What a way for Sean Manaea to close out the year, save his last three batters.
His final line came in at 6.2 innings, 3 hits, 1 run (unearned), 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts. Despite a rocky foray into the 7th inning, he was nothing short of stellar.
Turns out, Oakland starting pitching is on quite the tear:
So: over the past 13 games, Oakland starters have allowed no more than one earned run nine times.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 29, 2017
There’s clearly something (good) in the Oakland water, or maybe Manaea’s new mustache is just emanating power.
Anyhow, after four scoreless innings, Matt Chapman finally got to Rangers starter Miguel González in a big way in the 5th:
His 413-foot shot left the bat at 103 mph, landing in dead center.
Wowza. 1-0 Oakland.
Shortly thereafter, Marcus Semien airmailed a throw to first base just as Ray and Glen were discussing his career total errors by season trajectory (35 in 2015; 21 2016; 8 this year, though he missed significant time). Willie Calhoun scored. Tie Game.
It should be noted that the team made it a full nine games without committing an error prior to this one. Shoutout to NBC for the jinx.
We jinxed it. Sorry guys. pic.twitter.com/37YoSDQDJw— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 29, 2017
Cue the top of the 6th inning.
Jed Lowrie singled, Khris Davis doubled, and Ryon Healy singled to score them both. However, with two outs on the board, Healy tried to stretch his single to a double and was out at second to end the inning.
Manaea was solid for the bottom of the sixth inning, but went a bit wild in the 7th. He walked Will Middlebrooks, hit Calhoun, induced a pop-out from A.J. Jimenez, struck out Drew Robinson, then walked Delino DeShields.
Melvin opted to pull him for Liam Hendricks, who retired Elvis Andrus (who is now 1-for-16 lifetime against Hendricks).
Chris Hatcher handled the 8th inning, retiring the Rangers in order.
Davis lead off the 9th inning with a single, followed immediately by another Healy single. Matt Chapman followed with a single of his own, scoring Davis. 4-1 Oakland.
In the words of Ray Fosse, ogling over Chapman’s hit placement: “That’s what makes hitters very good.”
Bruce Maxwell followed with a beautiful sac bunt (the first of his career), advancing Healy to third and Chapman to second. Canha accidentally grounded to third on a check swing, allowing Will Middlebrooks to get Healy at home. Jake Smolinski got drilled in the backside, but Semien grounded out to end the insurance attempt.
Blake Treinen entered the game to go for the save. It wasn’t pretty, and he got some help from a very questionable strike three call, but he did it. Phew.
FINAL: 4-1 Oakland
The A’s are winners of seven straight against the Rangers.