It was an encouraging day for the A's. Both A's teams faced the Indians today, coming out with a pair of victories. The offense showed up, scoring 8 runs each.
Blackburn took the mound for Spring Game #9 and while I couldn't follow this game, he looked pretty good on ESPN's play-by-play. He pitched three scoreless innings, and while he gave up a harmless single here and there, he had a fairly clean outing today. Barreto had an error in the first that allowed a runner to reach base, but he did his best to be productive in the bottom half and contributed a walk. This immediately preceded a bomb by Grossman to give the A's an early 2 run lead.
The 2nd and 3rd innings were fairly quick and quiet for both teams. Soria came in to pitch the 4th and gave up a triple to the first batter he faced. The run scored on a ground out, but he prevented further damage by getting 2 strikeouts with a walk in between. Canha, Davis, and Pinder all went down consecutively for the second time on the day. Petit allowed a single but nothing else in a scoreless top half of the 5th. Neuse and Allen both singled to get on, and advanced to 2nd and 3rd on a wild pitch. Mateo and Barreto then both walked, which scored a run. Grossman drove in the second run in on a sac fly (making the game 1-4), but Canha struck out to end the inning.
Tanner Anderson came in to pitch the 6th for the A's but got roughed up a bit. He got a quick first out, but the Indians then rallied with three straight singles, a double, and two more singles. This gave the Indians their first lead on the day, but Donnie Hart came and got the final two outs of the inning. Davis struck out to start the A's half of the 6th, but Pinder got on with a double right afterward. Brown doubled him in, the scored himself on a Neuse single. A's got one more in the inning on an Orf single to regain the lead.
Indians would get one in the 7th on a home run, but that score would remain as Wandisson Charles had a clean final 2 innings to close out the game. The 2 guys that stand out to me are Blackburn and Grossman. It was a nice game for both of them.
Sean Manaea got in 3 innings today. He gave up a couple of singles in the 1st, but I like the movement on his pitches. He struck out Santana on a nice slider, so it is encouraging to see that pitch develop. In the 2nd his pitches started slipping more in the middle of the zone, and the Indians scored 2 on single, hit by pitch, and a double by Lindor. He finished strong in the 3rd however getting a K and 2 fly outs. In the bottom of the 3rd Semien and Kemp both singled and Chapman got an RBI on a fielder's choice.
Wendelken started the 4th with a K but ended up allowing a lot of hard contact, resulting in 3 more runs for the Indians to make the score 5-1. Heim, Machin, and Bolt all reached to begin the bottom of the 4th, and Semien promptly doubled in 2. Kemp reached base for the second time today on a walk, and Chappy tacked on another run on a groundout.
Trivino pitched a clean 5th with 2 strikeouts. The A's retook the lead with a single by Theroux, a double by Machin, and a single by Bolt which drove in 2.
The score remained for the 6th and 7th innings. Indians tied the game at 6 in the 8th, on a tough groundball that made it past Kemp. I think the shadows played a lot into this play, as it manipulated many plays throughout the game. The hero of the day was Edwin Diaz. I hadn't seen him before, but he has a smooth swing that crushed a ball to left for a home run, driving in Kemp who singled before him. Weems pitched a quick 9th for Oakland, finishing out a great day that saw the A's grab 2 wins.
Quick notes from this game: I really like Manaea's slider today. He commanded it effectively and it aided his other pitches. Edwin Diaz is now on my radar, so I'll be following how he does this year. But the star of today was Tony Kemp. He showed great plate discipline, going 3-4 with a walk. Even in his strikeout he fouled off a couple and was seeing the pitches.
Great day for Oakland. Hoping this winning thing can continue. A's @ Royals tomorrow