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A’s come up short in 5-3 loss to Diamondbacks

Luis Medina pitched well, but the Diamondbacks pushed across two late runs to send Oakland to another loss

Arizona Diamondbacks v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics battled back from a three-run deficit, but the bullpen faltered late in a 5-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Luis Medina’s day got off to a good start as he retired the side in order in the first. Jace Peterson made another nice defensive play on a foul pop by Geraldo Perdomo for the second out.

Medina faced Christian Walker to start the second and on the 10th pitch of the at-bat, left a curveball in the middle of the plate that Walker sent out to left for a solo homer to make it 1-0. Medina would come right back and retire the next three hitters in a row, including a strikeout of Dominic Fletcher to end the frame.

Medina pitched around a one-out walk in the third and then retired the side in order in the fourth. He retired six straight hitters before Dominic Fletcher doubled with one out in the fifth. Medina came right back and retired Emmanuel Rivera on a fly out and then got Jose Herrera to ground out to strand the runner.

Medina retired the first hitter he faced in the sixth, but then walked Geraldo Perdomo. Corbin Carroll made him pay with a two-run home run to center that was just out of the reach of Esteury Ruiz. Medina again came back and struck out Walker, for his sixth strikeout of the day, and then got Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to ground out to end the inning.

Medina looked poised on the mound and did a good job of attacking the strike zone. He allowed three hits and three runs to go along with two walks and six strikeouts in six innings. All of the runs he gave up came on the two homers.

Meanwhile, Ryne Nelson had his way with Oakland’s offense through the first five innings. Ruiz led off the game with a double in the first, but was left stranded. Nelson then retired 14 of the next 15 hitters he faced before walking Tony Kemp to start the sixth. Nelson struck out Nick Allen, but then walked Ruiz to put runners at first and second. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. Nelson then walked Ryan Noda to load the bases.

That would end Nelson’s afternoon as Torey Lovullo would summon Luis Frias from the bullpen to face Brent Rooker. Frias got Rooker to pop out to Josh Rojas at second for the second out and then got J.J. Bleday to ground to second to strand the runners.

After Sam Moll retired the side in order in the seventh, the A’s offense finally broke through. Frias walked Carlos Perez and Jace Peterson to start the inning. Ramon Laureano then brought everyone home with a homer to left to tie the game.

Frias was replaced by Kyle Nelson and allowed a single to Kemp. Nick Allen sacrificed Kemp to second before Ruiz dumped a single to center, but Fletcher’s throw home was in time to nab Kemp for the second out. Oakland challenged the call, but the play was confirmed via replay. Ruiz moved up to second on the throw home, but Noda flew out sharply to Carroll in right to end the inning.

Moll came back out for the eighth and struck out Jose Herrera for the first out, but then allowed a single to pinch-hitter Ketel Marte and then walked Perdomo to put runners at first and second. Both runners moved up 90 feet on a ground out by Carroll for the second out. Mark Kotsay then replaced Moll with Shintaro Fujinami who struck out Walker swinging to keep the game tied.

The A’s threatened again in the eighth as Diamondbacks reliever Jose Ruiz. Bleday walked with one out and then moved up to second on a single by Peterson, Laureano went down swinging to send the game to the ninth.

Fujinami stayed in to start the ninth and was greeted by a leadoff double from Gurriel. Pavin Smith then flew out to Ruiz in center for the first out, Gurriel tagged up on the play and moved over to third. After a mound visit from Kotsay, the A’s intentionally walked Fletcher in hopes of setting up a double play, but Fujinami walked Rivera on four pitches to load the bases. Kotsay then brought in Adrian Martinez to face Jose Herrera, who lifted a fly ball to right for a sacrifice fly to put Arizona back in front 4-3. Marte followed with a single to right that scored Fletcher to extend the lead to 5-3.

Oakland went down in order in the ninth against Miguel Castro to end the game.

The A’s will enjoy an off day on Thursday before hitting the road for a seven-game road trip that will take them to Houston and Seattle.