One-Way Tickets to Pound Town
What ever you call em, 6 different A’s hit them tonight in their 16-2 win over the Orioles.
Brett Anderson kept his momentum from his last start, getting a quick 3-up-3-down inning to begin the game. All three were defensive outs, as tends to be the norm with Brett on the mound, including Anderson fielding a rolling grounder himself.
The A’s batters started off just as quiet as the O’s, giving Gabriel Ynoa a 1-2-3 inning. That included striking out both Matts on mid-80s sliders.
Anderson earned his first strikeout of the night against Renato Nunez, who fouled off his share of good pitches before succumbing to a sinker on the outside corner. A quick line out to Grossman and a great throw to first by Semien, and the A’s were up to bat with Anderson retiring his first 6 batters.
A diving catch by Richie Martin ended Khris Davis’ first at bat early. Davis hit a 107mph liner that was about to bounce at the edge of the infield, but Martin was able to get his glove around it before it hit the ground. Ramón Laureano managed to get the ball through a huge gap in the O’s infield and hustled his way into a sliding double, hitting the bag AND Richie Martin as the ball bounced off of Martin’s glove. Sadly the double was followed up by Grossman popping out to Ruiz, and Piscotty flying out to Buxton to end the inning.
Easy fly out for Ramón, great Chapman play for a groundout, great Semien play for a ground out. Smooth sailing for Brett as he retired the whole O’s lineup once, and as the game had just passed the half-hour mark.
Beau Taylor? More like Beau Tater, cause he crushed a ball 416ft to centre field for his first homer in the majors. That was all the action for the inning, but the A’s got on the board.
Hanser Alberto got the first O’s hit on a bounce in front of Grossman. More action for the outfield as Grossman and Piscotty both made great plays to keep Hanser on first. I guess we know why they call them OUTfieldersMake that an out for each outfielder, as Ramón made a running catch up against the wall to get Brett out of it.
Matt Olson started off the A’s half of the 4th with a rocket that bounced of the left field wall, and the ball rolled past 2 O’s before they could throw the ball back to the infield. Khris Davis got hit with the second pitch of his plate appearance to add another runner. The extra runner was a nice addition as Ramón made the most of his new spot ini the batting order by smashing the ball 418ft in dead centre. A trio of ground outs followed, but the damage was done as Ramón cashed in a trio of runs.
Anderson had his first troubles as Jonathan Villar smacked a dinger to centre, putting the O’s on the board. Broxton hit a liner to the outfield for a single right after that, and then advanced to second base on a passed ball. Trouble continued as a grounder hit to Marcus was overthrown as Semien tried to get Broxton out at third. Instead of the second out, the ball flew past Chapman’s reach and into the dugout. Broxton scored and Ruiz moved to 2nd off the error. Marcus redeemed himself with a pair of textbook throws to first, getting out Martin and Alberto and prevent any more Oriole runs
After two quick line outs before him Matt Chapman got his first hit of the night with a standup double that bounced up the gap from the infield all the way to the outfield wall. Matt Olson had a patient at-bat, where he ended up earning a walk on the same pitch he struck out swinging on in the first. Neither Matt could make it home, as while Khris battled fouling off 6 pitches, he ended up grounding it to Villar to end the inning.
Things got back to normal in the 6th as Brett made quick work of Mancini. Severino dropped the ball just out of Laureano’s range to get on first, but Nunez grounding into a 6-4-3 double play got Anderson through his 6th inning of work.
Ramón kept working to cement himself 5th in the lineup with a ripping leadoff single past third base. The A’s kept the runs coming as Robbie Grossman boomed the ball out in right field to earn two more runs for the A’s and his 5th home run on the season.
Piscotty grounded out, but after 5.1 innings and 25 batters faced, Ynoa was taken out for Paul Fry. Profar dropped the ball into shallow right for his first hit of the night but Beau grounded into a fielders choice, eliminating Profar. Marcus Semien finally got the ball past Mancini in right, rolling the ball into the corner and scoring Taylor with a gorgeous triple. The triple sets Marcus at a 15 game hitting streak, and he also scored the A’s 8th run of the game as he advanced off of a Richie Martin error. Matt Chapman blistered the ball bouncing off of Martin’s glove and before either Martin or Villar can get it, Chapman was safe at first and Semien scored. Olson blasted a liner past Fry and Martin straight up centre, keeping the 2-out party rolling and bringing in the struggling former Athletic, Dan Straily. Struggle he did, as 4 pitches in, Khris swatted a 382ft oppo bomb to put the A’s runs into double digits.
As the A’s have batted around, Ramón repeated his performance from the start of the inning with a laser liner single. A wild pitch moved Laureano to second, making space for Grossman to walk. As if it wasn’t enough to have one three-run homer in the inning, Stephen Piscotty decided to make it two, powering the ball 418ft down centre, and scoring runs 8-10 of the inning and 12-14 of the game.
Brett led the inning off by issuing his first walk of the game. But after a choice Piscotty catch, a 4 pitch strikeout, and another ball fielded by Anderson himself, Brett was out of it, and through the 7th with no worries, and a mountain of run support. Clearing the 7 inning mark put tonight as Anderson’s longest start of the season.
Straily was back in for the bottom of the 7th, Beau flew out to start off the inning, but Marcus walked right after. The A’s could be content with the 5 home runs that their lineup had hit. But what if they put in a pinch hitter? It turns out they hit a home run too. Pinder was subbed in to give Chapman the rest of the night off, and proceeded to smash the ball to left for 2 more runs.
Olson struck out swinging then Khris singled to left, but the inning ended after Laureano struck out on a foul tip.
Aaron Brooks was tagged in for the 8th, and started with a 3 pitch strikeout of Martin. Brooks kept the O’s down with 2 more quick outs, just trying to wrap this one up.
Mark Canha lead off the 8th, replacing Grossman, out in foul territory on his first pitch. Piscotty sat down after 3 swing and miss strikes, and Profar followed it up with his own K.
Brooks was back out to finish off the O’s for the night, again starting the inning with a strikeout. Chad Pinder did a Chapman impression catching Nunez out at first by a hair, and then threw to Olson one more time to end the game.
The A’s brought it all out tonight and the bats overshadowed another solid Brett Anderson start. Aaron Brooks also offered a solid 2 innings without a runner even though the scenario was about as low stakes as it can get.
While it is a series against the worst team in baseball, the Athletics are rolling, and you don’t wanna be caught in the way.
With tonight’s win, the A’s move to 38 and 36, 2 games back of a Wild Card spot, and 10 behind the Astros. Chris Bassitt will be up tomorrow to face the O’s in a day game as the A’s look for the series sweep.