As the NBA's Boston Celtics were being historically humiliated in front of their home fans in the Eastern Conference Finals, and as it became known that Isaiah Thomas would simply sit out the remainder of the playoffs, so too has their baseball team been drubbed by the Swingin' A's in Oakland.
Today, though, that game-winning long ball would come prematurely [unavoidable] in the form of a Khris Davis 2-run blast that gave the A's their first lead at 5-3 in the 5th inning. Davis' home run was preceded by a solo shot by--you guessed it--Mark Canha that tied the game at 3.
You know you wanna watch it again, Mark Canha's 453 ft home run pic.twitter.com/3RN6HrAY45— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) May 20, 2017
Canha has 11 hits and 3 home runs in his last 7 games, raising his batting average to .295 on the season.
While both Khris and Mark's home runs were absolute no-doubters, Chad Pinder would add a 483-foot tape measure home run into the 2nd row of Section 238 above the lower level suits two batters later to make it 7-3 Oakland.
According to Ray Fosse, it's just the third home run ever to reach the middle outfield deck on Mount Davis.
Side note: I was at Opening Day in 2012 when Yoenis Cespedes hit his first home run at the Coliseum which struck the facing of that same deck and I wasn't sure I'd ever witness one further.
This was significantly further.
In adding a fourth home run an inning later off the bat of Jed Lowrie to make it 8-3 Oakland, the A's would hit their 63rd home run of the season, surpassing the Yankees for the most home runs in the American League (as of this writing, the Yankees have hit two off of Tampa pitching, giving them 62).
On the pitching side, Sean Manaea earned his second win of the season in his second start since coming off the disabled list, allowing 5 hits, 3 runs--2 of them earned--in 5 innings while striking out 3.
It was the second inning that proved to be challenging for Manaea, where he left too much of a 93-mph fastball out over the plate for the right-handed Hanley Ramirez, initially giving Boston a 1-0 lead.
The Red Sox added their second run when former A's outfielder, Chris Young, popped one up behind second base that landed for a hit when Jed Lowrie lost the ball in the sun and oddly, Mark Canha was playing too deep while running with less than meaningful conviction to make a play himself. Young turned the misplay into a double and would later score after being moved over to third and then home with consecutive ground-ball outs by Andrew Benintendi and Josh Rutledge, who earned his 5th RBI on the season.
Manaea would finish the next three innings allowing just one unearned run thanks to an error by Ryon Healy.
Owing to the fact that the A's forced Boston starter Drew Pomeranz into 7 full counts (2 of them walks) and 97 pitches through just 4 innings, they were forced to reach into their bullpen early.
First out of the pen was reliever Ben Taylor, whose day can be summarized quickly: home run, single, home run, walk. His line: 0.0 IP, 3 hits, 4 runs--all earned--with 1 walk after 23 pitches. He earns the loss and moves to 0-1 on the season with a 6.59 ERA.
Oakland goes for the sweep tomorrow against another left-hander in Eduardo Rodriguez (2-1, 3.05 ERA) while the A's counter with Andrew Triggs (5-2, 2.12 ERA).
Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky Rajai pic.twitter.com/8ZmLkc7km5— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) May 20, 2017