Jesse Chavez. What a night. Jesse threw well enough to deserve three wins, as he lowered his ERA to 2.52 (and improved his record to 3-6) by throwing the best start of his career. The night started off very promising, as Chavez struck out the side in the top of the first, working around a one-out single.
Billy Burns led off the bottom half of the inning with a first pitch double, which was followed by a Marcus Semien single (both aided by shoddy defense from Matt Kemp) leaving runners at the corners with nobody out. Josh Reddick could only manage a weak pop-up, but Ben Zobrist stayed hot, drilling a single to right field with Marcus Semien running to give the A's their first run and leave runners on the corners with one out once more. Stephen Vogt struck out swinging (worryingly), but it was all okay, as Billy Butler responded to our complaints/awful words/childish remarks by blasting a 1-1 fastball into the left field bleachers for a three run dinger. 4-0 A's after only one inning.
From then, Jesse turned on cruise control. His only blemish was a first pitch fastball to Alexi Amarista that Amarista managed to turn on and send over the wall in right field for a solo homer leading off the 6th inning. Ben Zobrist's one out triple and Stephen Vogt's subsequent sacrifice fly gave Chavez (who entered the day dead last in run support among qualifiers) a fifth run to work with, and that was more than enough. Chavez only gave up three hits and a walk while striking out a career-high 11.
Marcus Semien tacked on a sixth run with a sac fly to the wall with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, and Ben Zobrist followed it up by ripping a two run double to right center (after another Reddick pop-up). Vogt dropped a RBI single into left field to top it all off and increase the lead to 9-1. Fernando Abad gave up a solo blast to Will Middlebrooks leading off the eighth inning, but by then it didn't matter one bit.
In the bottom half of the inning, the bats kept it going. They got that run back quickly as a double from Eric Sogard, a single from Billy Burns, and a walk from Marcus Semien led to an RBI single by Josh Reddick followed by a two-run single by defensive replacement Sam Fuld. Then, a SECOND Billy Butler infield single. Brett Lawrie followed with what SHOULD have been a bases clearing triple, but y'know, Butler was kinda out of gas. So it was a two-run double. The runs simply wouldn't stop - Canha RBI single...Sogard RBI single...if you're keeping track, it's 16-2, and in comes shortstop
Clint Barmes Alexi Amarista to try and clean up the mess. Amarista was the most effective Padres pitcher of the game, as he retired Billy Burns on only two pitches to mercifully end the inning.
Arnold Leon came in to throw a quick, clean ninth inning and wrap up one of the most dominant A's wins of the season. The Athletics have won four straight and are starting to make some noise, leaving some wondering whether they will truly be sellers. Tomorrow, youngster Kendall Graveman will look to keep the streak going as the A's go for the four game sweep against veteran Ian Kennedy and the Padres. Let's all let this quality win soak in for now, and hope they didn't waste all of their runs tonight. Let's go, A's!