The Oakland A’s lost their fourth straight Cactus League game on Thursday. Khris Davis homered again, this time a grand slam, but the pitching staff got blown up and the Rangers ran away 9-4.
Oakland never got much going at the plate. There were a few scattered singles, and prospect Sheldon Neuse lined a double at one point, but the only real threat for the day came in the 5th inning. The A’s loaded the bases on singles by Boog Powell and Franklin Barreto and a walk to Marcus Semien, and then Khrush brought them all in with a majestic dinger to left. (The opposing pitcher was non-roster invitee Paolo Espino.)
The pitching side didn’t go much better. Starter Jharel Cotton gave up a parade of line drives in the 2nd inning for three runs, and then he let the first two batters reach base in the 3rd before being pulled — reliever Lou Trivino later allowed one of those inherited runners to come home. According to Julian McWilliams of The Athletic: “Cotton said his stuff felt good, they just hit him.“
Next up was Andrew Triggs. He gave up a run in the 4th on some good contact but didn’t let the inning get out of hand, and then he breezed through a quick 5th. However, the reserves came in for the 6th and the defense fell apart. Neuse made an error at 3B to let the leadoff man on board, and Triggs then threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt to let the runner reach third. A sac fly brought him in, plus the batter reached base when outfielder Anthony Garcia missed the catch. That bonus runner was stranded, but the overall course of events still gifted the Rangers an extra run. Fortunately most of the fielding errors weren’t made by Oakland’s MLB regulars.
Texas added some insurance in the final innings, with a solo homer off Santiago Casilla (by Willie Calhoun) and a two-run shot off Liam Hendriks (by Mike Ohlman). I know it’s spring training, but I’m amazed at how few of the Rangers players I’ve heard of. Anyway, Ryan Buchter wrapped things up with a scoreless 9th.
A few notable performances in the box score:
- Cotton: 2+ ip, 4 runs, 1 K, 2 BB, 5 hits
- Triggs: 3 ip, 2 runs (1 ER), 3 Ks, 0 BB, 2 hits
Melvin says it may be early, but the A’s need to start tightening up their pitching. Not getting much consistency from the starters.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 1, 2018
- Trivino: 1 ip, 0 runs, 2 Ks, 1 BB
Four batters, but only one made contact. It was a grounder to short.
- Khrush: 1-for-3, HR, 4 RBI
- Semien: 1-for-2, BB
- Barreto: 1-for-3, K
- Neuse: 1-for-3, 2B
- Olson: 1-for-3, what’s the name for a hit that doesn’t go over the wall again?
Matt Olson singling is bigger news than Matt Olson homering.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) March 1, 2018
Oh that’s right, a single. How quaint.
The A’s are off on Friday, but they’ll be back in action on Saturday and Sunday against the Padres.