Frankie Montas is not slowing down. In contrast to his previous life, when consistency was a foreign concept to him, the A’s breakout starter has come out every five games and simply performed.
Tonight, he dominated the Mariners lineup, striking nine batters out and only walking one, with the only earned runs coming on a groundout and a single. Though conventional wisdom says pitchers get worse as they pitch deeper into games, Montas exhibited the opposite tonight. After striking out “just” three batters in the first three innings, he struck out another six in the next three. It doesn’t look like he’ll be needing an opener anytime soon.
Behind him, the A’s bats woke up once again from what feels like a season-long slumber, scoring 11 runs to get Montas his much-deserved ninth win of the year. Shockingly, only one of those runs came on a homer — a Semien solo shot in the second. The rest were from a double, a load of singles, and a couple of groundballs, a welcome change for an offense that sometimes struggles to score during power droughts.
The A’s middle infield, in particular, showed up on the offensive side. Semien and Profar combined for 6 hits, 6 RBIs, 3 runs, and no strikeouts. Chapman also had a couple of nice hits and Ramon is keeping his hot streak going.
On top of all this, the bullpen, which has struggled at times this year, was nearly lights-out. The only blemish was a Buchter walk, but he, Petit, and Soria combined for a strong three innings to close the game. All-around, a great win for the A’s that keeps them close in the AL Wild Card chase.