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Game #129: A's Lose Home Run Derby Thanks to Unearned Runs

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The A's sure had one exciting moment in tonight's game. After Paul Goldschmidt hit a 466 foot home run deep into the Arizona stands, Brett Lawrie followed with a 470 foot home run of his own, one of the longest home runs--if not the longest--that the A's have hit this year. Unfortunately, unearned runs, thanks in large part to Stephen Vogt dropping multiple strikes at home plate tonight, cost Sonny Gray and the A's the win.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Well, tonight certainly got off to a promising start, and even included a really fun home run. Actually, the game included two measuring-tape home runs, which you might have enjoyed if you were just watching a baseball game without a vested rooting interest in either of the teams. And I suppose that is us this season; it's hard to root for the 2015 Oakland Athletics.

One of the A's bright spots in this dark, dismal season is, of course, Sonny Gray, whose 2015 campaign might put him in line for the Cy Young if his team would stop completely screwing him over. Tonight was no exception as a tiring Stephen Vogt, who looked abysmal both at the plate and behind it, cost Gray two runs in the sixth inning and probably cost him his pitch count, as well.

Both pitchers traded zeros for the first two innings, but the A's broke through in the third. A one-out double by Semien put a runner on for Gray, who grounded out to move the runner to third. Billy Burns singled to score the A's first run and of course, per usual, he refused to steal. Luckily for him, when Mark Canha hit a double, it didn't quite fall into the ground-rule variety; the only way Burns wouldn't have scored from first.

Staked to a 2-0 lead, Gray breezed through the third, fourth, and fifth innings, but he had no help from his battery mate in the sixth. Vogt looked to have trouble with Gray's pitches all night, dropping balls thrown right down the middle. None was more costly than in the sixth inning.  After a lead-off walk, Gray struck out Pollock for the first out. Vogt's first passed ball sent the runner to second base, and his second passed ball went from a strikeout of Goldschmidt to a strikeout-runner-reaches-first-base-safely situation. A subsequent double gave the Diamondbacks their first run, and a sacrifice fly to Josh Reddick tied the game. Reddick fielded the ball and threw home, but Canha cut off the ball before it had a chance to go through. Reddick, to put it mildly, was not pleased.

The Diamondbacks added four runs in the seventh, as Gray exited the game and Venditte the right-handed pitcher, well, sucked. He started out with a beautiful strikeout pitching left-handed, but allowed a single and a home run to tack on an additional run to Gray's count, and two of his own.

Not even Lawrie's monster home run could save the A's; they closed the gap to 4-2 in the ninth, forcing Arizona to go with our old friend, Brad Ziegler. Max Muncy singled to bring the tying run to the plate, but to exactly no one's surprise, pitting Semien against the ground ball specialist resulted in a game-ending double-play.

Max Muncy is back on his way to Nashville, as the A's have recalled Aaron Brooks to make tomorrow's start.