Oakland – The A’s got pounded at the plate, three batters were hit by pitches including pinch-hitter Chad Pinder who left the game in the seventh after a scary hit to the head. Nonetheless, Oakland had another game where they scored multiple runs in one inning.
“His helmet was actually coming off and the ball hit him behind his ear,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin on Pinder. “He’s not in concussion protocol right now. We’ll see how he is tomorrow but pretty scary because he’s had a few concussions in the past.”
Oakland continues their winning streak with a 8-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. The A’s record their fourth straight win and remain atop their American League West Division. Oakland has boosted their overall batting average to a season-high and are tied for the AL lead in hit by pitches.
By the third, there was no looking back for the A’s. The Halos’ starting pitcher Dylan Bundy lost his command and Oakland took advantage. Mark Canha led off the frame with a free pass, while Tony Kemp followed with a double and advanced to third on a fielding error by right fielder, Taylor Ward to make it a 3-1 game.
Matt Olson’s sacrifice fly drove in Kemp. Jed Lowrie walked, followed by a double from Matt Chapman. Lowrie advanced to third with one out. Mitch Moreland’s two-run single drove in both Lowrie and Chapman to increase the A’s lead 6-1 and knocked Bundy out of the game.
Bundy was knocked out of the game. He lasted 2.1 frames, allowed five hits, seven runs, walked two, struck out one and gave up one home run. James Hoyt replaced Bundy and added to LA woes. Elvis Andrus RBI single drove in Moreland to make it a 7-1 game before Oakland went back down the lineup. Canha walked and Kemp struck out to end the inning. Five runs scored in one inning was exactly what the A’s needed to start this game.
The Halos’ scored early in the second frame. Juan Lagares went deep to center field for a home run. Sean Manaea gave up two back-to-back singles to both David Fletcher and Shohei Ohtani. Max Stassi grounded out to leave two stranded but excellent defense by the A’s to keep the Angels off the board after Lagares home run.
Bottom of the inning, Moreland singled and Sean Murphy went yard went yard with a two-run homer to put Oakland ahead 2-1. Murphy recorded his seventh home run this season. Manaea meanwhile got better by the third for a three up, three down inning. Pinch-hitter Chad Pinder’s RBI double drove in Murphy to increase Oakland’s lead 8-1 in the fifth.
“They made him work, he threw 50 pitches in the first two innings,” Melvin said. “I did not think he would get past 5 at one point. After throwing 111 pitches, both his last two outings, I didn’t want him to get to that point. Another inning would’ve been nice for us obvioulsy, he gave us 2/3. He gave up some hits but found a way to pitch around it and got outs like we seen him do. A little differently how he pitched tonight but still effective.”
David Fletcher who went 4-for-4 was the achilles heel for Manaea who lasted 5.2 innings after he gave up a double to Fletcher in the sixth. Manaea gave up nine hits, one run, walked one and struck out five. Not a bad outing for Manaea, he was just unable to keep Fletcher off the bases. Burch Smith came in and struck out Justin Upton to end the frame.
“I tried to get contact and not be too fine, I felt like I threw my fastball pretty good tonight and changeup was really good too,” said Manaea.
“The early run support is huge, it really changes the game. The offense has been unbelievable the last couple of games.”
The Halos’ rallied in the seventh. Jose Iglesias singled, Jared Walsh doubled and drove in both Max Stassi and Jose Iglesia score to make it a 8-3 game. Smith gave up another free pass to Ward and that proved costly. Juan Lagares RBI singled drove in Walsh. Fletcher singled and Ward scored. The Angles scored four runs off Smith who gave up three hits, four runs, walked one and struck out one in one frame.
Moreland recored his 1,000th hit with his first at-bat in the second inning.
“A lot of hits, Melvin said. “He’s been with several clubs. He’s a clubhouse favorite where ever he goes. He’s a guy who’s gotten big hits. He’s a real champion and fits in so well here. Easy to give him some love for that.”
“It’s cool to have for sure but I feel like it took awhile to get there,” said Moreland. “But I really hadn’t read a whole lot into it, just tried to go out there and have fun and enjoy it’s much as I can and see how much longer I can do it.”
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