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Spring Training Game #18: A’s tie Giants in Spring Finale

Now the games start to count

MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

A late letdown cost Oakland some momentum heading into the 2022 season, as the A’s tied the Giants 7-7 in nine innings in the Spring Training 2022 finale.

The offense provided 12 hits on the day, scoring all of their runs in the early innings to provide a nice cushion for most of the game. A few of the regulars collected a pair of hits, while starting pitcher Daulton Jefferies escaped a bases-loaded no-out jam by allowing only one run while pitching into the fourth inning. Unfortunately, a Giants rally in the ninth wiped out what would have been the A’s 6th spring win.

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With a starting lineup that looks close to a possible Opening Day lineup, you’d hope that they could string together some hits and get a rally going in the early half of the game when they’re all in there. That’s just what they did, scoring 4 runs in the second inning.

Shortstop Elvis Andrus came up with two runners in scoring position and brought both in with a hit to center field to give Oakland the early lead. A Cristian Pache single would put two runners on for today’s leadoff man Chad Pinder, who smacked a double to right field to bring in two more runs for the A’s and bring the score to 4-0 after two innings.

On the other side of the ball, starter Daulton Jefferies had an easy 1-2-3 first inning followed by the aforementioned bases-loaded jam. Three straight singled to open the bottom half of the second before Jefferies induced a couple of fly outs, the second of which ruined the shutdown inning and gave the Giants their first run of the day. Jefferies would escape that jam, but trouble would lie ahead for the righty.

A Stephen Piscotty double and Kevin Smith triple got that run back for the A’s, but Jefferies would quickly surrender two right back in the bottom half thanks to a leadoff solo shot and an RBI single. Lefty Kirby Snead would come into the inning to get the final out of the inning for Jefferies, who thanks to spring rules was allowed to return the next inning for a quick frame in the fourth to finish his day.

  • Daulton Jefferies: 3 23 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 K, 1 BB

Jefferies is now officially the #3 starter for the A’s, with the righty lined up to start the third game of the season on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies, per Matt Kawahara.

Oakland would add a couple more in the fourth inning on a Jed Lowrie double that brought in two runs and pushed the score to 7-3. The trio of A.J. Puk, Sam Moll, and Justin Grimm would each throw a shutout inning before Kotsay turned to closer Lou Trivino, who has been appearing in more games in the latter half of spring. Things turned hairy quickly, as a leadoff walk was followed by a single to put a runner in scoring position. Trivino would almost escape by striking out the next batter, but allowed a 2-out double to bring in a run and put two runners in scoring position before finishing his day with another strikeout to end the threat.

To replace Trivino in the final inning of the spring, Mark Kotsay went to right-hander Bryce Conley, a reliever destined for Double-A to start the season. Conley then essentially gave the game away, allowing a single, double, hit batter, a bases-loaded walk and a game-tying 2-run single before Kotsay had seen enough and turned to fellow minor-league reliver Aaron Brown, who struck out the final batter of the day to at least preserve the tie and finish off Spring Training. I’m sure there was a good reason for sending Conley into the game, but you can’t help but want a win to finish spring and have some good vibes heading to Philadelphia.

Oh well. Now it’s over. We’ve waited all spring for this, and it’s finally upon us. Let’s not dwell on the trades, the final scores of spring, or what might or might not happen at Howard Terminal, folks. None of it matters.

The regular season is here, ladies and gentlemen! See you Friday evening for Frankie Montas versus the Phillies!