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Game #131: A’s drop middle game to Nationals 5-1

One big inning cost them tonight

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland dropped the middle game off the series to the Nationals, losing 5-1 to Washington on Wednesday evening.

The starting pitching was strong early but came apart in the fifth, and the bats never got going except for a solo homer in the second.

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

Oakland struck first tonight, and it was one of the rookies who came through. After hitting his first career MLB home run yesterday, first baseman Dermis Garcia swatted his second, a solo shot in the top of the second to give the A’s an early lead:

There was this cool little tidbit about that blast:

That was it for a while, though, as the bats went quiet after that, collecting just one more hit and a few walks until the ninth.

Oakland starter James Kaprielian, meanwhile, shut down the Nats lineup through the first four innings, allowing just three singles that he stranded. Things fell apart in the fifth for the righty, however. A walk, error, and a couple RBI singles gave Washington the lead, and first baseman Luke Voit put some distance between the two clubs with his own homer, a 2-run shot to make it 4-1.

Kap was able to finish the inning but was finally knocked out in the sixth after allowing his 7th hit of the day, a two-out double. Manager Mark Kotsay turned to Zach Logue to replace Kaprielian, ending his day at 92 pitches.

-James Kaprielian: 5 23 IP, 7 H, 5 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 92 pitches

After bouncing back from a rough start to the year and putting together a string of strong starts, Kap has now had a couple harder starts. He was cruising early but unraveled hard, although the defense behind him wasn’t totally crisp in the fifth inning.

Anyway, Logue came in and allowed an RBI double, which was charged to Kap. He pitched the rest of the game, too, throwing 2 13 IP with a couple hits and a walk allowed along with a strikeout.

Down to their final three outs, the A’s managed to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate but pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt struck out to end the game and break Oakland’s modest win streak.

So after last night’s outburst the bats go the exact opposite direction tonight and go utterly silent aside from Garcia’s bomb. Hopefully they wake up before the finale.

They’ll try to win the series tomorrow afternoon in the finale. It’ll be a game worth watching, too, as star prospect Ken Waldichuk will take the ball for his first career start. Tune in!