Mike Fiers had a shakier start today, giving up four runs in 5.0 innings, and Treinen didn’t give much help by giving up another run with only one out. Thankfully the A’s bats bailed out the game with Seth Brown hitting two huge triples, and Matt Chapman hitting a huge 3 run dinger. In a change from the last few games, the Athletics bullpen held on to the lead and kept the A’s win intact.
*** Revisit Game Thread #1 | Game Thread #2 | Game Thread #3 ***
Seth Brown made the first out of the game as David Fletcher flew out to left field. The Angels got the lead very quickly after though, as Mike Trout hit an unbelievable missile out to past left field. Fiers went back to work and caught Ohtani swinging for his first K of the night. A few pitches later Pujols had flown out and Fiers was out of the inning, While the probable AL MVP got the Angels on the board, Fiers made his pitches against everyone else.
The A’s seemed to be seeing Barria’s pitches well, but couldn’t get anything productive against him. Semien had some good takes, but flew out in right. Grossman worked a full count, but struck out on a foul tip. Chapman had a similar patient approach, but got caught swinging at a slider outside to end the inning.
Kole Calhoun started off with a 4 pitch walk, as Fiers didn’t come close to hitting the zone with any of his pitches. Things went differently for Upton’s AB, as two called strikes were followed by a bevy of fouls before hitting through the left infield gap. Andrelton Simmons lined the ball straight to Semien, but the ball rolled up his glove and into left. While Calhoun came around to score, a play between Brown and Chapman allowed Upton to be caught trying for third. With only Simmons left at first, Fiers struck Rengifo out with three swings. Simmons got ahead of Profar's tag to steal second on a 2-0 count to Stassi, but a pop up off a broken bat finished off the top of the second with only one more run tacked on. At this point the Angels had already gotten Fiers to throw 40 pitches, so a long appearance was looking less than likely.
Barria continued to be easy to read for the A’s, as Matt Olson drilled a slider into the deep right field corner, getting two bags off of it. Canha ended up grounding out to Simmons with a weaker hit off of a slider. Seth Brown came just shy of a right field dinger, but instead the ball bounced off the wall past Calhoun, and into centre. Matt Olson scored easily and flying around the bases, Brown ended up with a stand-up RBI triple.
Seth welcomes himself to The Town! #RootedInOakland pic.twitter.com/WzM68VbRP8— Oakland A's (@Athletics) September 4, 2019
Thanks to a moment of indecision by Andrelton Simmons, the A’s tied the game up. Khris rolled the ball up to short, and as Simmons fielded and figured out what to do Brown boogied home and left the only play to be the force out of Davis at first. Profar took a walk off of a full count, but Phegley struck out swinging to finish the 2nd. With two hard hit balls the A’s tied up the game early and
With a tie game and blank slate Fiers was back out, Fletcher singled off him to right field. Trout almost popped out in foul territory, but Olson overran the ball a bit, and a pitch later Fiers took care of him instead with a swinging strikeout. Olson made up for the missed foul as Ohtani lined the ball right to him. As Fletcher had taken off on contact it was a quick toss to Profar and a rundown before the A’s finished off a double play led by their gold glove first baseman.
Semien led off with a single as a grounder bounced off of Rengifo and couldn’t be reigned in to catch Marcus in time. Simmons had trouble again, bobbling a grounder from Grossman, and diving to regain the ball he tossed it over the shifted Fletcher and into an empty left side of the outfield. Semien knew there was no one on third and dashed over, with Grossman at first after slipping trying to take off to second, and Simmons getting charged with two errors on one play.
Matt at bat? Matt blasts that! Chapman was up next hitting a 410ft home run to dead centre, bouncing it off the Holy Toledo sign.
HOLY TOLEDO pic.twitter.com/H65KjjE5d2— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 4, 2019
Olson had a couple good swings but flew out on a high fly to centre, and Canha struck out swinging. Brown walked on 5 pitches, taking his first free pass in the big leagues. But with Khris hitting a hard grounder straight to Fletcher the inning would be over. Third inning fireworks gave the A’s the lead as Chapman made the most of the Angels defensive mishaps.
Pujols took Fiers deep for a solo shot to lead off the 4th and tighten the A’s lead, but the defence continued as Olson grabbed his second direct liner for an out against Calhoun. Fiers got Upton swinging, cashing in strikeout number four, and Simmons flew out to Olson behind first to give Fiers an easy inning, aside from the homer.
Profar hit a laser liner to Rengifo, who bobbled it, but the speed of the hit allowed him to still throw out Profar in time. Phegley struck out on a foul tip, and Semien had a good connection with the ball, but Simmons made a bullet throw to beat him out and move on to the 5th.
Rengifo grounded a bouncer to Profar for an easy first out, and Stassi skied one to Canha for another easy out. Fletcher kept the pressure on Fiers with a liner to the hole in left. Fiers pitched around Trout, giving him three wide balls before putting him on with a close ball four. Ohtani hit a well placed bloop double just inside fair territory to score Fletcher and move Trout to third. With the A’s up by only one run now, Pujols had a good fight with Fiers but on the full count pitch he bounced Semien and the A’s hit the halfway point of the game still in the lead. Fiers was really starting to struggle this inning, after a couple of quick outs his shaky command let the Angels rally and almost get ahead.
Replacing Barria was Adalberto Mejia, and Grossman flew out to Trout on a 3-1 count against him. Chappy made good contact with a liner out to right but Calhoun trotted under to catch the ball. Calhoun got another Matt out as Olson hit a weak fly and Kole caught that one too.
Blake Treinen was called on to take over for Fiers against Calhoun, and caught him swinging on a dropping breaking ball. Upton tied the game with a shot to left, and both teams were back in the fight. Blake missed the mark pitching to Simmons, and walked him on 5 pitches. Rengifo walked after a full count, and Bob pulled out Blake and brought in Buchter to face pinch hitting lefty Brian Goodwin. Buchter got ahead of Goodwin and earned a tense strikeout swinging, before being subbed for Yusmeiro Petit. Up against Fletcher, Petit got ahead 0-2 early, inducing a pop up and leaving the top of the 6th tied.
Noé Ramirez was the Angels reliever in for the 6th, and he started with Mark Canha bouncing a batted ball off his butt. The carom carried the ball past Simmons giving Canha a leadoff single. That’s all it took for Secret Weapon Seth Brown to reclaim the A’s lead with ANOTHER stand up RBI triple to the right field corner.
What if we told you Seth tripled- AGAIN #RootedInOakland pic.twitter.com/W6QoFEj2S3— Oakland A's (@Athletics) September 4, 2019
KD teased a centre field dinger, but he’ll have to settle for only one RBI as Trout caught the fly on the track, but Brown scored on the sacrifice. Profar grounded to Pujols for out number two, and Phegley ended the 6th with his third strikeout of the night.
Petit was back out and up against the heart of the Angels order. Trout skied a ball to Canha and the Ohtani tried to take off to first as if he had walked on ball 3. After Brad Asmus asked to confirm the count and the full count was confirmed on replay, Petit blew a pitch past Ohtani’s swinging bat to get a strikeout. Pujols made up for the replay delay by quickly flying out to centre, and Petit held off the Angels for a shutdown inning.
Putting in Keynan Middleton, the Angels served an easy walk to Marcus Semien to lead off the 7th. Grossman grounded to Simmons and the Halos turned a double play, beating out Robbie as he rushed down the line. Chappy took a walk on five pitches, but Oly struck out on four, cutting off any more rally chances in the 7th.
Joakim Soria was Bob’s choice for the 8th inning, and he struck out Calhoun on a 90mph fastball in the outside corner. Soria walked Upton, but as fast as you can say 6-4-3 the A’s were out of trouble with a double play.
Canha led off with a four pitch walk issued by new Angels pitcher Luis Garcia, but Brown bounced a grounder to Rengifo for a double play. Simmons caught a first pitch liner right to his glove, and within two pitches the A’s inning was over.
With three outs to secure the win, closer Liam Hendriks was out to face the 8, 9, and 1 batters. Rengifo was a three pitch strikeout, flailing at a 99mph fastball. Pinch hitter Justin Bour was a three pitch strikeout, swinging through a breaking ball. David Fletcher saw one strike come in, but spoiled the possible immaculate inning by grounding out to Semien to end the game.
While A’s pitching gave up homers to Trout, Pujols, and Upton, the bullpen aside from Treinen was a blessing. Buchter, Petit, Soria, and Hendriks held on to the game for the A’s. Hendriks was electric, throwing a lightning fast 8 pitch save that had immaculate inning potential.
The A’s offence timed its rallies well, Brown being sent home twice by Khris will be an underrated part of the game. The two RBI outs for Davis make the difference just as much as Brown legging out his triples does.
With today’s win the Athletics move to 79 and 58. They sit tied with Cleveland for the second AL Wild Card spot. Tomorrow Tanner Roark will take on Patrick Sandoval in the second game of this home stand.