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Game #64: Semien’s Two Home Runs, Four RBI Lifts A’s over Rangers

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Game Thread #1
Game Thread #2

The title neatly sums up this one; Marcus Semien, just about singlehandedly, won tonight’s game on the strength of his 4-5 night, collecting four hits and four RBI, including two home runs; the first in the fifth (his eighth on the season) to pad the A’s lead to 2-0 and following his game-tying single in the seventh inning, he hit his second (ninth on the season) in the ninth to give the A’s the 5-3 lead. The A’s survived—and I mean that in every sense of the word—Treinen’s bottom of the ninth, where it felt like a 10 run lead wasn't enough (and he only had a two). He recorded the first out with little fanfare, and then allowed a single and walked the bases loaded. But a handy-dandy double play bailed him out nicely and when all was said and done, the A’s came away with the win. We’ll take it.

The A’s jumped out early in tonight’s contest, Marcus Semien, who was behind every A’s scoring effort tonight, opened the game with a single against the Rangers’ Lance Lynn and moved to second on Matt Chapman’s walk. Matt Olson singled to right field to score Semien for the A’s first run, but Chapman, who seems to be involved in daily close plays on the bases, was thrown out trying to go from first to third on the play, effectively killing the A’s early rally. Of course, thanks to Khris “Hat Trick” Davis, it might not have mattered anyway.

Brett Anderson, although he recorded the zero in the first, did allow two singles; the first was thrown out by Josh Phegley to keep Texas runners off the board; the A’s pitching danced through raindrops to the very last pitch of the game in this one.

Robbie Grossman and Mark Canha led off the second with back-to-back singles, but couldn’t advance, and Lynn struck out the side in the third and the opening batter of the fourth. Anderson was lucky beyond any reasonable measure not to allow any scoring in the Rangers’ half of the fourth; the inning opened with a Semien error and a one-out single put two on. And then, in what would be the A’s second error of the inning, Matt Olson fielded a ball somewhat lost between first and second base. He thought about going to second, but thought too long, and instead, threw the ball to a surprised Brett Anderson covering first. Who dropped it, had it pop off his glove, and into the first base coaches’ box. To his credit, he recovered almost immediately, and upon seeing Logan Forsythe trip rounding third on his way home, he fired a strike to Matt Chapman at third to initiate the successful run-down, tagging Forsythe out before he could score. That play was brought to you by the letters L-U-C-K-Y.

Semien’s home run in the fifth gave the A’s the 2-0 lead, but that was never going to be enough. Olson doubled to open the sixth and never moved, and the two run lead didn’t survive the bottom of the sixth.

Delino DeShields singled to open the inning and after Forsythe struke out, Elvis Andrus tripled to score DeShields. He scored on the subsequent groundout to tie the game and a home run by Hunter Pence gave the Rangers the 3-2 lead. Thankfully, it didn’t last an inning.

The A’s knocked Lynn out of the game after their half of the sixth, and facing Shelby Miller, Canha singled, moved to second on Profar’s groundout and reached third on an error. With one out, Semien continued the game of his career and singled in the tying run.

And much like the A’s survived the ninth inning, they also survived the seventh. A one out single, a walk and another singled loaded the bases for the Rangers as Anderson exited in some trouble in favor of Yusmeiro Petit. Petit struck out Forsythe for his hat trick, and Grossman caught a deep fly ball to end the inning before it got any bright ideas of being a grand slam.

And just like that, tied 3-3 in the ninth, the A’s plucky hero completed his night. After a double by Profar, Semien hit his second home run of the game to give the A’s the 5-3 lead to turn over to their closer.

Most of us would wish it was 15-3, because the ninth was nerve-wracking, nail-biting, panic-inducing, couch-hiding. And all this after the first out was recorded! A single, a hard-fought, many-pitch walk and another walk loaded the bases and as we all hid behind our eyes, barely peeking out as Treinen’s pitchcount crept to 25, And then, Elvis Andrus grounded to Chapman, who slung the ball to Profar, who lofted the ball to Olson to secure the win. Collective deep breaths to follow.

With the win, the A’s trail Texas by a game and head to bed with a quick turnaround tomorrow. The first game will be a Saturday breakfast special at 11:00AM, starring Paul Blackburn, followed by the dinner special at 6:00PM, featuring Chris Bassitt. Let’s try to double-dip this one for two wins. We’ll see you back here with all the action!