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Game #118: A’s Ride Long Ball, Down Orioles 9-3

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Kendall Graveman was excellent...

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

***Check out today’s Game Thread***

The Orioles started quickly but Oakland was the big winner in the end. After conceding in each of the first two frames, Kendall Graveman clamped down and pitched as well as he has all season. Following Manaea’s miserable start last night, the A’s needed Graveman to deliver innings today. And deliver he did; his final line - 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 8 K, 1 BB - is a reflection of his dominance, and his game score (66) was his highest since April 8th.

After falling into that initial hole, the A’s answered loudly in the fourth inning, hanging a crooked 5 on the board and taking a lead they’d never surrender. The inning was capped by Matt Chapman’s three-run long ball, but Ryon Healy, Khris Davis, and Marcus Semien all contributed too.

The A’s would score another in the fifth, two more in the seventh, and their ninth and final run in the eighth. In addition to Chapman, two more Matt’s hit homeruns - Matt Joyce and Matt Olson - prompting a possible name change...

And here’s each of our Matt’s homers...

It was an error-free game for the Green and Gold and the only semblance of a dark spot on today’s fixture was Ryan Dull’s sloppy inning of work in which he allowed a hit, and walk, and a run. Even Santiago Casilla was lights out!

For their nine runs, the A’s only collected eight hits and two walks. From those statistics, it’s probably pretty easy to infer what’s coming next - Oakland left just two runners on base. But like an excellent TV drama with a small inaccuracy here and there, some baseball games are better enjoyed than dissected. A win is a win is a win, and when you get starting pitching performances like Graveman turned in today, the A’s will win more often than not even if they don’t always repeat today’s prodigious LOB numbers.

Other fun things from today?

This double play...

This encouraging lefty-on-lefty damage statistic...

And this one too...

All told, it was as good of a Sunday as an A’s fan could ask for. Oakland won and avoided dropping the series. Our various Matts all delivered. Graveman looked like the pitcher we thought (or hoped?) he would be when he got the ball on opening day. And Sheldon Neuse got promoted to AA! The youth movement is rolling. It’s fun when it all comes together.

The Royals come to town tomorrow for a three-game set. First pitch is at 7:05. Have a wonderful rest of your weekend everyone!