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Paul Blackburn, Zack Gelof lead A’s over Cardinals 8-0

Oakland collects its fourth shutout of the season

MLB: AUG 16 Athletics at Cardinals Photo by Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics jumped out to an early lead and never looked back Wednesday night with an 8-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Zack Gelof has been a catalyst for the A’s offense of late and he got things started Wednesday night with a double and then stole third base. Carlos Perez brought him home with a single to center to put the A’s in front 1-0.

After Brent Rooker struck out for the second out, Aledmys Diaz singled to right to put runners at the corners. Jordan Diaz then delivered a double to right center that scored both to make it 3-0. After a walk to Jonah Bride, Shea Langeliers got in on the action with a single to right that scored Diaz to push the lead to 4-0.

Paul Blackburn allowed a leadoff single to Lars Nootbaar to start the game, but had him erased on an inning-ending double play off the bat of Nolan Arenado. Blackburn found himself in trouble again in the second as Alec Burleson led off the inning with a double and then moved to third on a single by Jordan Walker. Blackburn struck out Luken Baker for the first out, but then walked Andrew Knizner to load the bases. He then got a big strikeout of Taylor Motter and then got Tommy Edman to ground out to escape the jam.

Blackburn retired the side in order in the third and the A’s offense added on in the fourth. Nick Allen singled with one out and was then thrown out at the plate on a double by Esteury Ruiz. Gelof came through again though with a single to left that scored Ruiz to push Oakland’s lead to 5-0.

Heading into the fourth, Blackburn showed solid command with mid-nineties velocity. The ace struck out Burleson swinging, caught Walker looking and Nick Allen did the rest for out three with an amazing leaping play and throw to get Baker out at first.

Brent Rooker started the top of the fifth with a line drive to right field that bounced off the glove of Jordan Walker for a three base error. Aledmys Diaz struck out, but Jordan Diaz walked ending the night for Cardinals starter Matthew Liberatore. Reliever Casey Lawrence entered the game and allowed a sacrifice fly to pinch-hitter Seth Brown that scored Rooker to make it 6-0.

Blackburn allowed a one out single to Motter in the fifth, but struck out Nootbar to leave him stranded. The A’s added more cushion to their lead in the sixth. Ruiz worked a one out walk and then stole his 48th base of the season. He scored on a double by Gelof to make it 7-0.

Blackburn cruised through the sixth retiring the side in order with two strikeouts. He returned for the seventh and allowed a single to Baker and a double to Knizner, but Ruiz threw out Baker at the plate. He was originally called safe, but Oakland challenged and the play was reversed. Blackburn then struck out Motter to end the inning.

It was a heck of an outing for Blackburn who allowed six hits and struck out eight while throwing a season-high seven scoreless innings. He walked one while throwing 86 pitches.

The A’s added their final run in the ninth when Tyler Soderstrom connected on a 454 foot home run.

Austin Pruitt replaced Blackburn in the eighth and recorded the final six outs to end the game.

Oakland pounded out 14 hits in the game. Gelof recorded the second four-hit game of his career and drove in two runs. The A’s were 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

With the win, the A’s improve to 35-87 on the season and finish their road trip with a 1-5 record. They will enjoy an off day Thursday before returning home for a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.