For the second road game in quite a long time the A’s did not hit a home run, but with 10 total hits and, more importantly, five singles, the Athletics were able to complete their four game sweep of the Detroit Tigers.
It’s always super satisfying, at least for me, to sweep the Tigers after all they’ve put us - the fans through in recent postseason match-ups (2006 ALCS, 2012 ALDS, 2013 ALDS). So bringing out my broom was fun and relatively effortless!
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A two-run home run by Nicholas Castellanos off of Sean Manaea in the bottom of the first inning had the A’s down early 2-0. Beyond that, however, Manaea, Emilio Pagan, Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen held down the fort while the A’s won the fourth and final game of this road trip playing, well, what is at least for them, small ball. They went a second straight day without a home run, but the their potent lineup still was able to get the best of Tigers’ starter Micheal Fulmer, who went a full eight innings.
Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder lead off the top of the third with back-to-back singles. After Tigers’ starter Michael Fulmer struck out Dustin Fowler he allowed three more back-to-back-to-back singles to Mark Canha, Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis to score Semien, Pinder and Canha, respectively. And the A’s took the lead 3-2.
The remainder of the scoring in the game came in the top of the fourth inning. Stephen Piscotty singled to right to lead off the inning and was later knocked in on a Pinder double to center.
Both Manaea and Fulmer pitched well. Manaea went 6.0 innings allowing just five hits and those two runs in the first, while walking one and striking out two. Fulmer ended up with the loss but had an overall good outing — pitching 8.0 innings, allowing nine hits with out giving up a walk and striking out five.
Manaea was relieved in the seventh by Pagan. Pagan pitched a scoreless inning, earning his third hold of the season. After Pagan, A’s skipper Bob Melvin called for Lou Trivino to pitch the eighth inning. He also pitch a strong, scoreless inning collecting two strikeouts along the way, also earning a hold, his ninth of the year(I learned something new today — that multiple pitchers can get holds in the same game — with holds being a relatively new publicized statistic, who knew?).
As usual Trienen came in and pitched the ninth inning. He put a man on base via a walk but after that got the three outs needed for Treinen to finish the game with 4-2 being a the final score. It was Treinen’s 20th save this season. This time he only had to get three outs. Normally Treinen goes out there and is asked to get five, sometimes six, outs to earn his saves. He didn’t pitch Wednesday which may actually have been why he allowed a hit and a walk, as he is used to being put into games daily and more is asked of him. Ultimately, he got the outs needed to secure the win and the sweep for the A’s. Treinen’s extra “rest” on Wednesday and this afternoon at least mean he’ll be fresh and ready to go for the upcoming homestand.
Despite pitching eight innings and taking the loss, Fulmer did have control of the A’s powerful offense for most of the game. Reliever Louis Coleman allowed a hit in the ninth inning but pitched well, despite knowing he was already going in to fight a losing battle.
It may not have been the A’s usual way of winning on the road and ending a road trip but it was still effective — their string of five singles proved that they can get wins without the long ball, which shows improvement and, most importantly, versatility from the lineup.
Up next the A’s head home to face the Cleveland Indians. There are some fun promotions at the park this holiday weekend beginning with “Bark in the Park” on Friday, a Dave Stewart figurine giveaway on Saturday, (my personal favorite) Root Beer Float Day on Sunday and, Fourth of July Fireworks Night on Tuesday when the A’s take on the San Diego Padres in another short series, this time at home! So head out to the yard and support our boys this weekend and next week to celebrate Independence Day! Let’s Go Oakland!