Shintaro Fujinami allowed just one hit in his fourth spring outing to help the Oakland Athletics to a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The A’s didn’t waste any time getting on the board against Dodgers starter Dustin May. Ryan Noda reached on an infield single and then stole second base. He would come around to score on a two-run home run by Shea Langeliers to put Oakland up 2-0.
Let's Get It Started ft. Shea Langeliers pic.twitter.com/mfFXpOel98— Oakland A's (@Athletics) March 19, 2023
Oakland threatened again in the second thanks to a single by Tyler Wade and back-to-back walks by Zach Gelof and Esteury Ruiz, but May struck out Noda to leave the runners stranded.
Fujinami struck out three of the first four hitters he faced before issuing a one out walk to Trayce Thompson in the second. However, the runner was erased as Miguel Rojas bounced to Nick Allen at short who started the 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Shintaro Fujinami's 3Ks thru 2 ip pic.twitter.com/anAIJcXUiB— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 19, 2023
Fujinami ran into trouble in the third as his command waned as he loaded the bases with three straight walks to Miguel Vargas, Steven Duggar and Patrick Mazeika. He came back and struck out James Outman for the first out. Freddie Freeman then lifted a deep fly to the gap in right center that Ruiz ran down for the second out. Vargas tagged and scored on the play to make it 2-1. J.D. Martinez flew out to left to end the threat. Fujinami had to work exceptionally hard and threw a lot of pitches, but was able to escape having allowed just the single run.
Fujinami started the fourth with yet another walk to Max Muncy who moved up to second on a wild pitch. He got off the hook as Thompson lined out to Allen at short who tossed to Zack Gelof for the double play. Miguel Rojas grounded out to end the inning.
The A’s got that run back and then some in the fifth. Dodgers reliever Jimmy Nelson walked Ruiz to start the inning and then hit Noda to put runners at first and second. Ruiz then stole third base standing up before Langeliers walked to load the bases. Nelson then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Ruiz to cross the plate to make it 3-1. Nelson then reloaded the bases with a walk to Conner Capel and was replaced on the mound by John Rooney.
Tyler Soderstrom grounded out on a slow roller to Muncy at third for the first out, Noda scored on the play to make it 4-1. Allen then lifted a fly ball down the line in right that was deep enough to score Langeliers on a sacrifice fly to add another run. JJ Bleday worked a walk and then stole second to put runners back at second and third, but Wade struck out to leave them stranded.
Fujinami came back out for the fifth and retired the first two hitters on fly outs before Mazeika doubled for the Dodgers’ first hit of the game. That would end Fujinami’s afternoon as he would give way to Austin Briggs who walked the first hitter he faced, but got Freeman to fly out harmlessly to left for the third out.
Fujinami pitched well, but again struggled with his control. He was fortunate to escape the jam in the third inning with minimal damage. He allowed just one hit and one run over 4 2/3 innings but issued five walks to go along with four strikeouts.
Domingo Acevedo worked a perfect sixth and then gave way to Drew Steckenrider who allowed a lead off single to Rojas, but then picked off pinch runner Yonny Hernandez for the first out. Steckenrider then issued back-to-back walks to Vargas and Duggar, but got Mazeika to fly out for the second out. Dalton Rushing then followed with a bloop single to left that scored Vargas to cut Oakland’s lead to 5-2. Steckenrider avoided any further damage by striking out Ryan Ward to end the inning.
Chad Smith worked around a walk in a scoreless eighth. The A’s added another run in the ninth when Kevin Smith brought home Kyle McCann on a ground out with the bases loaded. Rico Garcia allowed a run in the ninth, but closed things out to end the game.
Oakland will enjoy its final off day of the spring Monday. They will return to action on Tuesday with Ken Waldichuk scheduled to start against the Angels.