The day started with Aaron Brooks recalled by the Oakland Athletics to start tonight against the Arizona Diamondbacks in place of Felix Doubront, who could do without batting and running on his bruised foot. Brooks was roughed up in his last major league start, but it was against the Toronto Blue Jays, and who hasn't been roughed up by the Toronto Blue Jays?
Stephen Vogt started the day hitting .185/.239/.306 since the All-Star break and on a three-game hitless streak. He also was the goat in last night's loss with a critical passed ball allowing Paul Goldschmidt to reach on a strikeout. But who hasn't been through a slump?
The A's bullpen entered the day as the A's bullpen.
By the end of the day, Aaron Brooks had a quality start, Stephen Vogt owned all the RBIs, and the A's bullpen had earned the win and the save. And in a one-run win to boot.
Aaron Brooks worked in and out of trouble in his six innings of work over 75 pitches. Brooks only managed a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth inning.
Things were dicey for the A's in the first inning after allowing two quick singles to lead off Arizona's turn to bat. He bore down and struck out both Paul Goldschmidt and David Peralta, while Mark Canha rescued Danny Valencia's bobbled fielding and his subsequent bounced throw to retire catcher Welington Castillo. Canha made another nifty save of a low throw from Marcus Semien to end the bottom of the second inning.
In the fifth, Nick Ahmed hit a double off the top of the wall in center and moved to third on Ender Inciarte's single. A.J. Pollock scored Ahmed on a soft single to center, Inciarte moved to third, and Brooks was in real trouble with nobody out and Paul Goldschmidt coming to bat.
Curt Young came out to speak the words of calming, and soon thereafter Goldschmidt grounded into a 5-4-3 double play, scoring Inciarte but clearing the bases. David Peralta was retired on a grounder to first and the damage was limited to two runs in the fifth.
Brooks induced another double play in the sixth, and with him due to bat in the top of the seventh, he was pulled after 75 pitches, having allowed eight hits while striking out four and walking one.
The A's only managed five hits against Diamondbacks starter Jhoulys Chacin, but the first two proved huge for Oakland. In the second, Danny Valencia doubled off the top of the left field wall, and one pitch later Stephen Vogt dumped a line drive into the Chase Field pool to give the A's a 2-0 lead:
The A's were held scoreless all the way to the eighth, when Mark Canha reached on an infield single. He should have been erased on an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play, except Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill bobbled the ball and could only get Josh Reddick out at first. With the left-handed Andrew Chafin pitching, the Diamondbacks elected to intentionally walk right-handed batting Danny Valencia to get to the left-handed batting Stephen Vogt.
On a full count, Stephen Vogt dumped a little single to left to score Canha from second to give the A's a 3-2 lead. The Diamondbacks failed to retire him in his four turns at bat, going 3-for-3 with a walk, a home run, and all three RBIs.
Vogt took last night's loss hard, came out "on a mission," Melvin says. Vogt says always feels extra good after IBB in front of you.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 30, 2015
The A's still needed to finish out this game, and you know the A's bullpen, or so you think.
Fernando Rodriguez entered in the seventh with the game tied at two and allowed only a walk while getting two ground balls and a pop out. Bob Melvin elected to stick with Rodriguez for the eighth and go batter to batter, with Sean Doolittle ready to enter if needed.
Doolittle was not needed, as Rodriguez froze Goldschmidt on a called strike three. With his other called strikeout in the first inning and the critical 5-4-3 double play in the fifth, Goldschmidt was not pleased with himself:
Here's the video of Goldschmidt vs. bat rack RT @tydenevi @_kimms_ pic.twitter.com/egu8M4n9V9— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) August 30, 2015
Rodriguez got two more ground outs, and left the game with a 3-2 lead.
Drew Pomeranz was called upon to close out the ninth, and he absolutely dominated, throwing 95 to strike out Jake Lamb, Chris Owings, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
"We all have something to play for, we're not going to lay down" Drew Pomeranz next on A's post game— Vince Cotroneo (@vincebaseball) August 30, 2015
The A's play the rubber match Sunday afternoon at 1:10 PM Pacific Time. The Diamondbacks will send Allen Webster to the hill to face Jesse Chavez. But tonight it's the Oakland Athletics 3, the Arizona Diamondbacks 2.