The A’s thought they had Saturday’s game in the bag, until the ninth inning when Blake Treinen gave up the tying run and, instead of aiming for a home run, the A’s played smart small-ball to get the win 3-2 in a bottom of the ninth comeback.
Ramon Laureano finished off a ninth-inning A’s rally by blooping a single into shallow right to lift Oakland to their third-straight walkoff, series-clinching win.
Matt Olson led off the ninth with a walk. Kendrys Morales singled to center field to bring Olson to second before Stephen Piscotty sacrifice bunted to send the runners to second and third. Laureano hit a pop up to shallow right-field that dropped between first and right field for the win.
All Laureano was thinking about before stepping up to the plate was to put the ball in play and keep it simple. He wasn’t happy with his game winning hit:
“I was just pissed off I hit a blooper but still pissed off. It is what it is, we got the win. Better day today because we didn’t go to extra innings.”
The team ran onto the field for another exciting post game celebration after today’s victory. The ninth inning for Trienen wasn’t his best and he put an end to his at home, 32 scoreless inning streak that went back to July of 2018.
In the top of the ninth, Trienen had given up a single to Luplow in left field, and then Freeman stepped up to the plate with a sacrifice hit to first base to advance Luplow to second. Gonzalez pinch hit for Perez and he struck out swinging for the second out.
Then, the Indians two out rally came to life. Martin singled to left in between both Semien and Chapman, which allowed Luplow to score. Lindor followed that at bat with a single to right field which advanced Martin to third and runners on the corners. Treinen was able to end the inning after striking out Kipnis for the final out.
The A’s scored all their runs off two Cleveland errors Saturday,
Nick Hundley connected for the winning run in the fifth with a little league home run. He hit a ball deep into left field which bounced off the wall before left fielder Jake Bauers was able to chase the ball down.
By the time Bauers got to the ball, Hundley was rounding second base and decided to go for it and head to third. If Bauers didn’t make a bad throw to third, he would have been tagged out at third easily.
Instead, he overthrew third baseman Jose Ramirez and the ball passed home plate and hit the backstop. Hundley was able to make it home in time and round the bases.
The Oakland A’s used an “opener” for the first time this season, starting Liam Hendriks. Last season the A’s used an opener nine times, eight of those opened by Hendriks, who was 4-4 last season. He needed ten pitches to end his perfect first and only inning.
Bob Melvin had said they may potentially be using an opener this series, and explained the reasoning:
“The theory is, keep the starter off of the top of the order one more time, simple as that. I think he has experience with it so we are trying to go with the guy that has experience. They are predominantly left-handed, he has got some good numbers against lefties too.”
Third baseman Matt Chapman and shortstop Marcus Semien combined to bring in a run in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Semien hit a hard ground ball to third baseman Jose Ramirez, who fumbled the ball and Semien was called safe on an error. Even if Ramirez hadn’t bobbled it, Semien would have beat the throw.
Semien was able to steal second and when Chapman came up to the plate, he hit a base hit just over shortstop Mike Freeman’s head to bring in Semien for a 1-0 lead.
Freeman led off the fifth inning with a base hit but was caught stealing. Had Freeman been safe or stayed at first, Leonys Martin’s solo home run deep into right field would have been a two-run homer, instead of merely tying the game 1-1.
Aaron Brooks pitched five innings and gave up one run. He came in to start in the second inning and didn’t struggle until the sixth.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis lead off the sixth inning with a double to left-center and then Brooks walked Ramirez. With the No. 4 spot Carlos Santana coming up to the plate, the A’s relieved Brooks with Yusmeiro Petit who came in with runners on first and second with no outs.
Petit did a phenomenal job under pressure and was able to strike out the first two batters and forced a shallow pop up to Laureano in center-field to end the inning without allowing any of Brooks runners to score, let alone advance on the bases.
Cleveland starting pitcher Trevor Bauer did all you could ask for from a starter. He finished the night going seven strong, and only gave up two hits, not a single earned run, stuck out ten and walked three. In the 122 pitches pitched, 77 were strikes.
Daniel Mengden has been going back and forth from major league to minor league and will get his first start in the majors tomorrow. So far in AAA Las Vegas, he has a 2.77 ERA and is 3-2. Jefry Rodriguez (0-2, 2.41) is hoping to get his first win of the season on Sunday at 1:07 p.m. for Mother’s Day. Both starting pitchers are looking for their first win of the season.
Sunday is pink day for Mother’s Day. … Saturday was the first Saturday game the A’s wore Kelly green.