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Game #22: A’s Win Game, Series

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MLB: Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Last night’s no-hitter is a tough act to follow. While there was no history on the line in Sunday’s matinee game between the A’s and Red Sox, this low-scoring game was nearly as fretful to witness, as the A’s managed to eke out a close 4-1 victory in the late innings.

**Click Here to Revisit the Game Thread**

With a solid defense behind Daniel Mengden and David Price being David Price, it was clear from the get-go that runs would be at a premium. This made it all the sweeter when Marcus Semien doubled to the left field corner on the second pitch he saw in the bottom of the first, giving Oakland an early scoring opportunity. For a moment, it appeared the run-scoring opportunity would be squandered as Jed Lowrie, in the midst of a seven game hitting-and-RBI-streak, was unfortunately called out on strikes, but fortunately Khris Davis was batting behind him.

With a mighty swing, Davis grounded a seeing-eye single between third and short for an RBI-single that gave the A’s an early lead.

After surrendering a single to Jackie Bradley Jr. to begin the ballgame, putting any question of back-to-back no hitters to rest early, Daniel Mengden proved to be nearly as unhittable as the A’s ace. Between the first and fifth inning, Mengden retired twelve Red Sox in a row, four via strikeout. Mengden’s offerings had the Red Sox making poor swings at pitches drifting out of the zone all game long, and Boston wasn’t able to use their patience in order to force any long innings from the righty.

David Price settled down after the first inning, and between him and Mengden on the mound, the first six innings of the ballgame passed in the blink of an eye, the A’s holding on to a tenuous 1-0 lead. In the seventh, however, with Mengden’s pitch count quickly approaching 100, the righty began to show signs of tiring. Two singles and a double tied the game at 1-1 and chased Mengden from the game. His final line was 6.1 innings pitched, six hits allowed, five strikeouts, zero walks, and just that one run allowed. Yusmeiro Petit was masterful in escaping the seventh inning jam, needing just four pitches to induce an easy foul pop-up and a swinging strikeout to keep the game tied.

Price was still in the game in the eighth inning, having only thrown a touch more than eighty pitches on the day. As they had been all day, the A’s were aggressive early in the count, and it finally paid off as Semien and Piscotty each had hard hit singles to place two runners on base and the heart of the order due up. Lowrie had yet to come through in any of his earlier at-bats and felt due to continue his hit and RBI streak, but once again struck out in a key spot. But fortunately, Khris Davis was batting behind him.

With a mighty swing, Davis ripped the first pitch he saw into the left field seats, giving the A’s a 4-1 lead.

It was a flat fastball right down the heart of the plate, and Davis didn’t miss any of it.

After striking out two batters with a runner in scoring position with the game still tied in the eighth inning, Blake Treinen returned to the mound in the ninth. There was little drama to end the game, though Treinen did appear to tweak his knee while fielding his position on a comebacker, but he did still feel good enough to finish the game.

The offense, defense, starting pitching, and relief pitching were all in sync in this Sunday afternoon affair, giving the A’s their second consecutive series victory. The A’s managed to double the number of losses on the season for a Boston Red Sox team that has looked almost unstoppable to start the year. After a very successful homestand, the A’s will now depart on their second road trip of the year, and will face the Texas Rangers in Arlington on Monday.