If you were watching the A’s for the first time Tuesday night, you would have had an easy time picking out the club’s best player. Oakland may be famous for piecing together competitive teams devoid of star power, but it’s becoming more and more clear that there is a superstar donning the green and gold these days. Matt Chapman turned in another stellar performance as the A’s pummeled the Mariners 9-2, extending their winning streak to five games.
***Click Here to Revisit Game Thread 1***
***Click Here to Revisit Game Thread 2***
Mengden Settles In
Daniel Mengden got the start for the A’s Tuesday night and, as he tends to do, struggled early. He allowed three extra-base hits in the first two innings, including a solo smash by Omar Narvaez that gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead.
After getting through the first couple frames, Mengden (as he also tends to do) settled in and turned the outing into a gem. The Mariners didn’t reach base again until the seventh inning when Narvaez, who has bullied the A’s this season, singled. Mengden quickly ended the threat, getting through seven innings despite a high pitch count early.
Mengden finished with four hits, one run, and no walks allowed.
A’s hitters got to see a familiar face staring back at them as Marco Gonzalez took the rubber against them for the fourth time this season. In his previous two starts against Oakland, he allowed just three runs in a combined 15 innings.
Gonzales cruised through the first eight hitters he saw, allowing just one baserunner, but Josh Phegley got a rally started in the 3rd by slapping a ground ball through the infield for a single. After a Marcus Semien double, Chapman lashed one into left field to drive home two, giving the A’s a 2-1 lead.
Gonzales seemed to be back on track after a 1-2-3 4th inning and two outs to begin the 5th. With two strikes on Semien, Gonzales threw a very nice pitch that may have caught the inside part of the plate. Home plate umpire Brian O’Nora (more on him later) waited until Semien was ten feet down the line to call it a ball and award first base.
Gonzales was visibly upset. Chapman was up next and golfed one just over the left field wall for his 22nd homer of the year. Matt Olson followed that up with a jack of his own, and the A’s quickly led 5-1.
After the inning, there was a delay as O’Nora was attended to for an apparent injury. At one point, he received eye drops from the A’s training staff; Gonzales cheered sarcastically from the Mariners’ dugout. O’Nora had to leave the game, and second base umpire James Hoye took his place behind the dish. Play resumed with a three-man umpiring crew.
Pouring it On
From there, the A’s continued to extend their lead. Ramon Laureano made a mad dash home after a pickoff attempt and subsequent error; Semien scored again, driven in by a (guess who) Chapman double. In the bottom of the 8th, Phegley put the cherry on top with a two-run knock.
Oakland ended with 12 hits and nine runs on the day. Chapman led the way with three hits and five RBI, while Semien, Laureano, and Phegley contributed two hits apiece.
Treinen, but Failin’
If there was a somber moment in this game (other than the injury to O’Nora), it was in the top of the 9th when Blake Treinen took the mound. Bob Melvin continues to use Treinen in low-leverage situations in an effort to get him back to being the lockdown reliever we know and love. Unfortunately, Treinen was shaky again, allowing a solo bomb to (guess who) Narvaez, then recording the third out on a hard-hit liner from Kyle Seager.
The Coliseum went very quiet as Narvaez trotted the bases.
The A’s have won five in a row now and 18 of their last 23. At the time of this writing, Oakland is tied for the second wild card spot with Cleveland, and just five games back of the Astros (who currently trail the Angels in the 7th inning) for the division lead.
Oakland will close out the two-game set against the Mariners tomorrow with newcomer Homer Bailey on the bump!