After being painfully swept in Houston and losing the opening game against the Orioles, the A’s road trip was beginning to look like a nightmare. After a 13 run, 14 hit attack last night, a glimmer of hope begin to emerge from the darkness. Tonight, the glimmer of hope burst into a full ray of sunshine, courtesy of five Oakland home runs and stellar pitching from Frankie Montas and a trio of relievers in a 10-3 victory.
***Tonight’s Game Preview + Game Thread Here***
Montas Sharp Early
Frankie Montas retired the Orioles in order thru four innings on 41 pitches, topping out at 98 mph with his four seamed fastball and mixing in his slider and splitter for deception. The A’s offense meanwhile was putting a seven spot on former Oakland hurler, Dan Straily, to give the A’s a 7-0 lead after 4 1⁄2 innings. In the bottom of the fifth inning, staked with a big lead, Montas ran into trouble, allowing a Trey Mancini solo homer to break up the perfect game and shutout, all in one swing. Two batters later, O’s third basemen, Rio Ruiz, deposited a two run shot over the fence in right field to cut the A’s lead to 7-3 after five innings.
How did the A’s score 7 runs in the first five innings?
“Pinder Power” Swipes Center in the Second Inning
Chad Pinder already had played 4 positions in 2019 heading into tonight (Left Field, 1st Base, 2nd Base, 3rd base). He added a fifth position today, starting in Right Field, to give Stephen Piscotty a breather, in this 18 games in 18 days marathon schedule. Pinder rewarded Manager Bob Melvin for this decision right away, giving the A’s a quick 1-0 lead, via a solo home run. AthleticsNation top commentator, 510SportsTake, appropriately nicked-named him “Pinder Power” after he hit the deep solo shot to center field.
Chapman and Davis Pick Up Two Out RBI’s in the Third Inning
Marcus Semien singled off Straily with two outs in the third inning. Matt Chapman, who doubled in his first at-bat, drew the count in his favor in his second at-bat and then drove a low fastball down at his shoes into the left center gap to drive home Semien from first. Khris Davis stepped up after Chapman and muscled an inside breaking ball the opposite way into short right field to score Chapman and give the A’s a 3-0 lead.
Profar Follows Up Where He Left Off Last Night
Jurickson Profar raised his batting average from .120 to .182 after last night’s 4 hit, 5 RBI night. Tonight, he continued the momentum, making sharp contact in lining out in his first at-bat. Then Profar crushed a two run home run to deep right off a hanging Straily slider to score Chad Pinder (led off the inning with a single) and give the A’s a 5-0 cushion.
After the Orioles cut the deficit to 7-3, the teams traded zeroes in the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh inning, the Oakland offense busted out once again, courtesy of the long ball.
Chapman and Davis Go Back to Back
After a Marcus Semien double, Matt Chapman lofted a fly ball to left field. At the Coliseum, this would have been a lazy out, a few feet from the warning track. However, good news, this game was being played at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and Chapman’s lazy fly ball, turned into a two run home run! Khris Davis stepped up to the plate next and walloped a solo home run to right field to put the A’s up 10-3. It was Davis’ 200th Career Home Run.
Breaking News: E-Jax Returning to the Green and Gold!
The Athletic excellent A’s beat writer, Julian McWilliams, tweeted during the game the following:
Source: Starting pitcher Edwin Jackson nearing minor-league deal with A's.— Julian McWilliams (@JulianMack105) April 10, 2019
Trio of A’s Relievers Mop Up the Game
Frankie Montas recovered after his 3 run frame in the fifth to induce three ground-outs to retire the side in the fifth inning. He walked the lead-off man in the sixth inning before striking out the side to end that inning. Montas’ final line on the night would be six innings, three hits, three runs (all earned), one walk, three strikeouts and two home runs allowed on 84 pitches.
Following Montas, JB Wendelken pitched a scoreless seventh inning, Ryan Buchter pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Yusmeiro Petit closed it out with a scoreless ninth inning.
For your watching enjoyment, here are 4 of the A’s 5 home runs on the evening (apologies to missing Matt Chapman’s two run blast)
Multiple Hit Evening for Four A’s Hitters
Marcus Semien was 2-5 (single, double, two runs scored)
Matt Chapman was 3-4 (two doubles, two run home run)
Khris Davis was 3-5 (single, two home runs)
Chad Pinder was 2-5 (solo home run, single)
Sadly the Other Davis Increased His 0-for Streak
By all accounts, I have heard the Orioles Chris Davis, is a good dude. Even if he wasn’t, I would not wish his current hit-less streak on my worst enemy. Davis pitch hit for the Orioles in the 9th and flied out to increase his current streak to 0 for his last 50.
Breakfast Baseball Tomorrow!
A’s wrap up the four game road series against the Orioles tomorrow morning with a 9:35am start from Baltimore. Pour yourself some
Captain Crunch Raisin Bran and root for a series victory!