The Oakland A’s won their Cactus League game on Thursday against the Seattle Mariners, but they took one loss along the way.
The A’s lineup continued crushing the ball, riding 11 hits including three homers to an 8-5 victory, but starter Frankie Montas exited early with an injury.
The right-hander, expected to be Oakland’s fourth starter to begin the year, received a visit from the trainer in the 3rd inning. He left on the spot, a couple batters into the frame, “because his right middle finger cuticle ripped open,” reports insider Martin Gallegos.
Montas will pitch in a simulated game on Wednesday, says manager Bob Melvin, per Rickey Blog. His first turn in the regular season would presumably come four or five days later.
Even in his short time on the mound today, Montas did witness a particularly notable play. The 2nd inning ended when Seattle shortstop Jack Reinheimer hit a bases-loaded double to drive in two runs. However, the third runner was hung up on the bases and eventually retired on a 9-3-5-2-6 putout.
Montas’ line ultimately featured four runs, but the bullpen held serve the rest of the way. Deolis Guerra allowed a couple inherited runners to score but nothing else, and then Trevor Rosenthal, Yusmeiro Petit, and Reymin Guduan (two) combined for four scoreless frames. Paul Blackburn allowed a rally in the 9th, but Matt Blackham squashed it for the save, ending with a flyout off the bat of Jantzen Witte.
More about Rosenthal, per Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle:
Trevor Rosenthal threw more fastballs in his inning just now. Most were 95-96 mph but he touched 98 mph and finished a swinging strikeout with a fastball at 96.
The right-hander is expected to be the A’s closer this season.
Oakland’s lineup scored 14 runs on Wednesday, and they kept on slugging Thursday.
The first blow came from Jed Lowrie, in the 2nd inning.
The hit had an exit velocity of 106 mph, per Shayna Rubin of the Mercury News. It’s Lowrie’s second long ball of the spring, in 31 plate appearances.
Three batters later, Stephen Piscotty joined the party.
We feel like we've seen this before... pic.twitter.com/V5cvn9ACqQ— Oakland A's (@Athletics) March 25, 2021
That’s the right fielder’s second homer in as many days. He’s played three games since returning from a brief wrist injury.
The Mariners tied the game up, but Matt Chapman untied it in the 5th, at 110 mph exit velocity.
That’s the third of the spring for Chappy. He also made a minor throwing error on defense, but only because he was curious what it would feel like so he gave it a try before the real games begin.
The A’s plated a few more in the 8th, on consecutive RBI singles by NRI infielder Pete Kozma, outfield prospect Cody Thomas, and infielder Vimael Machin. Kozma ranks second on the team with 8 RBI, which is as fun of a stat as it is meaningless.
The major takeaway from the game is Montas, and the hope that he’s OK to begin the season as planned. Melvin did note that this wasn’t a new problem for him this month.
Otherwise, enjoy the lineup and bullpen, already getting hot in preparation for Opening Day in exactly one week. Four more spring games left!