The A’s won their sixth straight game tonight in Baltimore, 10-0, to move to 32 games over .500 (89-57). In the victory, the A’s kept pace with division leading Houston (3.0 games back) and gained a game on the Yankees (1.0 game back) in the race for the top wild card spot.
GamePreview + GameThread
29 year old Aussie native, Liam Hendricks,
started opened tonight’s game for the A’s. It was Hendricks 4th “start” in the last 12 days. The A’s were 1-2 in bullpenning games coming into tonight but not due to anything Hendricks has done. He had a solid first inning tonight, pumping in four seamed 96 mph fastballs and allowing a single but nothing else on 11 pitches. He was aided by one Matt Chapman on the first pitch of the game:
Daniel Mengden, today’s “headline” starter (h/t ciderbeck) replaced Hendricks in the second and after having lead-off hitter (the other Chris Davis) reach on a Lowrie error, induced Tim Beckham into a double play and DJ Stewart into a pop-up, to keep the Orioles off the board after 2 complete innings.
A’s Big 3rd Inning (Take a deep breath, this will take awhile to explain)
In the top of the third inning, Nick Martini (remember him?!), singled off Cashner to lead-off the inning. Catcher, Jonathan Lucroy then singled to out runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out. Lead-off hitter, Ramon Laureano came up next and worked a walk to load the bases for Matt Chapman. “Chaptain America” would do what he has often done here in the second half of the season, rope a double (39), to plate Martini and Lucroy and send Laureano to third with still nobody out. Jed Lowrie, hitting left, then pulled a single to right field to score the third run of the inning and move Chapman to third base.
The real (and better) Khris Davis continued the hit parade, singling to center to score Chapman and make the score 4-0, with still nobody out and two runners on.
Next in line was A’s first basemen, Matt Olson. With O’s starter, Andrew Cashner on the ropes, Olson worked the count to 3-1, before doing this:
Holy Oly! The A's drop a 10-spot on the O's in the 3rd pic.twitter.com/KYisXWEACi— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 13, 2018
With the homerun (#26 for Olson), the A’s jumped out to a 7-0 lead and the big fly marked the 200th team homer of the season. It is just the sixth time in team history that an Oakland team has hit over 200 round-trippers in a season.
Olson’s homer would signal the end for Baltimore starter, Andrew Cashner as he was replaced by Cody Carroll. Despite the pitching relief for the birds, The A’s hit-a-thon continued. Stephen Piscotty singled to center and moved to second on a wild pitch. Marcus Semien then walked and Nick Martini batting for the second time in the inning singled to re-load the bases. By the way, there was still nobody out as Jonathan Lucroy stepped into the batter’s box for his second time of the inning. Lucroy promptly singled (the ninth hit of the inning), scoring Piscotty and Semien to make it 9-0, Oakland.
This run barrage got me googling “Most runs scored in one inning in Major League History?” The answer? The record for most runs scored by a team in a single inning is 18, set by the Chicago White Stockings (now the Chicago Cubs) against the Detroit Wolverines on September 6, 1883. The modern-day record is 17, achieved by the Boston Red Sox against the Detroit Tigers on June 18, 1953.
Susan Slusser added:
A's record for most runs in an inning is 13, in case you're wondering.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 13, 2018
Ramon Laureano was the next hitter and mercifully popped out for the first out of the third inning. Matt Chapman had no such empathy as he batted after Laureano and singled to center to score Martini, move Lucory to second and give the A’s a 10 run lead (mercy rule anyone?!) Jed Lowrie flied out to left to give the Orioles two outs in exchange for the A’s 10 runs. Approximately 30 minutes after the inning began, Khris Davis struck out to end the rally at 10 runs on 10 hits and two walks. What a team!!
The A's sent 15 to the plate in the third inning. They have a 10-0 lead. And for some reason the rest of the game is going to be played.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) September 13, 2018
Here is the 10 run inning condensed into a one minute highlight
Bullpenning, Part II
The A’s have averaged 6.75 pitchers per game in the month of September. Tonight they really only needed one. That one being Daniel Mengden (7-6). Mengden relieved Hendricks in the second inning and went on to throw 5 innings of no hit baseball (allowing a walk and a error). Over his last two ‘starts’ Mengden has thrown 9 2⁄3 innings of one hit shutout baseball. Great performance by the home schooled, handlebar mustached right hander. Also pitching in tonight’s contest for the A’s relief corps was Ryan Dull (scoreless 7th inning), J.B. Wendelken (scoreless 8th inning) and making his 2018 A’s debut, Aaron Brooks (scoreless 9th inning). The A’s bullpen allowed no hits, one walk and struck out 5 in 8 innings of work.
***Both Brooks and back-up catcher Beau Hughes got into tonight’s game with a inning pitched and an at-bat to fulfill our game preview poll!
Owning the A.L. East
One of the keys to the A’s success this season has been their incredible domination of the American League East. The Green and Gold went undefeated against the Blue Jays (7-0) and Tigers (7-0)in 2018 and are undefeated against the Orioles (5-0) heading into tomorrow’s finale. Overall the A’s are 20-8 (.714) against the East this season which is their best mark against the division in team history.
Playoff Watch (A’s have 16 games left in the regular season after tonight)
Houston (3 games ahead of the A’s in the AL West) beat Detroit earlier today. The Astros have won 10 of their last 11 games. The good news is that the Astros are off tomorrow while the A’s are finishing their series with the Orioles tomorrow, meaning the A’s could shave a 1⁄2 game off the lead with a victory tomorrow. Houston hosts the Diamondbacks for a three game series beginning Friday.
The Yankees (1.0 game ahead of A’s in the Wild Card standings) faced off against the Twins tonight and lost 3-1. The A’s now have a chance to cut the Yankees hold on the number one wild card spot to a half game tomorrow with the Yankees being idle.
The Mariners (9.5 games behind the A’s in the Wild Card) continued their interleague series against the Padres and lost in Seattle. Tampa Bay Rays (8.5 games behind the A’s in the Wild Card) played the Indians this afternoon and won.
The A’s magic number to clinch at least the second wild card spot is at 9 games after tonight.