After a night of offense at Peoria sports complex the A's emerge victorious after pounding home six runs in the top half of the third inning, and another two in the sixth. The Mariners however did respond in the bottom of the third with one run another four runs in the fourth inning, however this would be their only response as the A's would outlast them in this contest.
The game had started off quietly with the A's going down 1-2-3. Then in the bottom of the first inning things would look to get interesting when after a lead off ground out Jharel Cotton surrendered a single to Jean Segura, then walked Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano. With the bases loaded Kyle Seager would step into the box and would ground into a 4-6-3 double play. This would not be the only time Cotton struggled in the game. The second inning would also remain quiet with Canha flying out, Maxwell being walked, and then Chapman hitting into a double play. Cotton looked better but not great in the bottom of the second getting a 1-2-3 inning with two fly outs and a ground out.
In the third inning the A's bats came alive as right fielder Chris Parmelee would start the top half of the inning with a lead off double, Rosales would then hit a double off an awkward grounder that penetrated the infield, this would advance Parmelee to third. De Aza then stepped in and would bunt Parmelee in, and get himself on base to make the score 1-0 A's. Marcus Semien then hit an RBI double to deep center in which Rosales would score to make it 2-0 A's. Yonder Alonso would bat another run in off a liner toward center to make it 3-0 A's, then Plouffe with another RBI double to make it 4-0 A's. Mark Canha would then strikeout for the A's first out of the inning. Bruce Maxwell would then send a ball to deep left center that would send both Alonso and Plouffe home, as well as result in an RBI double for Maxwell to make the score 6-0. Parmelee would then see his second at bat of the inning and record his second hit of the game and send Maxwell to third with a single, though Rosales would strikeout swinging and that would mark the end of the A's opening barrage.
The A's had come out swinging and at this point Chris Heston the starter for the Mariners had been taken after six runs, seven hits, and 46 pitches. Josh Judy would replace him for only the last two thirds of the top half of the third inning. In the bottom of the third the Mariners would record their first run after Leonys Martin would lead off with a single, and Cano would later bat him home with an RBI double to make the score 6-1. Jharel Cotton while surrendering the one run did look a bit better as well as utilizing his changeup more which seemed to be a pitch that he favored as the game went on. Josh Judy himself would be replaced by Dan Altavilla to start of the 4th. Altavilla would record another quick inning for the Mariners sending the A's down 1-2-3. Here in the fourth inning is where the Mariners would do most of their damage and make the game a bit close cutting the lead to one run to make the score 6-5. This is where it all started to unfold for cotton he would walk Seager to start the inning. Then Cotton would let up a double to Haniger that would advance Seager to third, Vogelbach would strikeout for the first out, and Zunino would pop out for the second out. Leonys Martin would also get walked by Cotton. Dyson would get a ball to penetrate the infield making it 6-2. Then Segura would be walked which would force a run in to make the score 6-3. During this sequence the Mariners were running all over the base paths as well, Maxwell seemed unable to make a play on any of the baserunners. Bob Melvin would then move for the mound and pull out Cotton after 3.2 innings five runs on five hits, five walks, two strikeouts, 79 pitches, four induced ground outs, and three induced fly outs. Cotton was pulled in favor of Simon Castro. Castro would not serve much relief as he would surrender an RBI single to Robinson Cano that would send home both Dyson and Martin to make it 6-5. Castro would record one more walk then induce a groundball from Seager to end the inning.
The 5th was quiet Altavilla let up one hit on four batters, Castro would let up two hits on five batters. There were multiple subsitutions when the sixth inning began Guillermo Heredia would replace Dyson for the Mariners, Kenny Wilson would replace Parmelee for the A's. Dean Kiekhefer would replace Altavilla on the mound for the Mariners. Kenny Wilson would strikeout to open up the sixth. Rosales would then double to left and De Aza would be walked. Semien would strikeout for the second out of the inning. Then Alonso would single and bring home Rosales and send De Aza to third. This would make the score 7-5 A's. Plouffe would then single and send De Aza home to make the score 8-5. Mark Canha would strikeout to end the inning. The Mariners would go 1-2-3 in the sixth after Castro was pulled in favor of Liam Hendriks.
The 7th inning the A's would go 1-2-3 after Evan Scribner a former Athletic replaced Dean Kiekhefer. The Mariners would not see much this inning with Seager and Haniger striking out and flying out respectively. and Guillermo Heredia flying out to end the inning.
The 8th moved quick with both bullpens making quick work of each side. In the 9th the A's saw some possible trouble when Kyle Finnegan inducing a groundout on the first batter and striking out the next. Finnegan would however walk the next three batters forcing manager Bob Melvin's hand to quickly replace him with Josh smith who would force Guillermo Heredia into a ground out to end the game. Resulting in a 8-5 Oakland Athletics victory.
Jharel Cotton's Pitching
Jharel Cotton overall did not look good today, however one bright spot to his performance was the use of his changeup. It seems as though many pitchers nowadays seem to throw the ball in as fast as they can, forgetting that it is sometimes easier to fool the batter with off-speed pitches. While Cotton did not look good his changeup did. If he can work on his control slightly so he can work himself into some better counts his fastball and that changeup will be a deadly 1-2 punch.
Matt Chapman Continues to Strikeout
I want to see Matt Chapman on the A's roster as soon as possible, personally I'd love to see him this year just because of his glove, and the power you know he has. However Chapman went 0 for 5 today with three strikeouts. He showed clear frustration towards the end of the game even throwing his helmet on the ground after striking out for the third time. Chapman will find a place in the majors due to his ability defensively however what could hinge on him being an impact player instead of a specialist would be him putting his bat on the ball.
Bruce Maxwell Struggles Defensively
Bruce Maxwell had a nice offensive night with a few RBIs and a couple of hits but I could help but notice that the Mariners were running all over the bases. Jean Segura had 2 stolen bases and Haniger had 3. I'm not saying that Maxwell could've thrown them out every time, however he couldn't even get a throw off and I'm not saying that's his fault either, however when Lavarnway came in later in the game the Mariners attempted a steal and the runner was thrown out. Bruce Maxwell is definitely a good player but with all the depth that the A's have at catcher he may not be with them until later on this season.
The A's take on the White Sox tomorrow at 4:0,5 and until next time Go Oakland Athletics