The Cincinnati Reds came into Goodyear, Arizona looking to make a statement early in the Spring Training season. It took them until the bottom of the eight to make the statement, and when they did it was heard loud and clear. If you were looking for fireworks, this game did not disappoint.
The Oakland A’s wasted no time jumping out to a 2-0 lead early in the 1st inning as Brent Rooker doubled on a line drive to center field scoring Conner Capel. Dermis Garcia would get in on the action singling on a line drive to right field scoring Brent Rooker. Adrian Martinez settled in quickly and at one point had retired four straight Reds batters.
The Reds made some noise in the bottom of the third inning as Curt Casali doubles (1) on a fly ball to left field off Luis Medina. Jonathan India would score. Reds trail 2-1
The top of 5th inning would see the A’s plate one run on a wild pitch by pitcher Joel Kuhnel helping JJ Bleday score and extend the A’s lead 3-1.
Lawrence Butler (2-2 .833) would continue his hot spring and single on a ground ball to left fielder Richie Martin in the top of the 6th inning. Zack Gelof would score and Tyler Wade would go to 2nd. Oakland leads 4-1. Richie Martin would come back to haunt his former team and homer (1) on a fly ball to left center field. Matt McLain would score but the Reds would still trail 4-3 at the bottom of the 6th inning.
Going into the 7th inning everything was going in favor of the A’s. Oakland first baseman Kevin Cron crushes a fly ball to left field, Tyler Soderstrom scores and the A’s extend their lead to 6-3. But as we all know, you have to pitch well with the lead in order to secure the win. The A’s pitching staff never got that memo. In the bottom of the seventh, the Reds were still refusing to give up. Reds outfielder Allan Cerda homers (1) on a fly ball to left center field but the Reds trail 6-4.
Top of the 8th is where the fireworks started for both teams. Cristian Pache triples (1) on a fly ball to center fielder Jay Allen II. Lawrence Butler scores and Oakland extends their lead 7-4. Oakland LF Cody Thomas homers (1) on a fly ball to right center field and Cristian Pache scores. A’s go up 9-4. Turlock native Tyler Soderstrom homers (1) on a fly ball to right center field. A’s begin to pull away 10-4. With the Reds clearly on the ropes the A’s took the field in the bottom of the eight inning. Pitcher Jorge Juan was clearing struggling with pitch location. The big righty walked three straight Cincinnati batters and would do the unthinkable when Christian Encarnacion-Strand hits a grand slam (1) to left field. Nick Martini scores, Matt McLain scores and Richie Martin scores. The Reds still trail trail 10-8 until Alejo Lopez grounds out to first baseman Trenton Brooks. Allan Cerda scores. Jay Allen II would advance to 3rd and the score would be 10-9 Oakland, but not for long. Jhonny Pereda grounds out, but drives in a run. The Reds and A’s are all tied up 10-10
Richie Martin with the base clearing double. The Reds take the 13-10 lead. Richie Martin doubles (1) on a line drive to left fielder Cody Thomas. Noelvi Marte scores. Nick Martini scores. Matt McLain scores. He would steal third on the next pitch. Reds 13-10
Christian Encarnacion-Strand singles on a ground ball to left fielder Cody Thomas. Richie Martin scores. 14-10 Reds. Pitcher Trayson Kubo is pulled for Calvin Coker. The Redwood City native would come in, stop the bleeding and get the green and gold out of the inning.
In a scary moment, Kevin Cron is hit on the helmeted takes his base, Tyler Wade singles on a line drive to center field and Cron advances to 3rd base. Lawrence Butler rips a clutch triples (1) on a line drive to center field, Kevin Cron scores, Tyler Wade scores and the A’s would still trail Cincinatti 14-12. This “New Oakland” squad shows some clutch hitting when it mattered as Trenton Brooks singles on a misplaced fly ball to right fielder Allan Cerda who comes in on the pop fly and loses it. Lawrence Butler scores and now Oakland is down 14-13
Reds pitcher Tayron Guerrero had a nightmare 9th inning leading up to Ernie Clement striking out swinging but Esteury Ruiz scores on a wild pitch by pitch by Guerrero. The A’s would tie the game at 14-14 and hold the Reds in the bottom of the 9th inning.
It is early in the Spring Training season, but the young core of Oakland Athletics bats really shined in clutch moments throughout the game. When a hit or run was needed, there was someone waiting to step up. That cannot be said for some of the pitchers. As with Oakland squads in the past, there has got to be an arm that will step in and silence the opposing batters and seure a more the comfortable lead. The A’s were lucky to escape with a tie, but this game should never have been this close. It was a blown opportunity and a wasted offensive output. The Coaching staff will need to settle down the pitching staff and get the A’s (2-2-1) ready to face the Cubs (2-4) tomorrow. Oakland lefty JP Sears (0-0 10.80) with take the bump against Chicago righty Marcus Stroman (0-0 4.50) tomorrow with first pitch at 12:05pm PST.