The Oakland A’s were edged out 4-3 by the Diamondbacks on Monday, giving them their third Cactus League loss in four games.
The A’s jumped out to an early lead, thanks in part to a homer by Dustin Fowler, but Arizona tied it up in the 4th with a rally off Ryan Buchter. Oakland went back on top in the 8th when Luis Barrera stole home, but minor league free agents Kyle Lobstein and Jake Buchanan were unable to hold the lead for the final six outs. Lobstein walked three straight batters to force in the tying run, and Buchanan served up extra bases and a walk-off sac fly.
Some standout performers:
- Fowler’s dinger was his first hit of the spring. According to our own Torrey’s Tacos, who was at the game: “Fowler smoked the ball all day.”
- The other early run came on an RBI double by Nick Martini, who finished 2-for-3.
- As for Barrera’s steal, here’s how Torrey’s Tacos described it: “(Franklin) Barreto caught between first and second, Luis raced home.” TT also praised Barrera’s throwing arm in the outfield.
- More on Barreto, from TT: “Barreto looked great today with his pitch recognition and made solid contact.” He finished the day 1-for-3 with a walk and no strikeouts.
- Frankie Montas started the game and wiggled through a few baserunners to throw two scoreless frames. Julian McWilliams of The Athletic: “Melvin said he liked the way Frankie Montas looked today. Was throwing his (offspeed) for strikes, which was something that he didn’t do in the past. He worked on a splitter in the offseason.” Here’s more on the splitter from John Shea of the S.F. Chronicle, who notes that it earned a strikeout against David Peralta. Montas was hit on the hip by a liner in the 1st inning, says Shea, but he stayed in the game.
- There was also some scoreless work from Liam Hendriks, Paul Blackburn, and J.B. Wendelken. For Blackburn, it was technically his first outing this spring after his disastrous debut was washed away by rain — it’s encouraging to see that he’s healthy and back on the mound. TT: “Hendriks had a really nice inning!”
- Cliff Pennington had a couple hits, Sheldon Neuse doubled, and Nick Hundley threw out a baserunner (the same runner succeeded against Sean Murphy).
Next up are the Angels, tomorrow (Tue) at 12:05 p.m.