Fresh off a ten-hit, 6-4 victory over the visiting Kansas City Royals, our Oakland Athletics faced off against the Royals in game two of the three-game series tonight in Oakland. The 35-90 last place A’s are still five games behind the 40-87 Royals, but the Royals have lost their last three and seven of their last ten games.
Tonight, Dany Jiménez (0-1, 6.75 ERA) got his first career start, serving as an opener for the A’s. He faced lefty Angel Zerpa who is 1-1 with a 6.08 ERA. This was only Zerpa’s second start of the 2023 campaign.
Jiménez opened with a clean 1-2-3 inning. In the bottom of the first the A’s got men on base early, with Jonah Bride getting hit on the foot by a Zerpa slider. Zack Gelof followed with a walk. Last night’s hero Brent Rooker drove the first run in with a single into left field. That hit moved Gelof to third with just one out. Aledmys Diaz drove in Gelof with a sacrifice fly to right field. At eh end of one inning, the A’s were up on the Royals 2-0.
Hogan Harris took over in the top of the second and was greeted by Salvador Perez base hit. MJ Melendez singled also. Drew Waters walked to load the bases with one out. Kyle Isbel singled to center field with two outs driving home Perez and Melendez to tie the game. Shea Langeliers hit his thirteenth homer of the year to lead off the bottom of the second inning.
Harris had a solid third giving up just a base hit to perennial all-star Salvy Perez. Carlos Perez and Brent Rooker each reached in the bottom of the third. Then Aledmys Diaz doubled to drive them both in. At the end of three the score was 5-2 in favor of the A’s.
Thirty-nine-year-old future HOF’er Zack Greinke came straight off the Injured List (IL) to make a relief appearance in the bottom of the fourth inning. It is only his second career relief appearance, but both have come against the A’s. He gave up a single to Ryan Noda, but that was all for the A’s in the fourth. Maikel Garcia led off with a walk. Michael Massy hit a liner to the wall in centerfield that Esteury Ruiz had in his glove but dropped. The official scorers gave Massey a double, but it was a play that a major league centerfielder should make. Salvador Perez then singled to drive in Garcia. Spencer Patton relieved Harris and induced a fly out to Rooker in right to end the inning! Greinke breezed through the A’s line-up in the fifth inning.
Greinke pitched four innings giving up two hits and five strikeouts. He passed the baton to John McMillon in the bottom of the eighth inning. McMillon pitched a 1-2-3 eighth. Trevor May entered to close down the ninth for the A’s. May slammed the door, recording his thirteenth save and giving the A’s the series victory.