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Game #77: A’s drop finale, swept by Yankees

At least they made it competitive

MLB: Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The A’s dropped their third straight game this afternoon, losing 5-3 to the New York Yankees and getting swept along the way.

Oakland jumped out and took an early lead in the first, but again they couldn’t add on later in the game and that’s pretty crucial to beating these guys. A couple home runs by their big boppers doomed the A’s as New York smoked 2-run and 3-run shots to account for all their scoring.

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

Getting things started early, the A’s strung together four hits in the first inning off Yankees starter Jameson Taillon. It went double-single-double-single, with the big hit coming off the bat of Stephen Piscotty and bringing in a hustling Ramon Laureano all the way around from first. Elvis Andrus capped it with an RBI single to bring Piscotty in. See the whole rally below:

That gave A’s starter Cole Irvin a nice cushion before he had even thrown a pitch. Unfortunately he left a sinker down the middle of the plate to the 6’7” MVP candidate Aaron Judge with a runner on. He didn’t miss, crushing the baseball into the left field stands and making it a 3-2 game after one inning.

The A’s had a great chance to add on the very next inning and extend the lead as they loaded the bases thanks to a bunt single, walk, and HBP. Laureano and Stephen Vogt, who took over catching duties today, both struck out to end the scoring chance, though, and that missed chance would come back to haunt the A’s in this one.

Top prospect Nick Allen, who hasn’t had a ton of chances to play shortstop this year, got the nod there today with Andrus taking a half-day off. He got to the big leagues thanks to his defense at the position and he showed it off a bit today, making a nice play on a grounder in the second here:

Things took a turn for the worse in the third. Irvin put a pair on for Giancarlo Stanton, a slightly smaller human than Judge but still 6’5”. He’d hit a home run in four of his last five games, and it happened again as a no-doubt 3-run home run left the yard, this time an opposite-field shot to right. A game that started out so well for the A’s had turned into another deficit. Make that five of the last six for Stanton.

Irvin found his groove after that, though, keeping the A’s in this game by not allowing the Yankees to add on. He retired 13 of his final 14 batters after the Stanton home run, allowing only a Josh Donaldson leadoff double in the sixth that he stranded on second.

  • Cole Irvin: 7 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 103 pitches

The two home runs that Irvin allowed do, in fact, count and his overall line from today’s start doesn’t look good at first glance. It was otherwise actually a decent start from the left-hander, he just got bit for a couple bombs by a couple of the biggest home run hitters in the game today. The Yankees as a team are on a home run tear right now, too, setting the team record for most home runs in June with 57 and a game to go. Righty Adam Oller replaced Irvin and pitched a scoreless eighth with a walk and strikeout.

The A’s had a couple chances to come back in this one, but all five hits they got after the first inning were singles they couldn’t do anything with. The team as a whole struck out 10 times today and went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Their best chance to come back came in the eighth when Piscotty (2-for-3 today) and Sheldon Neuse got a couple knocks with only one out, but Allen struck out and Christian Bethancourt, pinch-hitting for Crisitian Pache, flew out to Judge in center to end the inning. They went down in order in the ninth to seal the loss.

This has not been a kind month for Oakland. They have just five wins this June to go along with 20 losses and remain the worst team in the league by record. It was always going to be a tall task for the A’s to come into the Bronx and win, as the league-best Yankees have won 19 of their last 21 at home. Still, the A’s were more or less competitive in every game, so that’s a small win.

The A’s now head to Seattle, where they’ll play the Mariners in a four-game series to wrap up their third and final three-city road trip this season. It’ll be rookie right-hander Adrian Martinez going for the A’s tomorrow in his second career start. He pitched into the sixth inning against the Tigers and didn’t allow a run in his first start, so let’s hope for more of that tomorrow night!