The Oakland A’s beat the Cleveland Guardians tonight, walking it off and winning by a final score of 4-3.
It was JP Sears on the mound for Oakland, making his 2023 debut. He was solid in the early going, giving up four weak-contact singles over the first three innings and inducing a well-timed double play with runners at the corners.
The A’s struck first against Cleveland starter Shane Bieber. A leadoff walk and single in the third inning brought up centerfielder Esteury Ruiz and he doubled down the left field line to bring in the first run and put runners at second and third.
Man, he’s super fun to watch. A Jace Peterson sac fly brought in the second run for the A’s to cap the scoring for the inning.
The Guardians struck right back in the top of the fourth. A triple and groundout put Cleveland on the board and then a solo home run tied this game all up at 2. No shutdown inning for Sears.
Cleveland tacked on another run in the fifth when the A’s dodged disaster. A popup into no-man’s land brought Aledmys Diaz and Ruiz charging into each other, but luckily both avoided injury and stayed in the game:
Unfortunately speedster Myles Straw was on first base and was able to race all the way around to score, giving Cleveland the lead and chasing Sears from the game.
- JP Sears: 4 ⅔ IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 98 pitches
So a decent enough start from Sears in his first game of the year. Obviously the hits are a problem and the pitch count got really high really fast, but he did well to mitigate the damage and only really gave up a couple hard-hit balls.
Oakland came back to tie the game in possibly the most A’s way possible. Tony Kemp led off the bottom of the sixth with a single, stole second base and advanced to third on a groundout. With two outs Seth Brown struck out, but Bieber’s pitch got away from the catcher and Kemp came in to score. Not something you see everyday but hey, the squad will take anything they can get going against a pitcher like Bieber.
The A’s and Guardians traded zero’s for the next couple innings, setting up a walk-off opportunity for the home team. Rookie first baseman Ryan Noda worked a leadoff walk and advanced into scoring position on a groundout, bringing up Kemp, who sent the fans home happy with a walk-off RBI single on the first pitch:
Whew. That was exciting. The A’s snap the losing streak and are back in the win column with their first walk-off of the season. Sears was alright, the bats did enough against a former Cy Young winner to win, and the bullpen pitched 3 ⅓ scoreless innings. All in all, a sweet way to wrap up a Tuesday.
The A’s will go for their first series win of the season tomorrow afternoon at the Coliseum. It’ll be the lefty Kyle Muller taking the ball for the good guys while Cleveland will send out rookie Hunter Gaddis. Let’s Go A’s!