Well, Happy Wednesday, and welcome to an A’s win! You read that right; the A’s are winners after nearly two weeks of losing, behind a very strong start by Sean Manaea that three innings of the bullpen couldn’t ruin. Manaea pitched into the seventh inning, allowing zero runs in his start, scattering five hits while striking out six. He was excellent, and earned his 10th win of the season to prove it.
Meanwhile, the A’s same five hits off the Angels’ starting pitcher, Skaggs, yielded three runs; two of them earned, and it was enough for the win. Khris Davis started the scoring with his 39th (!!) home run of the year and the A’s tacked on just enough to hang onto the 3-1 win. There were even words exchanged, just for funsies, as the umpiring crew kicked Matt Chapman out of the game for...stealing signs? Antagonizing the catcher? Not backing down from a confrontation with the umpire? Reports are unclear.
The game didn’t really get started until the fourth inning, as the A’s racked up 7 strikeouts in their first three innings; not the best start, to be fair, but they would finally break through with Davis’ solo homer in the fourth. Matt Olson singled to continue the rally, and Matt Chapman stepped up to the plate. There had been talk earlier in the game about stealing signs (the old-fashioned way, mind you); it looked like Canha and the catcher argued, Chapman said his piece, and when he came up to bat again, said some more. Before he could see a single pitch, the home plate umpire tossed him, much to the annoyance of Melvin, who said some naughty words in response.
After Chapman’s replacement, Renato Nunez, struck out, the Angels balked Olson to second, but the A’s would strand the runner.
They would; however, capitalize on the Angels next error in the very next inning.
Marcus Semien unloaded a one-out double into the corner to wind up on second base, and was singled in for the A’s second run by Chad Pinder. With two outs, the Angels dropped a fly ball hit by Khris Davis, and Pinder (running it out ALL THE WAY, mind you) wound up scoring on the play. Great heads up baseball and hustle by Chad “Swipe Right” Pinder to give the A’s the 3-0 lead.
Manaea’s only real trouble in the game was the seventh; as he allowed a walk and a single to bring the tying run to the plate, but Ryan Dull shut it down with a strikeout, a pop-up and a fly out to end the inning.
Dull recorded the first two outs of the eighth, allowing a base-runner in between, and was replaced by Sam Moll...who allowed a run-scoring triple before ending the inning. Clinging to the 3-1 lead, the A’s sent out Chris Hatcher for his first ever save opportunity, which he picked up swifly, with zero drama, always a good sign in a closing appearance.
And there you have it; the A’s win! And it didn’t take 5 hours to do it! An exhausted A’s team will look forward to some rest; I’ll see everyone back here Friday night as the A’s take on Houston.