The Oakland A’s dropped the second game of the series against the Texas Rangers, getting pummeled and losing by a final of 18-3.
The A’s got the scoring started early thanks to a pair of rookies at the top of the lineup. Center fielder Esteury Ruiz hit the fourth pitch of the game for a ground-rule double and second baseman Jordan Diaz brought him in with an opposite-field single:
Off to a good start! pic.twitter.com/LWkEq6ymxj— Oakland A's (@Athletics) April 22, 2023
A HBP and walk loaded the bases with no outs and Oakland was cooking. Today’s catcher Carlos Perez cashed in one run with an RBI sac fly but Aledmys Diaz killed the rally by grounding into an inning-ending double play.
Starting pitcher Shintaro Fujinami had been staked to a lead without throwing a single pitch. He unfortunately gave it right back when he left a slider up and down the middle to Adolis Garcia, who swatted a 2-run home run to even this game right back up. You’ll hear Garcia’s name a few more times in this recap.
Texas got to Fuji again the next inning thanks to a double and RBI single off the bat of old friend Marcus Smeien. Things continued to go downhill from there as Texas strung together three more hits (with a HBP mixed in there) to bring in four more runs. Fuji finally got out of the frame but only after giving up 5 runs.
Mark Kotsay elected to send his starter out to start the third inning and it was more of the same. A walk and wild pitch put a Texas runner in scoring position and finally, mercifully, Kotsay went to the mound and pulled his starter, bringing in long reliever Adrian Martinez to the game
-Shintaro Fujinami: 2 ⅓ IP, 7 H, 8 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 72 pitches
There were such high hopes for Fuji coming into the season and it seemed like he’d finally turned a corner in his last start. Instead he looked more like the guy in the first two starts than his most recent one and yet again couldn’t give the A’s any sort of length. The A’s promised him a rotation spot heading into the year but how long of a leash is he realistically going to get? Another start? Another month? He had better turn things around fast or he’s bullpen bound.
Martinez relieved Fujinami and got hit hard. Two RBI singles brought in Texas’ eighth and ninth runs, and Garcia hit his second 2-run home run of the game to make it 11-2 after only three innings of baseball. Martinez wound up pitching 3 2⁄3 innings, but also allowed yet another 2-run home run to Garcia later in the game, Garcia’s third today.
The bats didn’t really ever get going after the first frame. They put on a couple runners in the sixth and seventh innings but couldn’t cash in on either chances.
James Kaprielian relieved Martinez in the bottom of the seventh and gave up three runs on four hits, including a Garcia 2-run double. Hey at least it wasn’t a home run, I guess? Kap did finish the inning and then it was time for Jace Peterson’s pitching debut as he handled the ninth. He gave up a 2-run home run to push Texas’ lead to 18-3.
First baseman Jesus Aguilar added a garbage time solo home run in the eighth inning for the A’s, the only Athletic to record two hits today. The team went silently in the ninth inning to finish off an ugly and embarrassing loss for the club, their 17th of the year.
So another nasty loss for the A’s and the team is still looking for their first back-to-back wins of the season. Not much of anything good happened for the team today but they’ll get right back at it tomorrow in the final game of the series. It’ll be Opening Day starter Kyle Muller facing off against former Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom. Let’s hope for at least Oakland’s first series win tomorrow afternoon!