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Game #109: A’s Run and Swing Way to 6-2 Victory over Jays

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Bob Melvin earns his 600th victory in Oakland.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Oakland Athletics John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

***Click here to revisit today’s Game Thread***

An exciting A’s performance Tuesday night numbed any lingering disappointment regarding the front office’s inactivity on trade deadline day. Trevor Cahill turned in another consistent performance en route to his third victory of 2018. Khris Davis kept things consistent too - another day, another homer. And Matt Chapman’s defense continues to dazzle. But the A’s went off script a bit tonight as well; the team with the fewest stolen bases in baseball (by some margin) performed a well timed and well executed double steal.

If you settled in a little late, you probably missed some scoring. The Jays jumped out in front in the first following a Randal Grichuk double and a Kendrys Morales RBI single. But the A’s couldn’t be kept down for long. Walks from Nick Martini and Matt Chapman opened the A’s half of the first, and Khris Davis and Matt Olson singled Martini and Chapman home to give the A’s a lead they’d never relinquish.

Davis struck again in the third, leading the inning off with a long home run.

But the frame’s excitement was only beginning. Matt Olson looks to be back on track, and doubled following Davis’ bomb. Olson scored after Mark Canha hit a double of his own, and Canha advanced to third on Marcus Semien’s single, setting the stage for this:

Canha’s last steal of home was just about a year ago to the day, and while the 2018 A’s don’t run much, the occasional successful double steal gives opposing teams a bit more to think about in future first-and-third situations.

By this point, Cahill’s cushion was almost comfortable, which was comforting because tonight’s outing wasn’t Trevor’s sharpest. While he pitched six and only gave up five hits, two walks, and two runs, he did allow his share of hard contact and, save for the help of a couple timely double plays, could have been hurt worse. But it’s hard to be too critical; the A’s brass will look smart in their decision to forgo acquiring another starting pitcher if Oakland’s starters routinely turn in lines like Cahill did tonight.

Despite committing a pair of errors, the A’s made a few phenomenal defensive plays.

And the relievers rounded out what was a pretty comprehensive effort. Yusmeiro Petit worked around the two errors that led off the seventh, pitching a scoreless frame. The only knock on Jeurys Familia is the pace at which he works, but if he keeps preventing runs and striking out opposing hitters, even that can be easily overlooked. And while Blake Treinen, who started the ninth inning with a four run lead, didn’t get a save, he looked as dominant as ever and closed out Bob Melvin’s 600th career victory as Oakland’s manager.

Day baseball tomorrow brings us an intriguing match-up of young pitchers searching for consistency. Sean Manaea gets the ball for Oakland, and is opposed by the USA’s best pitcher from last year’s World Baseball Classic, Marcus Stroman. With a home series against Detroit looming on the horizon, the remainder of this week presents an incredible chance to continue to gain ground on our wild card foes, beginning with tomorrow’s sweep opportunity. And let’s keep those wins coming, because when you’re winning, it’s pretty easy to have fun.