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Game #86: A’s nab Melvin’s 500th win, 7-4 over Mariners

Paul Blackburn impressed in front of his former team.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners
Paul Blackburn
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The A’s started the scoring in a hurry. Matt Joyce led off the game with a single, Marcus Semien walked in his first at-bat off the DL, then our resident all star Yonder Alonso doubled Joyce home. Khris Davis K’ed (don’t worry, he’ll make up for it later), then Jed Lowrie brought Semien and Alonso home with a double of his own. With is 27th double, the Professional Hitter is now in a three-way tie for second most in the majors. It was also Lowrie’s 200th career double! 3-0 Oakland.

In the bottom of the inning Paul Blackburn gave up a lead-off single to Jean Segura, but it was promptly erased with the first of a handful of double plays; this one was of the 6-4-3 nature.

Jaycob Brugman lined his first Major League double to start the top of the second innings, but no one was able to bring him home.

Blackburn gave up a single to Kyle Seager in the bottom of the second, again erased by a 6-4-3 DP off the bat of Danny Valencia. FYI, the A’s acquired Blackburn in the Valencia trade.

Kris Davis, Lowrie, and Ryon Healy went down easy to start the third inning.

In the bottom half, Mitch Haniger led off with a double. But have no fear, the 8-5 double play was here.

Bruce Maxwell singled to start off the fourth (this involved a fan interference call on replay that had no effect on the game). Chapman grounded out, then Brugman and Joyce each struck out.

Jean Segura singled to begin the bottom of the fourth, but was picked off by Blackburn to Alonso to Semien. Blackburn walked Cano for his first of the night, but the inning was otherwise uneventful.

Semien singled to get the fifth started right, he then stole second. He’s back! The steal would prove unnecessary, though. Alonso walked, then Davis followed with a three-run shot, his 24th homer of the year. 6-0 Oakland. Lowrie singled, but Healy grounded into a double play. Maxwell knocked Sam Gaviglio out of the game with his first homer of the year, an opposite-field solo shot to left. 7-0 Oakland. Yovani Gallardo came into the game to get Chapman out and end the inning.

Blackburn retired Seager and Valencia to start the bottom of the fifth. He then gave up a solo shot to Mitch Haniger, which Joyce just missed... good hustle, though. 7-1 Oakland.

The top of the sixth inning was uneventful.

Jean Segura singled again off Blackburn in the bottom of the inning, and Cano singled as well. I know it’s hard to believe, but the A’s defense does its job nowadays, and Blackburn escaped unscathed.

Despite Davis’ leadoff walk, the A’s were unable to score in the top of the seventh.

Blackburn retired the Mariners 1-2-3 in their half of the frame.

Chapman walked to start the eight inning, but to no avail.

After throwing 93 pitches through the first seven innings, Blackburn came back out for the eighth. He quickly retired Jarrod Dyson and Mike Zunino, but gave up a deep double to Segura. Bob Melvin did the responsible thing and pulled Blackburn, who finished with 7.2 innings, eight hits, one walk, zero strikeouts, and one earned run. His ERA is now 0.66 through his first 13.2 Major League innings.

Daniel Coulombe retired Ben Gamel on one pitch to end the inning.

Semien, Alonso, and Davis were retired in order to constitute the top of the ninth.

Because being haunted by players past is basically part of the A’s DNA, Danny Valencia hit a three-run homer off Coulombe in the ninth. To “shore up” the win, Melvin brought in Mr. Reliable, Santiago Casilla. Jarrod Dyson sauntered his way around the bases for a triple, but Casilla was able to get the final out.


Final score, for Bob Melvin’s 500th win as an A: 7-4.

Bottom line: in another part of this season, the story of this game would probably have been the inability for the A’s defense to strand runners, and for the offense to come through with runners on base. Instead, everyone essentially did their job, and that’s a sign of good things to come.

Three more games like this and we’re out of the cellar.