The Oakland A’s didn’t score in double-digits again on Saturday, but their relatively measly eight runs were just enough to earn their fifth straight victory in the Cactus League (and sixth straight overall, counting their bout against Team Italy).
Once again, the young hitters were the heroes. Down 7-5 entering the bottom of the 8th, Renato Nunez homered to tie the score, and in the 9th inning Max Schrock notched a walk-off double to win it 8-7.
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Young lineup on fire
The first half of the game belonged to Ryon Healy, who either drove in or scored the team’s first four runs of the day. He started with a two-run dinger in the 1st, then doubled and scored in the 3rd, and wrapped up with an RBI single in the 5th. By the end of five frames, Healy had kept pace with the Rangers all by himself, with the score knotted at 4-4.
At that point the game transitioned into its minor league portion, and Texas pulled ahead. But Oakland’s prospects came through in the end, with Yairo Munoz walking ahead of Nunez’s homer and then Matt Chapman earning a free pass to set up Schrock’s game-winner. The lines of some key youngsters:
Ryon Healy: 3-for-3, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 runs
Renato Nunez: 1-for-1, HR, 2 RBI
Matt Chapman: 2 BB, run
Franklin Barreto: 2-for-3
Others: Matt Olson and Bruce Maxwell finally had quiet days, each going 0-for-3; Jaycob Brugman went 0-for-2 but did draw a walk; Nunez and Schrock’s big hits came in pinch-hitting appearances.
Triggs cosigns victory
Andrew Triggs put in another solid performance in his bid for a rotation spot. The A’s defense began the game by spotting Texas an unearned run, and the bullpen saddled Triggs with another by yielding the runner they’d inherited from him, but for his part he did well. He breezed through a pair of 1-2-3 innings, and finished with a line of: 3⅓ ip, 1 ER, 1 K, 0 BB, 4 hits.
John Axford and Ryan Madson made things interesting after that, but more for Rangers fans than for A’s fans. Both veterans allowed a pair of runs, while Chris Smith let in another during a two-inning stint. There was a consolation prize in the 9th, though, as recent 2nd-round draft pick Logan Shore tossed a quiet frame with a pair of strikeouts to set up Schrock’s highlight.
Boom Walk off!!!! #DavesDoubleheader Great start to doubleheader pic.twitter.com/wxSbEQWgtM— Dave Kaval (@DaveKaval) March 11, 2017
Two crucial facts about tomorrow’s game:
- The clocks change tonight, so remember to spring forward an hour! That also means the rest of the Cactus League games are at 1:00 PT instead of noon.
- Sunday’s game is televised! But for real this time, for everyone! It’s on CSNCA, against the Cubs, so make sure to tune in to see this A’s rookie juggernaut.