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Game #92: A’s Hit Three Home Runs in Victory After Chapman Derby Nomination

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

On the same day that it was announced that Matt Chapman would be partaking in Monday’s Home Run Derby, the A’s hit three home runs in a comfortable victory over the Mariners. The win was the A’s 50th victory of the year.

Game Thread #1 - Game Thread #2

The A’s wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in today’s game, and effectively put the game out of reach in the game’s first seven batters. A tight strike zone benefitted the A’s in the top of the first inning, as it allowed for Semien to hit an infield single up the middle and Grossman to walk, placing runners on first and second with Olson at the dish. Working the count to 1-2, Matt Olson took a pitch that appeared to pass through the high-inside corner of the strike zone, but the small zone played in the A’s favor once more.

The very next pitch, Olson hit the ball more than 430 feet into the right field bleachers.

The A’s weren’t done yet. After Khris Davis looked lost on a strikeout, Canha doubled to right on the first pitch he saw, and then Laureano hit the second infield hit of the inning after Dee Gordon made a slick diving stop to prevent his hit from rolling into the outfield. The Mariners’ opener, Matt Carasiti, exited the game having gotten only one out, and was replaced by the intended long man, Wade LeBlanc.

LeBlanc threw one pitch, and Pinder ripped a single into left field that somehow skipped passed the left fielder Moore, allowing Laureano to score all the way from first and Pinder to reach second base with ease. The game was 5-0, and before the Mariners’ could get settled in the second, Semien made it 6-0.

From there, the game began to move a bit more quickly. Daniel Mengden, starting for the A’s, had worked quickly but had labored through two innings that saw him give up a run on a towering home run to Narvaez and throw nearly forty pitches. Narvaez would come back and bite Mengden a couple of more times by the time this game was over.

In the third, Mengden tightroped out of a situation wherein he allowed a triple early in the frame with no damage, but a leadoff misplay double in the fourth proved to be too much trouble. With one out in the inning, it was Narvaez who lofted a simple Texas Leaguer into the outfield to score the leadoff double and trim the A’s lead to 6-2.

A leadoff double in the sixth inning led to the end of Mengden’s night, but Narvaez’ haunting would continue as he hit yet another single to center to drive home the Mariners’ third run, cutting the A’s lead to 6-3. On the whole, Mengden pitched 5.1 innings, allowing three runs and six hits, and getting just two strikeouts but also zero walks.

In the eighth inning, just a half inning after Ramon Laureano hit a home run that was just inches fair down the left field line, it was none other than Narvaez himself hitting his second home run of the game to keep the Mariners within three runs.

The final game before the All Star Break ended with one of the A’s two all stars closing things out, with Liam Hendriks navigating around a harmless two out single to wrap things up. The A’s used Ryan Buchter, Yusemeiro Petit, Joakim Soria, and Liam Hendriks combined to throw 3.2 innings of one run baseball.

With the A’s fairly spent and banged up, the extended break is somewhat of a welcome one. Matt Chapman and Liam Hendriks each have a chance to shine on Monday and Tuesday next week, and then the A’s get to prepare to take on the White Sox with a chance to keep their winning ways going.

Have a well-deserved break, AN.