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Game #79: A’s Complete Comeback, Beat Tigers 5-4

For the third time in eight days, the A’s win despite trailing in the eighth.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

***Click here to revisit today’s Game Thread***

If you were wondering what to expect from Edwin Jackson, you surely were not alone. The 34-year-old right hander hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2017, and hadn’t pitched well since he appeared in 47 games out of the bullpen back in 2015. Despite his relative youthfulness (at least measured in Colon years), he’s been pitching in the big leagues since 2003. He even threw one of the uglier no-hitters ever.

But today the journeyman tied Octavio Dotel’s record (who also once pitched for Oakland) and appeared for his 13th major-league team. And on Monday afternoon in sunny Detroit, Edwin Jackson reminded the Tiger faithful of his All-Star season in Motown in 2009.

Over six complete innings and 80 pitches, Jackson struck out seven, walked none, and allowed just one run on six hits. He sat at 92-95 and even touched 97 with the heater. For a team that’s been dealt a tough hand regarding starting pitching injuries, Jackson’s start was well-timed. But to win, of course, the A’s had to score runs.

For a while, it looked like they weren’t going to. Jordan Zimmerman didn’t exactly overmatch our hitters, and while several baserunners reached in the early innings, the timely hit that would have driven them home was nowhere to be found. The A’s didn’t score until the seventh, tying the game on a Stephen Piscotty solo homer. We’ll hear from Piscotty again, but his catch earlier in the game also deserves mention:

But just as soon as the A’s got back into the game, they lost control of it again. Yusmeiro Petit relieved Jackson in the seventh, and promptly gave up a single to Jose Iglesias. Petit retired the next hitter, but then gave up a groundrule double to Leonys Martin, which forced Iglesias to stop at third. Petit didn’t have his best stuff, and so Lou Trivino came in. It looked like Trivino was going to stop the bleeding, at least a bit; he worked an RBI fielders choice and the A’s definitely would have taken moving onto the eighth inning down just a run. But with two outs, Nick Castellanos delievered a big blow:

Trivino almost pushed the nearly 100 mph fastball past the Tigers right fielder, but Castellanos managed to get the barrel to the ball. And when you’re throwing that hard, the batter doesn’t have to do much else.

Khris Davis led off the eighth, and while he didn’t Khrush a ball to start the rally, his left shoulder did get crushed with a 95 mph fastball. Davis was okay, and advanced to third two batters later when Stephen Piscotty came through again, this time with a double. Marcus Semien then drove Davis home, Jonathan Lucroy singled, scoring Piscotty, and Franklin Barreto capped the inning with an RBI double.

Despite giving up the big homer in the previous inning, Trivino remained in the game and pitched a clean eighth. Jed Lowrie completed the comeback in the ninth.

After falling behind in the count, Jed put together a great at-bat, showcasing his professional approach. Once he finally got a decent pitch to hit, he didn’t miss. Blake Treinen pitched the ninth and earned his 18th save, but not before Leonys Martin’s speed made the game interesting. Martin laid down a bunt single and appeared primed to steal second. And though Castellanos hit a ball on the screws, it was right at Blake Treinen, who flipped to first to complete the victory.

It was a real team victory indeed. The veterans - Jed Lowrie, Matt Joyce, Jonathan Lucroy and Edwin Jackson - all contributed. The less-seasoned veteran Stephen Piscotty was perhaps the player-of-the-game. And the rookies Dustin Fowler and Franklin Barreto flashed their promise. We remain in the Eastern time zone through Thursday, although the games return to 4:10 PM for the next two nights. Hey, we’re three games above .500 and just a half game back of the Angels for third place!