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Game #139: A’s Fly Past Angels

Four Home Runs and Stellar Pitching Pace the A’s to a Second Straight Victory Over the Halos, 4-0

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Oakland Athletics
Sean Murphy made his MLB debut tonight and didn’t disappoint, blasting a home run in the fifth inning to help pace the A’s victory
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

So far in 2019, good starting pitching, excellent corner defense and timely home runs from up and down the line-up have been the recipe for the A’s success.

Tonight all three were on display as Tanner Roark gave the A’s 6 23 shutout innings, platinum gold glover Matt Chapman provided solid defense and Marcus Semien (two run blast), Jurickson Profar (solo home run) and rookie catcher, Sean Murphy (solo home run) added the power in the A’s 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

Game Preview + Thread #1
Game Thread #2

Traffic, but no Damage
Coming into tonight, Tanner Roark had allowed two runs or less in four of his five Oakland starts. He continued his streak against the Angels, blanking the Halos on 113 pitches. Roark allowed five hits and walked two, but bore down when he needed to stranding seven Angels runners. The victory tonight gives Roark nine wins on the season and lowers his ERA under 4 to 3.86. After Roark, three Oakland relievers combined to keep the Angels off the scoreboard and off the bases as Yusemeiro Petit (1/3 of an inning), Joakim Soria (one inning) and Liam Hendriks (one inning) retired all 7 batters they faced.

A’s radio broadcaster Vince Cotroneo had this nugget of info about how good Petit has been lately:

Defense, Defense, Defense

That Baby’s Gone!

Murphy’s Debut
The much anticipated call-up of Sean Murphy (#3 prospect in the A’s organization) lived up to its pregame hype. Murphy’s opposite field home run in the fifth inning was both his first homer, hit and RBI and run scored. On the defensive side of things, Murphy’s pitch framing skills were evident from the very first inning as he gets credited with catching a shutout in his very first game. He did have a few balls in the dirt that could have been blocked a bit cleaner and he was involved in a rare catcher’s interference call in the third inning that allowed Shohei Ohtani to reach base. But those were only minor blips on an otherwise spectacular night. NBC Sports California captured a cool moment of Murphy’s family celebrating his first home run.

Wild Card Hunt
The A’s victory combined with the Rays having the day off places the A’s a half a game behind Tampa Bay for the first wild card slot. The Indians also won tonight against the White Sox to keep pace with the A’s and stay tied for the second wild card position (The A’s are percentage points ahead and technically the sole owners of the second wild card position).

Down on the (Playoff) Farm

Celebration Time...