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Spring Game #3: A’s Fall to Royals

MLB: Oakland Athletics-Workouts Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to BASEBALL, everyone! We’re picking up right where I left you after our magical Friday nights last season. I honestly haven’t had as much fun watching the A’s in about a decade as I did in 2018. Last year was some special kind of magic and I can hardly wait until “real” baseball starts, even if it is in the middle of the night.

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

We took the field for some more Spring action today, as the A’s started Aaron Brooks. Let’s talk about his second inning; a fly out, a ground out, and a strike out. He’d probably prefer me to leave that there.

However, Brooks also started the game, which means he pitched the first. Let me explain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up:

  • Walk
  • Single
  • Throwing Error
  • Pop out
  • Strike out
  • Hit by pitch
  • Single
  • Single
  • Homer
  • Ground out

And, just like that, the A’s were down 6-0. Brooks is looking at the 5th starter position, and it wasn’t a great audition.

The A’s offense cut the lead in half in the second inning as Stephen Piscotty was hit by a pitch to open the frame and Chris Herrmann grounded out to replace him. With one out, Mark Canha singled to put two on for Chad Pinder, who doubled in both runners to give the A’s their first two runs. Down 6-2, with Pinder on second base, Dustin Fowler and Robbie Grossman walked to load the bases and knock out Sam McWilliams. Marcus Semien singled to keep the carrousel moving and to give the A’s their third run, but a line-out double play by Jurickson Profar ended the threat.

Ryan Dull pitched an uneventful second inning for the A’s, and the same for Kyle Finnegan in the third, but Parker Dunshee allowed a solo home run in the fifth to give the Royals the 7-3 lead.

The A’s replaced nearly all of the starters in the sixth as Dunshee ran into more trouble, allowing a single, a walk, a wild pitch, another walk to load the bases and a sacrifice fly. He was replaced by Brian Goodwin, who promptly allowed a single for the ninth KC run.

Down 9-3, the A’s caught a break as Nick Martini reached on a throwing error to open the A’s half of the sixth. Franklin Barreto doubled him in for the A’s fourth run and Josh Phegley knocked in the fifth with a sacrifice fly later in the inning.

Norge Ruiz fared no better than the pitching lineup before him; he allowed KC’s tenth and eleventh runs to score on two RBI doubles, and Kyle Crockett, pitching the eighth inning, allowed three more KC runs, running up the total score to 14-5.

To say the least, it was not the best day for A’s pitching. But it’s Spring Training and there is still (albeit abbreviated this year) time to pull it all together.

The A’s play the Diamondbacks tomorrow at noon as Spring rolls on; here’s to Opening Day soon.