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Game #26: The Bats Blast The A’s Past The Rangers

MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

This game really had two showcases. The first inning through the top of the 4th showed off the A’s great defensive abilities, starring two fantastic double plays. The innings after that worked as a contiguous A’s rally, and the green and gold took the game handily because of a strong, consistent offensive force.

***Revisit Game Thread 1/Game Thread 2***

There was also about a 3 inning stretch where Ray, Glen, and Dallas followed Hal the Hot Dog Man around in the stands. Even for the usual amount that the broadcast crew talks about food, this one got a little obsessive. Anyways, onto our recap.

The Rangers took an early lead after a double to the left-centre gap by Nomar Mazara scored Elvis Andrus who made it into scoring position from a stolen base. The game was quickly tied up though, as everyone’s hero Matt Chapman hit a sky high dinger over the left foul pole.

Hunter Pence led off the 2nd inning with a double landing in almost the exact same spot as Andrus, then was score by an Asdrubal Cabrera single. Cabrera moved to third after a wild pitch and a groundout to first, but he did not get any further as Montas worked a Kiner-Falefa groundout, and a Shin-Soo Choo strikeout to get out of the inning. The A’s would again bounce back, Stephen Piscotty hit a deep lead-off triple bouncing off the right field wall, and was scored off of a Kendrys Morales groundout. Laureano gets “hit” by a pitch that brushed the buttons of his jersey and then stole second on a missed tag by Danny Santana, but it’s all for naught as Phegley popped out to end the inning.

Montas got a break on a fantastic 6-4-3 double play in the 3rd. Santana broke for second on the pitch, and Chad Pinder snuck his foot in to beat the runner to the bag while catching the flipped ball from Semien, then remained sturdy to throw out Andrus at first. Montas followed up with a Mazara strike out and it was time for the A’s to bat. The A’s were quiet in the 3rd with only a Matt Chapman walk, though Grossman came close to gaining a lead with a ball hit just to the wrong side of the right foul pole.

The Rangers battled in the 4th, Montas gave a 4 pitch walk to Gallo, Hunter Pence barely beat out a Chapman throw to get on base from an infield hit, then Cabrera loaded the bases on a Monas error receiving the ball from Morales. Matt Chapman continued the heroics, throwing a bullet back to home from a Forsythe dribbler for the force out, then Phegley spun to throw out Forsythe at 1st! Your standard 5-2-3 double play. After what could have been a real nasty inning for the A’s, Kiner-Falefa grounds out and the top of the 4th remains scoreless.

Piscotty once again leads off an inning with a single, Morales continues the hit parade with another single. Pinder gets on base on a fielder’s choice, moving Piscotty to third and leaving runners on the corners. Ramon Laureano hits a centre field bloop single with a broken bat to score Piscotty and give the A’s their first lead of the game. Josh Phegley mashes a 2 RBI double to add to the A’s lead, followed by a Grossman bloop single to advance Phegley to third. Add 2 more runs to the A’s score as Marcus Semien blasts the first pitch of the at-bat to the warning track with a laser line drive double. Semien moves to third on a passed ball, and for the third time in the inning there are runners on the corners after Matt Chapman walks. Semien scores on a Khris Davis grounder single, and 6 runs in one inning is enough as the Rangers take out Lance Lynn in the 4th inning. Piscotty stepped up to his second AB of the inning against Wei-Chieh Huang, making his MLB debut. Piscotty ended up being inches shy of a dead centre home run, but the ball ends up being caught on a jump by Gallo. Morales hits a towering fly ball out, and the A’s rally ends for the inning.

Montas gets a Choo strikeout to start the 5th, his first inning since the 1st inning to not start with a lead-off baserunner. Then after a liner Santana single, the A’s get out Andrus and Mazara to end the inning and keep the Rangers off the board.

The A’s keep the pressure rolling with Chad Pinder hitting an infield hit to no-man’s land. Laureano smashes an RBI double to the base of the outfield wall, and the A’s have their third runner score from first base. Phegley teases making the A’s score double digits but it ends up being a loud fly out. A Rangers error allows Grossman to get on base, and scores Laureano to make it 10-2 for the A’s. Grossman moves to second on a wild pitch before Matt Chapman takes his second walk of the evening. But the runs stop after Khris Davis has a loud fly out to Mazara.

Joey Gallo leads off the 6th with a single, followed by Montas striking out Hunter Pence. Cabrera singles and moves Gallo to third. Forsythe hits a sac fly on Montas’ 101st pitch to score the 3rd run for Texas. Montas then walked Kiner-Falefa to end his night and bring in Yusmerio Petit. Choo strikes out for the third time tonight to move things to the A’s half of the 6th.

Piscotty leads off for the 3rd time tonight, and in doing so gets his third leadoff hit, Kendrys works a full count walk, and Pinder watches a ball that apparently juuuuust hit the strike zone to be the first out of the inning. Laureano hits into a fielders choice to take first and advance Piscotty. Phegley then pops out in foul territory to move things to the 7th.

Petit gets the A’s first 1-2-3 inning on 11 pitches to keep things rolling. Grossman Ks for the third time in the game, but afterwards Semien takes a walk. Chapman and Davis serve as two more quick outs to end the inning and bring up the Rangers.

Ryan Dull comes in for the 8th, gives up a single to Joey Gallo, which is erased on a fielders choice that was close to being another double play. Santana pops out to Chapman, and Dull gets a strikeout to end the top half on the inning. Stephen Piscotty, on an absolute tear, gets his 4th leadoff hit of the game. Morales walks for the second time and moving Piscotty into scoring position pays off as Pinder smacks the ball on a liner to left, scoring Stephen. Laureano gets a called strike on a full count to be sat down, followed by Phegley hitting into a 6-4-3 routine double play to bring us to the final inning.

Not wanting to rouse another arm, Ryan Dull is back to pitch the top of the 9th, and he gives up a deep double to Kiner-Falefa, and Choo grounds out. Danny Santana hits a line drive home run to right to give the Rangers 2 more runs. Then, Mazara singles, and Gallo doubles to give the Rangers a pair of runners in scoring position. But the Rangers can’t make up the 6 run deficit as Dull strikes out Hunter Pence to end the game.

The A’s were firing on all cylinders tonight, bringing out every strong point they could to take an easy win over the Rangers. Stephen Piscotty and Matt Chapman both had phenomenal days in the batters box, with Piscotty going 4-5 with a triple, and Chapman taking 3 walks along with a hit. The defence also shined, especially on the two big double plays. Chad Pinder looked like an every day second baseman, as he performed confidently.

With the win tonight, the A’s move back to .500 and look to take the series sweep against a Rangers pitcher yet to be announced.