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Game #30: A’s lose first half of doubleheader 6-0

At least there’s an immediate chance for revenge

MLB: Game One-Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s, after snapping their nine-game losing streak yesterday, lost the first half of a Tuesday doubleheader, falling to the Detroit Tigers 6-0 in the afternoon tilt.

The offense had a grand total of four hits and three walks, having no answer against a trio of Detroit pitchers. The pitching was solid for the first half before falling apart in the middle innings. The good news is the A’s only need to wait a few minutes for a bounce back chance.

*** Click here for today’s Game Thread! ***

Since this game was supposed to be in Oakland in the first week, today’s first game was a make up, with the A’s being the home team in this one.

Starting the ‘home’ game for the A’s was Frankie Montas. After a perfect first inning, Detroit collected singles in each of the next three frames but couldn’t get a rally going against the A’s righty. Things were going smoothly for Montas in the early going, throwing 30 strikes on his first 36 pitches through the Tigers’ lineup. Those singles were a sign of things to come, however.

On the other side for Oakland, their first hit came courtesy of a third inning Tony Kemp double to right field. This is what Mark Kotsay imagined when he put the usual leadoff man in the nine hole, acting as a spark plug from the lower half of the lineup. With two already out in this situation, though, a Sheldon Neuse strikeout extinguished that scoring opportunity for the A’s.

It only took a few minutes to get another guy in scoring position thanks to back-to-back walks by Sean Murphy and Christian Bethancourt, but again, with two already out, a Kevin Smith flyout to the opposite field couldn’t get it done.

The A’s had a serious injury scare in the top of the fifth. After Montas walked the leadoff batter to start the frame, Tigers outfielder Willi Castro hit an flare to left. Both Chad Pinder and Elvis Andrus felt they could make the play and ended up colliding in what looked like a pretty bad impact:

Pinder took the brunt of the collision, taking Andrus’ shin right to the face. The trainers came out and it looked like Pinder’s day was probably done, but after clearing concussion protocols right thereon the field, Kotsay left him in, playing the rest of the game before ultimately sitting in Game 2. Trainers also looked at Andrus, who also stayed in for the rest of this one and got the second game off.

If he’s calling for it, that is the left fielder’s ball and the shortstop needs to bail out. Andrus is a veteran of this game and should know that, Otherwise, this happens. Take notes, Nick Allen.

It only went downhill for the A’s from there. After the injury scare, a bunt single loaded the bases, followed by a sac fly to put the Tigers on the board with the game’s first run and set up a runners at the corners situation for former Athletic Robbie Grossman. With Oakland shifted towards right field, Montas got a groundball that is likely a double play if the A’s are playing straight up defense. The shift hurt here, with Kemp fielding the ball and looking towards second, only to realize there was no one there. The tag and throw to first wasn’t fast enough to nab Grossman, with the runner at third coming in to score. A walk loaded the bases for Javier Baez, always a dangerous situation, but Montas escaped the danger with another groundball to short to end the inning.

Montas wasn’t giving up much hard contact today, but he did get tagged the next inning, allowing a home run in the sixth to make it a three run deficit. He ultimately made it into the seventh, getting a strikeout before a walk prompted Kotsay to turn to the ‘pen and ended his day.

  • Frankie Montas: 6 13 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 105 pitches

The final line doesn’t do justice to how well Montas pitched for most of the game. He wasn’t as dominant as we’ve seen him, but the only real hard contact allowed was the home run. Otherwise, it was a lot of soft-contact singles did the damage to the righty today.

Left-hander Kirby Snead came on and allowed three straight hits, with the last one being a bases-clearing double that put this one out of reach, with one of those runs getting charged to the starter. He finished the inning and the eighth, and fellow lefty Adam Kolarek handled the ninth for Oakland.

The A’s would only manage a couple more hits the rest of the game, a Kevin Smith double in the seventh and a Murphy double in the ninth.

So Montas pitched well for most of the day, and both Chad Pinder and Elvis Andrus look like they’ve escaped serious injury. The lineup continues to struggle and Ramon Laureano remains on the lookout for his first hit. Luckily he won’t have to wait long, as Oakland has another game today. It’ll be a major league debut for Adrian Martinez, acquired in the Sean Manaea trade.