The Oakland A's ended spring training on a winning note by defeating the San Francisco Giants 4-1 on Saturday. The victory means that Oakland avoided a sweep in this year's Bay Bridge Series of exhibition games, and it also means the A's won four of the six meetings between these two teams during the preseason. Both teams finish well below .500 for the spring, which matters exactly zero percent because these games don't count for anything. Quick, what was the A's record last spring? Answer: 22-11, best in all of baseball.
Unfortunately, the news wasn't all good on Saturday. Felix Doubront, expected to be the No. 5 starter to open the year, left after just one inning with tightness in his forearm. No word yet on the severity of the injury.
Of course, the only thing more A's than losing a starting pitcher at the very end of spring training is having some rando show up and serve as an unexpectedly awesome replacement. Today, that rando was 28-year-old Eric Surkamp, former Giants draft pick. The lefty was having a somewhat pedestrian spring as a non-roster invitee, but today he jumped off the bench and spun seven shutout innings in emergency relief. He struck out seven batters and allowed just two hits and a walk, all in only 74 pitches. I'm not gonna lie, if Doubront has to miss time, I would suddenly be strangely okay with Surkamp getting a couple starts while Hahn warms up in Triple-A. Spring training is a hell of a drug.
Oakland's offense finally woke up on Saturday, after totaling just one run on seven hits in the first two games of the series combined. Khris Davis broke the seal in the 3rd inning by khrushing a Matt Cain curveball for a solo homer.
Later in the frame, with two outs and Marcus Semien on first base (nice hustle to beat out a potential GIDP), Jed Lowrie lofted a drive to center. It carried well and Denard Span seemed to have a read on it, but it clanked off his glove and rolled to the wall. To make matters worse, Span fumbled the ball again while trying to pick it up, and by the end of it all Lowrie was sprinting to the plate for a Little League home run. Span was given two errors on the play, and just like that an inning-ending flyout turned into two unearned runs.
The final A's run came from exactly what you would expect: a Matt Chapman homer. The 8th-inning blast gave Chapman the team lead for the spring with six dingers. Good luck in Midland, big guy.
The Giants avoided the shutout in the 9th when Ehire Adrianza homered off of Ryan Dull. After opening the spring with eight scoreless outings and likely earning himself a spot in the Opening Day bullpen, Dull allowed five runs in his final two appearances including two homers.
And that's a wrap for 2016 spring training. The next game the A's play will count in the regular season standings, which is pretty exciting. Get ready for Monday night, 7:05 p.m., Sonny against Chris Sale and the White Sox. Let's Go Oakland!