Spring Game #25: A's 15, Brewers 5

(Not the same Alcantara) - Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Junior Guerra was a 31-year old rookie who quickly turned into Milwaukee's best pitcher, finishing the 2016 campaign with the best ERA (2.81) by a Brewers starter since C.C. Sabathia in 2008.

He carried that over through the Spring, compiling a 2-0 record with a 1.80 ERA and was tabbed by Craig Counsel to be Milwaukee's Opening Day starter on April 3rd.

Today was supposed to be a tune-up for Guerra in preparation for the biggest start of his young career.

Oakland hitters had other ideas and wasted no time getting to Milwaukee's bullpen.

*** Click here to revisit today's Game Thread!! ***

Rajai Davis led off the first inning with a single to center; he scored on a Marcus Semien sacrifice fly after a throwing error by Guerra moved Davis from first to third.

In the second frame, Yonder Alonso hit his third home run of the Spring, driving in Trevor Plouffe, who walked to lead off the inning. After Chris Parmelee doubled, Max Schrock sent a shot over the right-center field wall, collecting RBIs number two and three, as well as his first home run of the Spring. After an Alejandro De Aza single to left, Semien collected another RBI with a double to center.

The third inning was just as unfortunate for Guerra, who gave up two solo home runs to lead off the inning - one to Plouffe and the second to Alonso, his second of the game and fourth of the Spring.

In the fourth inning -- Guerra's last -- Semien collected his third RBI in as many at-bats when De Aza scored on a grounder to the shortstop. Guerra's final two batters (Plouffe and Alonso) both reached base before he was relieved by Taylor Jungmann; Guerra's day wasn't officially complete until Parmelee ripped a double to left that cleared the bases and subsequently, all of his inherited runners. If you were just tuning in, Oakland quickly jumped out to a 12-0 lead.

Guerra's final line is as follows: 3.2 IP, 10 hits, 2 walks, 12 runs (7 earned) while giving up a total of four home runs.

In contrast, Raul Alcántara was extraordinarily solid for Oakland.

Alcántara walked one in the second, gave up a double in the third, and didn't allow two runners on base in the same inning until the 5th, when he gave up back-to-back 2-out singles to Manny Piña and Jett Bandy before getting Jonathan Villar to ground out to end the inning.

Much like the day before with Andrew Triggs, Bob Melvin elected to keep Alcántara in the game for the 6th inning with the shutout intact. He'd retire one batter before allowing Perez to single to center, scoring Thames, who hit a double to lead off the 6th. One of his inherited runners would score on a ground-out, completing his day with 5.1 IP, 5 hits, 2 walks, 2 earned runs, and 3 strikeouts.

Oakland and Milwaukee would both go on to score 3 more runs each before finally concluding with a 15-5 win for the A's, but more importantly, the A's may have answered a lot of questions with a few performances beginning with Alcántara, who pitched really well against a team that had been hitting the ball really well all Spring.

They may also be met with just as many questions.

Daniel Coulombe vs. Ross Detwiler
After Sean Doolittle, there are only two viable options for a second left-handed reliever and that comes down to Coloumbe and Detwiler. Although both pitchers came into this afternoon's game with a 9.37 ERA, only Coulombe can be considered for a final spot in the bullpen after Detwiler was rocked in the 9th inning. Detwiler began the 9th and promptly gave up a double to Victor Roache, hit Bandy with a pitch, gave up back-to-back hits, and walked both Nick Noonan and Joantgel Segovia before exiting.

If the game had been played in Oakland, he likely would have left to a barrage of boos: 0.2 IP, 2 hits, 3 walks, 3 earned runs.

Coulombe, on the other hand, relieved Alcántara in the sixth inning, allowing just one hit in 2.1 innings.

Alejandro De Aza vs. Chris Parmelee
De Aza received an opportunity to hit second in the lineup in front of Semien and Ryon Healy when Melvin elected to sit Lowrie until tomorrow; he answered going 2-for-3 and scoring 2 runs, moving his Spring numbers to .286/.359. Parmelee also went 2-for-3, driving in 3, walking once and saw his numbers improve to .357/.379 (that must have been his first walk?).

Regardless of the outcomes, it's nice to see the club's problems deciding who to move into the Opening Day roster are because of how well they're playing rather than the other way around.

Oakland hosts again tomorrow with Opening Day starter, Kendall Graveman (1-1, 2.84 ERA, 0.87 WHIP) on the mound; he will face Carlos Rodón (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP) and the Chicago White Sox.