The A’s beat the Cubs 5-2 in Cactus League action on Monday. It was Oakland’s fifth straight win, and after opening the spring with five straight losses they’ve now improved their record to 7-6.
The A’s didn’t collect any hits through the first five innings. Their only baserunners during that span came on a pair of walks, both by catcher Sean Murphy, who was making his Cactus League debut after recovering from a minor offseason knee cleanup. (Here’s more on Murphy’s first game, from insider Martin Gallegos.)
The no-hitter was finally broken up by 2B candidate Franklin Barreto, who tripled to lead off the 6th and then scored on a sac fly by 1st-round draft pick Logan Davidson. Oakland manufactured another run later in the inning thanks to a HBP and a throwing error.
Quick nod to Melissa Lockard for helping bust the no-no:
Never too early to jinx a no-hitter, so I'll just inform you that through five innings, the A's have yet to collect a base hit.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) March 3, 2020
Welp, while we were talking to Sean Murphy, Franklin Barreto took care of the no-hitter with a triple and Logan Davidson took care of the shutout with a linedrive sac fly to center. You're welcome.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) March 3, 2020
Barreto sparked another rally in the 8th, this time with a leadoff walk. Once aboard, he stole second base, and moved to third on a throwing error. Davidson followed with a walk, and then another walk loaded the bases. Outfield prospect Buddy Reed grounded into an RBI forceout, Luis Barrera singled to drive in a second run, and minor league free agent infielder Eric Campbell lofted a sac fly to plate a third one. That was all the offense the A’s needed.
On the other side of the ball, the pitching staff held Chicago scoreless until the 9th inning, narrowly missing a shutout. Frankie Montas started and threw two hitless innings, allowing just a walk and a HBP. And who did he hit? His old catcher, Josh Phegley.
Montas felt good in his two innings. Said he didn't mean to hit ex-teammate Josh Phegley but couldn't help laughing when he did. Phegley laughed back.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) March 3, 2020
Montas clipped Cubs and former #Athletics C Josh Phegley with a fastball: "I didn't want to hit him. I was just laughing - I looked at him and he looked at me and I was like, well, sorry man. ... It's always good to see ex-teammates."— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 3, 2020
In terms of stuff, Montas seemed sharp.
98 from Frankie Montas to get Daniel Descalso swinging to start this one off.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) March 3, 2020
Impressive first inning from Montas. Maintained 96-98 with the fastball, got a swinging strikeout on an offspeed against Jason Heyward to end the 1-2-3 inning.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) March 3, 2020
And how about that splitter?
Lou Trivino and Liam Hendriks each followed with a scoreless inning, with both navigating around some baserunners (esp Trivino) but also combining for five strikeouts. The lesser-known portion of the spring staff kept zeroes on the board until the 9th, when prospect Parker Dunshee allowed a Cubs rally — a single, HBP, single, and RBI groundout, for two total runs.
That was enough to hold on, though, and the A’s won 5-2.