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Marveling at the Oakland A’s 10-run inning

Video, stats, and historical context of a rally for the ages.

Pictured: 3-for-5 with 5 RBI
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s only scored in one inning on Wednesday, but they made it count. They dropped 10 runs on the Orioles in the top of the 3rd, sending a total of 15 batters to the plate. Here’s the rundown:

  • Martini: Single
  • Lucroy: Single
  • Laureano: Walk
  • Chapman: Double (2 RBI)
  • Lowrie: Single (1 RBI)
  • Davis: Single (1 RBI)
  • Olson: Homer (3 RBI)
  • Piscotty: Single
  • Semien: Walk
  • Martini: Single
  • Lucroy: Single (2 RBI)
  • Laureano: Popout
  • Chapman: Single (RBI)
  • Lowrie: Flyout
  • Davis: Strikeout

It’s not surprising to see the A’s beat up on Baltimore. Oakland has a Top 5 lineup in all of MLB, and the Orioles are a historically bad team who lead the majors in runs allowed per game. But this inning was on another level, like the difference between cracking an egg on the lip of a bowl or having an elephant step on it.

The inning began with the first 11 hitters reaching base. That means they not only batted around the entire lineup, but did so without making an out. Matt Chapman, Nick Martini, and Jonathan Lucroy each picked up two hits in the frame, and the whole team went 7-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Orioles starter Andrew Cashner took the brunt of the damage. He faced the first eight batters, and all told he toiled for 14 minutes without recording an out. When Cody Carroll came in for relief, he threw his second pitch to the backstop to advance an inherited runner, who of course later scored. The whole thing lasted around 32 minutes, and Baltimore threw 57 pitches.

In terms of Oakland history, the last time they scored 10 in one inning was back in late 2015, nearly three years ago to the day, according to insider Jane Lee. What’s more, she notes that the winning pitcher in that game was Aaron Brooks, who coincidentally also appeared in this game just days after returning to the A’s via trade. (The lineup that day also included Marcus Semien.) The 10 hits tied an Oakland record for one frame, via A’s info manager Mike Selleck, but the runs fell short of the franchise record of 13 in an inning, says Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.

When Khris Davis drove in a run with his single, it gave him 110 RBI on the season. That matches his career high, set last year. A moment earlier Jed Lowrie had driven in his 90th run, which means the two now have 200 RBI combined. The last time a pair of A’s did that was Frank Thomas and Nick Swisher in 2006, reports Selleck.

This was the second straight day in which the A’s only scored in the 3rd inning, but they still won both times. On Tuesday they plated three in the 3rd and went on to a 3-2 victory. This time the rally was a bit more decisive, leading to a 10-0 rout as the pitching staff limited Baltimore to just one hit and one walk.

The merciless pounding wasn’t without a heartwarming aftermath, though. As a result of the enormous lead, the A’s began pulling their regulars in the 7th and replacing them with September callups off the bench. One of those subs ended up being catcher Beau Taylor. The 28-year-old had already made his MLB debut two weeks prior as a defensive replacement, but he hadn’t yet gotten a plate appearance. His moment finally came in the 9th inning, as a pinch-hitter for Lucroy. He struck out on four pitches, but you leave that part out of the story to the grandkids. Taylor has now officially had an at-bat in the bigs.

I’m reminded of the famous homer by Mark McGwire off Randy Johnson. It had been fair to wonder what would happen if the strongest hitter around ever really got a hold of a fastball from one of the premier fireballers, and the answer turned out to be a 538-foot moonshot that was every bit as spectacular as you would have hoped. As for what would happen if one of the best offenses in the game ever really got going against one of the worst teams ever? Now we know, and just like McGwire’s dinger it was a sight to behold.