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Game #31: A’s Fall to Sox, 4-9

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Boston Red Sox
Apr 29, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien (10) is unable to hold onto the ball as Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez (7) slides into second base during the third inning at Fenway Park. 
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

What started out to be a promising push for a win ended in another Athletic loss. Despite big bats in the second inning, the A’s continued to get in their own way and create runs for the Red Sox. This is not to take away from the Red Sox pitching or offense who had lively bats; but, when the Red Sox take the lead with six unearned runs in the third, that should tell you a great deal about how this game played out.

*** Game Thread #1 | Game Thread #2 ***

So let’s talk about the one inning of fun. The A’s batted around the BoSox in the second inning and picked up 4-0 lead in a team effort. Chad Pinder led off the inning with a walk after battling back from an 0-2 count and Kenrys Morales did the same. Ramon Laureano grounded to short, and this led to a 6-4 putout of Morales. Laureano proceeded to steal second. He and Pinder both crossed the plate for runs one and two on a shot down the left field line by Jurickson Profar.

Profar then advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a Phegley single. With two outs, Chapman hit an RBI double to put the A’s up 4-0. But this was the only inning in which the Athletics scored.

Which brings us to the Athletics’ pitching. Staring pitcher Frankie Montas, looking for his fifth win of the year, was behind the eight ball the entire game, Melvin eventually pulled him in the 5th—though Petit was up in the bullpen in the third. The A’s defense served Montas well as they turned two strong double plays in the first and second inning. The third inning was Frankie’s undoing. With a one-out walk to Vazquez— Lin, batting 9th, got on base on an Profar error to put runners on first and second. Montas then gave up an easy out, neglecting to tag first base on a throw from Morales on a slow roller. This was the second A’s error of the night.

An RBI single by Betts and an RBI single by J.D. Martinez (so much for those back spasms) had the BoSox feeling comfortable. But why stop there? Bogaerts followed with a two-RBI double, and—not to be outdone—Rookie Chavis did the same to bring in runs #5 and #6. Ouch. It is not surprising that the bullpen became active.

Montas gave up a run in the 5th. After striking out Bogaerts, he then gave up a double to Devers and an RBI flair to Chavis. And that was the end of his night as Ryan Buchter, brought up from AAA Vegas due to Canha’s injury, came in to close out the inning, albeit barely. While he struck out Jackie Bradley Jr., he then intentionally walked Vazquez and unintentionally walked Lin which brought up the top of the order. On a 4 seam, 92 MPH fastball, Buchter closed out the inning and his night with a fly out to Laureano in center.

Petit was probably the “cleanest” pitcher of the night in the 6th inning, getting Betts and Martinez to groundout followed by Bogaerts flying out to left field—an easy catch for Pinder on the warning track. Rodney replaced Petit in the seventh and gave up a run by walking Devers who then stole second. Despite striking out Chavis on a changeup, Jackie Bradley Jr. picked up his first single, and RBI, of the night. While Bradley stole second (the Red Sox’s 17th team steal on the year) this amounted to nothing when he was left stranded.

Ryan Dull followed Rodney and gave up three hits and a run. Bogaerts nailed the green monster for a double to score Benintendi and make it the final run of the game. Red Sox 9, Athletics 4.

The A’s did not go down easily. They made some noise in the 9th. With one out, Hundley walked. Semien then singled followed by a Chapman walk, working the count that led to a pitching change, Barnes for Velazquez. This appeared to be the right move as the A’s were quickly dispatched and fell to the Red Sox 4-9.