The A’s just keep on winning as they beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 in the first game of the home stand.
Righty James Kaprielian got the ball to start this game and was more than solid for the club. Kap held down the potent Tampa Bay lineup to zero runs through five innings, continuing a string of solid starts for him. The A’s we’re hoping for just this heading into the season and Kaprielian might have turned a corner and is claiming back his spot long going forward.
As good as Kap was on the mound, the bats were oppositely just as cold. They only managed a couple of singles through the first four, and one of those was wiped out on a double play. They weren’t getting much going against Rays starter Zack Eflin.
That is, until the fifth. Two walks and a single loaded the bases for the A’s with no outs in the fifth. It felt that Oakland might blow this scoring opportunity after Kevin Smith grounded out but Shea Langeliers made sure to cash in on this chance:
"You can count on me like 1, 2, 3" - Shea, probably pic.twitter.com/6kryT3zNJr— Oakland A's (@Athletics) June 13, 2023
First baseman Ryan Noda came up soon after and gave the A’s an insurance run, bringing in Langeliers for the team’s fourth run. That run would soon show itself to be crucial to this win.
With a four-run lead and Kaprielian rolling, Mark Kotsay let it roll and sent him back out to the mound, hoping to squeeze one more frame out of him. That came back to haunt the team after Kap gave up a 3-run bomb to Jose Siri to cut the lead to just one. Kotsay probably regrets that one. Kap finished the inning but his day was done.
-James Kaprielian: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 93 pitches
The end of this one leaves a sour taste in the mouth but Kap was great until then. Even with the final frame his line still looks alright but he pitched way better than it shows. He did enough to deserve a win tonight.
Then the A’s went in a new direction. Left-hander Ken Waldichuk came on for the seventh and went the rest of the distance. Over the final three innings Waldichuk only allowed two singles but racked up five strikeouts out of his nine outs. He was on tonight and helped the bullpen by going the rest of the distance in this one. Oakland sat down the Rays in order in the ninth to finish off this win and secure Oakland’s sixth straight win. Celebrate!
One bad pitch hurt the pitching today but the bats picked up their teammates on their way to another win. It’s good vibes right now as the club continues to find its footing after a tough couple months.
"We're gaining confidence, and the group collectively is forming an identity together."— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 13, 2023
Kotsay is proud of the A's resiliency pic.twitter.com/PWc6WmnoSA
The A’s will have a win streak heading into tomorrow’s game, possibly the biggest for this team this year with the reverse boycott planned. The team will be going with lefty Hogan Harris for the start while the Rays have yet to announce a starter. Can’t wait until tomorrow!