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Oakland A’s set Division Series record with 12 home runs

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Even in defeat, they did something awesome

Division Series - Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros - Game Four Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s lost their 2020 ALDS matchup against the rival Houston Astros, but they did not go down meekly.

Aided by the California heat making the ball fly at Dodger Stadium, the A’s blasted 12 home runs over the course of four games. In doing so they set an all-time Division Series record for any team, reports insider Sarah Langs, and by the end of Thursday the Astros had tied them with 12 of their own. The previous high of 11 was shared by the 1995 Mariners, 1995 Yankees, and 2004 Astros.

Since the A’s and Astros both broke the old single-team record, it goes without saying that their 24 combined dingers are also the record for any Division Series. Even more impressive, per scorer David Feldman, only three other postseason series of any kind have eclipsed that total, and each of those went seven games — the 2008 ALCS (26, TB/BOS), 2004 NLCS (25, HOU/STL), and 2017 World Series (25, HOU/LAD), the latter of which was played partly in the same location in Los Angeles.

Oakland’s full list of sluggers:

  • Khris Davis (2)
  • Ramon Laureano (2)
  • Matt Olson (2)
  • Chad Pinder (2)
  • Mark Canha (1)
  • Tommy La Stella (1)
  • Sean Murphy (1)
  • Marcus Semien (1)

Both of Laureano’s came in Game 4, making him the 10th player in franchise history to swat two in a single postseason game, per info manager Mike Selleck. The others to do it are Reggie Jackson, Gene Tenace, Sal Bando, Rickey Henderson, Dave Henderson, Terrence Long, Frank Thomas, Milton Bradley, and most recently Brandon Moss in the 2014 Wild Card Game.

The A’s nearly had a 13th homer, when Olson sent one just over the wall in right field in Game 4. However, old frenemy Josh Reddick reached up and pulled it back, robbing Olson of what would have been his third of the series.

The A’s also set some other records in Game 3. On the franchise level, the five homers they hit in that game alone tied their single-game postseason high. On the MLB level, they were the first club ever to have all four infielders go deep in the same postseason game, between Olson, La Stella, Semien, and Pinder. And finally, on the venue level, Pinder hit Dodger Stadium’s longest homer of the year at 453 feet in Game 2, while Laureano nearly matched him in Game 4 at 449 for the park’s second-longest of the year.

As for Houston, their dozen dingers came from Carlos Correa, who led the series with three; Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, and George Springer with two apiece; and Alex Bregman, Aledmys Diaz, and Martin Maldonado with one each.

It wasn’t enough to win the series, but at least the green and gold made some serious noise along the way. If they can add some consistency with runners in scoring position, or at least get on base in front all their solo blasts, then watch out for this A’s lineup in 2021.