On a day where Tanner Roark didn’t have his best stuff, and the offense squandered many different run scoring opportunities throughout the middle and late innings, the final regular season game played at Rickey Henderson Field was a bleak and boring one.
The first pitch of the game thrown by Roark, a thigh-high 91 MPH fastball, was turned around and blasted 461 feet the opposite direction to deep center field. It was the first of what would be three home runs hit in the inning. The Rangers swung early and often against Roark, and they weren’t missing. In the third inning, once again, Roark’s first pitch of the inning was taken deep, hit by Willie Calhoun for his second solo home run of the game.
All in all, Roark pitched three innings and gave up five runs on six hits with one walk, one strikeout, and four home runs allowed. In relief of Roark, A.J. Puk entered the game in the fourth inning, and unfortunately he didn’t fare much better. Puk allowed two doubles and a single in his inning of work, resulting in two more runs across the plate for Texas. Puk’s fastball looked lively, but his offerings in general were catching far too much of the plate. The outing was a setback for the young lefty, who had been dealing lately, but there is no doubt he will bounce back in his next effort.
The Rangers had seven runs on the board by the time the A’s got their first baserunner, but even once the A’s started to reach base, the offense couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities it gave itself. In the fourth inning, Mark Canha led the inning off with a double, but then the next two A’s struck out. While Canha did eventually come around to score on a Jurickson Profar double, the chance to strike big and get back into the game was lost. In the very next inning, once again the A’s couldn’t pile on after an early double, and three strikeouts killed the potential rally. One run scored, but it could have been more.
A single got erased by a double play in the sixth. A double in the seventh was left stranded. A double in the eighth . All the while, the Rangers tagged Ryan Buchter hard and tacked on another run via another home run, giving them an 8-2 lead. The home run Buchter surrendered was also on the very first pitch he threw in his inning.
Each team pitched their closer in the ninth inning, and there was very little action, save for Semien hitting a garbage time RBI double to finalize the end score, 8-3. The A’s lost a game they were losing from the very first pitch. Can’t win every day. The team has a day off tomorrow before travelling to Los Angeles to finish up the team’s season series against the Angels.