shot under the glove of Lawrie and captures his 22nd RBI to tie the game.  Garcia then hits a shot to Sogard that deflects off the glove heal, and Garcia hits safely to load the bases with 1 out.  Dan Otero is warming in the bullpen when Kazmir gives a bases-loaded walk to Beckham on his 99th pitch.  Ramirez then gets a base hit single that tips off Kazmir's glove to allow three to score and Beckham to advance to third.  So after 4 and 1/3 innings, Kazmir is pulled for Otero with the score 5-2 sox.  Luckily Otero pitches us into a 6-4-3 double play.

In the bottom of the 5th, Billy Burns goes 3 for 3 with an infield base hit, chopping it up the middle.  Semien strikes out.  Reddick gets an infield hit with Burns advancing to third.  Billy Butler delivers an RBI shot to Abreu who gets off balance and falls forward, hitting his face in the dirt and drawing blood; nonetheless he is able to throw out Reddick heading to second by throwing from his knees while Butler scores.  5-3.  Vogt hits a shallow fly to Cabrera in left to end the inning.

Innings six, seven, and eight are less action-packed, though Coco makes a nice sliding catch on a short fly ball in the 6th.  Semien commits his second error of the game in the 8th sending one into the dirt at first, the second one in the game but this time Muncy can't dig it out.  Abad enters for his third game in a row, replacing Otero and is supported by Muncy grabbing what looks like a drag-bunt from Eaton and throws to Sogard for the out.  Nice play both offensively and defensively.

In the 9th, Tyler Clippard enters the game with the A's still trailing 5-3.  With one out, Melky Cabrera singles to right and catches his breath as Abreu strikes out swinging.

And then the nails go in the coffin.  Twenty-three year-old Avisail Garcia blasts a two-run homer to deep right center and that puts up the final score of 7-3 followed by Beckham striking out swinging.

Zach Putnam comes in to pitch the 9th for the Sox and it's 1-2-3:  Lawrie strikes out swinging; Muncy grounds out 1-3; and Sogard hits it too short for an easy out at first.

So, lots of strikeouts and lots of men left on base, and the A's are swept by the White Sox.

Final notes for today:

  • Max Muncy hit his first major league home run and is "ignored" by teammates;
  • Gentry is back in the dugout having been called up;
  • Tomorrow Drew Pomeranz takes on Astros right-handed pitcher McCullers at 5:10pm.