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Spring Games #16 and #17: A’s split against Cincy, Cleveland

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Oakland Athletics Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The A’s won their eighth straight Cactus League game today against the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Ballpark. Shortly thereafter, that win streak came to an end as Sean Manaea, Lou Trivino, and Liam Hendriks yielded 10 hits and seven runs to the Cincinnati Reds en route to an 11-5 loss in Mesa.

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A’s 7, Indians 6

A’s starter Paul Blackburn was lit up in the bottom of the second as the Indians scored four runs on an offensive assault capped off by a home run from designated hitter Jordan Luplow. Blackburn gave up five hits total in three innings pitched, yet managed to improve his spring ERA from 10.64 to 9.39.

Cleveland preserved a 4-0 lead through four but the A’s roared back, scoring in every remaining inning of the game. The winning run came in the top of the ninth when Dustin Fowler hit into a likely 6-4-3 double play, but Indians first baseman Wilson Garcia missed his catch, allowing designated hitter Nate Mondou to score from second and break a 6-6 tie.

Franklin Barreto hit his second triple of the spring, Chad Pinder went 2-for-3, and Fowler hit an RBI double to improve his abysmal spring batting average to .091.

A’s 5, Reds 11

Reds batters tormented A’s pitching with 16 hits—10 of which came off three star pitchers across 5 1/3 innings. Sean Manaea struck out six and issued no walks in three innings but nevertheless suffered another tough spring outing; his preseason ERA stands at 14.09. Lou Trivino followed and gave up four hits and two runs in 1 1/3 innings, and Liam Hendriks surrendered two hits and a run in the sixth.

The A’s offense fared somewhat better, with five runs on five hits and five walks, but fell well short of the Reds’ production. The Reds seem to have Oakland’s number this spring: they served the A’s their last loss on February 28 in an even more lopsided 10-1 rout.

The game was not without consolation, however, as Matt Olson and Ramon Laureano both homered for the first time this spring.

The A’s (10-7) are the only team besides the San Diego Padres (10-2) with ten wins in Cactus league play so far this spring, though they are only fifth in the standings. Tomorrow, the A’s will visit the Seattle Mariners at Peoria Stadium. Former Athletics starter Kendall Graveman will be on the mound for the Mariners; the A’s starter is TBD.