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Game #42: A’s 5-3 loss compounded by injuries

Lose to Angels, and two players got hurt

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s took a few losses on Saturday, including but not limited to the game itself.

The A’s dropped a 5-3 decision to the Angels tonight in Anaheim, and also had two players leave early due to injuries.

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

Both injuries occurred in the 2nd inning. In the top half, outfielder Ramon Laureano was hit in the right hand by a pitch, initially staying in the game but soon exiting. In the bottom of the inning, starting pitcher Frankie Montas was pegged in the right hand by a line drive, and he too was removed from the game. Click here for details and video, including an encouraging update that each player had negative X-Rays.

The scoreboard remained empty until the 5th inning, but once the Angels began scoring they piled up five runs in a hurry. Oakland answered back with a three-run rally in the 8th inning, but it wasn’t quite enough to catch up.

Tough task

With Montas knocked out early, the A’s bullpen put in some emergency overtime.

  • First up was Domingo Acevedo, who recorded six scoreless outs.
  • Next came Adam Kolarek, who made it through the 5th with just a solo homer allowed, but then began the 6th with a leadoff single.
  • In came Lou Trivino, who snowballed that inherited runner into an extended rally that brought home two runs. He faced five batters and retired just one of them, walking home a run along the way.
  • Then Jacob Lemoine came in and threw one pitch to escape the jam with a double play. However, in the 7th he was tagged for a two-run homer, before finishing off a scoreless 8th inning.

They made it through 6⅓ frames using just four relievers, which helps save the rest of the pen for tomorrow and beyond instead of tiring out everybody in one day. Acevedo and Lemoine especially put in valuably durable efforts. It would have been even cooler if the group had allowed fewer runs to steal a win despite the adverse conditions, but at least they mitigated the damage from spreading beyond tonight and on to future games.

Three runs

Meanwhile, Oakland’s lineup continued struggling to score. They threatened in the 3rd and 4th but came up empty, and in the 6th their cleanup hitter grounded into a double play.

Finally in the 8th they broke through, for three runs. Kevin Smith sparked it by lining a pinch-hit double, and Sheldon Neuse followed with his customary groundball single through the right side to drive him home.

The rally continued! Jed Lowrie doubled to send in Neuse, and Lowrie himself later came around on a wild pitch.

With three runs across the plate, the A’s were back in the game, but that was as close as they got. They finished the 8th with runners stranded on second and third, then went down in order in the 9th.

Ouch

It was a tough day all around because of the injuries, and the most important takeaway is that both players have an optimistic prognosis. Beyond that, the rest of the team stepped up and at least kept it close on a day when things seemed to unravel early.