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Game #46: Montas’ Near-Complete Game Lifts A’s Over Tigers

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Game Thread

For the first time in what feels like forever, the A’s put together two great wins in a row; the offense was all there tonight, highlighted by home runs by Mark Canha and Chad Pinder. The real story of the game was Frankie Montas, who was one batter shy of throwing a complete game; he finished 8.2 innings, allowing one run in the fifth and one late run in the ninth, knocking him out of the game.

The offense managed to rack up another seven runs tonight; not quite yesterday’s football score, but feels like a virtual feast after the famine of late. Khris Davis went 3 for 4, Piscotty 2 for 4, and the A’s hit two more home runs to add to their season total.

But, again, it was Montas who stole the show; doing something that A’s pitchers seldom do, flirt with pitching a complete game—and he would have had it if not for another annoying double by Miguel Cabrera. As it was, he exited the game with two outs in the ninth, allowing just four hits, two runs and racking up ten strikeouts. As far as starting pitching performances this season, it wasn’t a no-hitter, but it was as effective, earning him his fifth win on the year.

It took the A’s a minute to get on the board; a 1, 2, 3 in the 4th, 5th and 6th pretty much won the game for them, but they had even more chances early. Khris Davis opened the second inning with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, and to third on a Matt Olson groundout. Unfortunately, Chad Pinder grounded out to third without scoring the run and the game continued scoreless until the fourth inning.

Matt Chapman led off the inning with a single and moved to second on the subsequent Piscotty single. Davis’ fly out moved Chapman to third, and Olson’s force out scored the first run of the game. Staked to a 1-0 lead, Montas continued rolling right along, and he received progressive run support the next two innings. Jurickson Profar walked to open the fifth and scored on Mark Canha’s fifth home run of the year, giving the A’s the 3-0 lead.

They would give one back in the fifth, as Cabrera started the inning with a double and scored on a one-out double by Josh Harrison. The next batter was hit by the pitch and we started to worry, but Montas had us; two force outs for two outs to end the inning.

The A’s ran away and hid in the sixth as a one-out single by Davis and a “single” by Olson that kicked past the center fielder, nearly causing a Little League home run; Davis scored on the play and Olson was stopped at third. From there, we hoped for a sac fly and instead swiped right, as Pinder homered to give the A’s the 6-1 lead. They’d add one more in the eighth on a Piscotty double and a Davis single to get their 7th run, and the Tigers touched up Montas once more, but overall, this game was all-A’s all the time, and we can notch another win on the season, applaud the breakout performance of a burgeoning starting pitcher and at worse, secure a split of this weekend’s series.

The A’s and Tigers will be at it again tomorrow at 1:10PM; Mengden looking for his first win vs. Boyd. We’ll have all of your action here.

Enjoy your weekend!