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Spring Game #12: A’s score early, hold lead, win game

That’s more like it!

MLB: Spring Training-Cleveland Guardians at Oakland Athletics
Seth Brown hit a two-run double in the 1st inning
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s won! It’s still spring training, and the standings still don’t matter, but a victory is fun anyway.

The A’s beat the Cincinnati Reds by a 5-4 margin on Wednesday. Oakland scored four in the 1st inning, then held on the rest of the way.

*** Click here to revisit today’s Game Thread! ***

The lineup got off to a great start, which has been a somewhat common occurrence this spring despite the often losing finishes. Today it was Tony Kemp with a leadoff double, Jed Lowrie with an RBI single, Sean Murphy with a booming double, Seth Brown with a two-run double, and Chad Pinder with an RBI double deep to center, all in the 1st inning.

Murphy later hit another double, with an enormous 111 mph exit velocity. He is 9-for-18 this spring with a homer and six doubles, and only three strikeouts.

Oakland’s other run came in the 6th inning. The Reds had chipped away at the lead to bring it within 4-3, but non-roster catcher Christian Bethancourt went deep to right for a solo homer to add some insurance.

On the pitching side, Cole Irvin worked into the 5th inning and held the lead he was given. He only struck out two but didn’t walk anybody, and only one of the hits he allowed went for extra bases.

  • Irvin: 4⅔ ip, 3 runs (2 earned), 2 Ks, 0 BB, 6 hits

Nasty breaking ball!

Out of the bullpen, enigmatic prospect A.J. Puk tossed two scoreless innings, by far the lefty’s best results of the spring so far. He faced seven batters and retired six of them, with one walk mixed in.

Reliever candidates Zach Jackson (1 run, 0 Ks, 1 hit, 1 walk) and Dany Jimenez (0 runs, 3 Ks, 1 BB) also threw an inning apiece.