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Game #58: A’s Blank Royals 16-0

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Olson, Fowler each homer twice, while Montas deals eight scoreless

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Read the superhappy fun game thread here!

It’s hard to find the right combination of superlatives to accurately describe tonight’s game. Words like “Mattserpiece” and “Dustiny” were bandied about as the A’s racked up a seven-spot in not only in the third inning, but in the ninth as well, accounting for 14 of their 16 runs. Both Matt Olson and Dustin Fowler hit two home runs apiece, backing a second strong (incredible, really) start by Frankie Montas, who has so far made the most of his time in the starting rotation.

It would have been nice to neatly pack up fifteen runs and send them in a time machine back to Oakland for this week’s previous games, but that’s baseball; feast or famine. It’s just nice to see the offense back. In addition to Olson and Fowler’s three hits each, Lucroy added three of his own, Piscotty and Chapman two, Joyce and Davis one each.

On the heels of Thursday’s Matt Trick, Matt Olson kicked off the scoring in the second inning with his tenth home run of the year, and by the third inning, the game was all but over. Lucroy singled, Joyce walked, and Chapman singled to load the bases with no outs, and Lowrie was walked to force in the A’s second run. Khris Davis’ single on the night plated two RBI, and Olson’s second home run of the night; his eleventh of the year gave the A’s the 7-0 lead. Not to be outdone, Fowler hit his first home run of the game; his second home run overall, and just like that, Frankie Montas was staked to an 8-0 lead.

He wouldn’t need more than one. He dealt eight strong innings in a tidy 99 pitches, scattering seven hits around two strikeouts. He walked none and allowed zero runs. Pagan neatly finished the start with a near-perfect ninth.

Ian Kennedy did not fare as well. He also allowed seven hits, but in three innings, sandwiched around two walks, and left after the third with eight earned runs on his line. His replacements weren’t much better.

The A’s added their ninth run in the sixth inning as a two-out rally and back-to-back singles by Lucroy, Joyce and Chapman added one more, and they put up another seven runs in the ninth. Chapman and Lowrie were walked to open the inning and Canha singled the bases loaded, bringing up Matt Olson. Coming into the game, he was second in the majors in hard hit rate, over 50%, signaling a flurry of home runs could be coming. He had eight coming into yesterday’s game, and three since, and I know we were all hoping for a Matt Trick all by himself, capped off by a grand slam. Sadly, he was walked. Happily, this scored the A’s tenth run.

Chad Pinder was the only A’s player not to join in the fun. After he recorded the first out, Piscotty doubled in two more runs, bringing up Dustin Fowler with two on. He promptly hit his second home run of the night (third on the season) to give the A’s the 15-0 lead. A Lucroy triple (!!) and a Chapman sac fly scored the final 16th run, to give this game a little bit of everything.

And just like that, on the first day of June, in the 2018 baseball season, the A’s sit two games over .500, in the best division in MLB (with four teams over .500), still in the race. I think I speak for everyone when I say this is all we could have hoped for and more. But their work isn’t done; there’s a game tomorrow and as long as we took the first, let’s take the rest. Brunch special: 11:15AM, Trevor Cahill vs. Jason Hammel. Let’s go Oak-land!