This didn’t feel like a game that was won in the 4th inning, but that’s exactly what it was. With the A’s down 2-1 at the top of the 4th and Seth Brown at first base, Jurickson Profar came up and pulled an inside changeup deep to right field to put the A’s up 3-2, a lead the Royals never came back from.
But they didn’t go down without a fight. After the A’s tacked on another run in the 4th and three in the 5th, the Royals loaded up the bases with no intention of giving this series away. With Chris Bassitt reaching his limits for the day and just 1 out on the board, the 7-2 lead no longer looked as comfortable as it did half an inning ago. Alex Gordon was the first one up and he thought he had a couple of RBIs when he hit a hard line drive to third base.
Fortunately, our Gold Glove-caliber third baseman was there to catch it. No, I’m not talking about Matt Chapman, who took the day off after getting hit in the head by a pitch the day before. I’m talking about Chad freaking Pinder, who played as good of a defensive game as he could filling in for the best defender in the sport. In the bottom of the 4th, he also made a clean backhanded stop that he made look easier than it should’ve been.
So Gordon was out, but then Jorge Soler got a run in on a fielder’s choice. It’s now 7-3, two outs. Then, Cheslor Cuthbert came up ready to knock Bassitt out of the game, and that’s exactly what he did. On an inside fastball, Cuthbert knocked it deep down the left field line to drive in two runs and get himself to 2nd base, with the game-tying run now at the plate. At that point, Bassitt was done and Petit came in to clean it up, as is typical for him.
Eventually, the A’s scored another two and the Royals tacked on three to keep get it within a run, but it made no difference. The A’s had the lead since the 4th and the Royals never came back. With another potential loss for the Rays today, the A’s may be up two games with a month left to play. Life is good for A’s Nation!