Montas dominant in Athletics’ 7-2 victory over Tigers

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – MAY 17: Frankie Montas #47 of the Oakland Athletics throws a first inning pitch while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on May 17, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Frankie Montas might just be the ace the Oakland Athletics have been searching for all season. 

Montas came within one out of his first career complete game as the Athletics beat the Detroit Tigers 7-2 on Friday night at Comerica Park. 

Montas improved to 5-2 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.67, good for eighth best in AL. The 26-year-old set career-highs with 8.2 innings pitched and 10 strikeouts. Montas allowed two runs on four hits and walked none. 

Mark Canha and Chad Pinder supported Montas with two-run homers. Khris Davis went 3-of-4 with an RBI. 

According to Baseball Savant, Montas threw 73 of 109 pitches (67.0%) for strikes and generated 18 swinging strikes (16.5 percent). He induced 13 groundouts to just two flyouts. 

Montas threw 41 sinkers, 26 sliders, 25 four-seamers and 17 splitters. He deployed a splitter for four strikeouts, sinker for three strikeouts, four-seamer for two strikeouts and a slider for one strikeout. 

Daniel Norris suffered his second loss. He allowed six runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out two. 

Oakland started the scoring with a run in the fourth inning. Matt Chapman and Stephen Piscotty opened with back-to-back singles. Chapman advanced to third on a fly ball by Davis and scored when Matt Olson beat out a double play grounder to first by millimeters. 

The A’s scored two runs in the fifth. Jurickson Profar led off by working an eight-pitch walk. Canha followed with his fifth homer of the season. Norris left a 1-0 fastball over the heart of the plate and Canha crushed it into the right field bleachers. 

The Tigers pulled a run back in the bottom half. After retiring the first 12 batters, Montas allowed a leadoff double to Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera came around to score on a one-out double by Josh Harrison. 

Montas hit Dawel Lugo with a 1-2 pitch to put the tying run on base. But Montas escaped further damage when John Hicks and JaCoby Jones grounded into force outs at second base on back-to-back pitches. 

Oakland answered with three runs in the sixth. 

Davis singled with one out. Olson followed with another single, but the ball was misplayed by Jones in center and rolled to the warning track. Davis scored and Olson reached third. 

Olson scored on Pinder’s fourth homer of the season. Hicks wanted a slider in on the 3-2 pitch, but Norris left it over the heart of the plate. 

Davis hit an RBI single off Sandy Baez in the eighth. 

After retiring the side in order from the sixth to the eighth innings, the only drama left was if Montas can finish what he started. 

Montas allowed a leadoff single to Gordon Beckham. After getting two outs, the last man standing between Montas and the complete game was Cabrera. 

Cabrera would not cooperate as he lined a gapper into right-center for an RBI double. The hit was number 2,721 for Cabrera, moving him into a tie for 63rd all time with Lou Gehrig. 

Montas departed after a spectacular performance. Lou Trivino came on to strike out Ronny Rodriguez to end the game. 

WP: Frankie Montas (5-2, 2.67) LP: Daniel Norris (2-2, 4.50) 

Time: 2:28 Attendance: 18,746 Record: 21-25 


Athletics hit five HRs in a 17-3 rout over Tigers

DETROIT, MI – MAY 16: Jurickson Profar #23 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates his grand slam against the Detroit Tigers with Stephen Piscotty #25 of the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at Comerica Park on May 16, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

The Oakland Athletics needed a laugher on the road and they got it on Thursday afternoon in Detroit. 

Oakland pounded out five home runs in a 17-3 rout over the Tigers at Comerica Park. The A’s won for just the sixth time in 21 games on the road. 

Jurickson Profar led the way with his first career grand slam. Marcus Semien crushed a three-run homer . Josh Phegley and Mark Canha blasted two-run homers. Matt Olson added a solo shot. 

Chris Bassitt worked a career-high-tying eight shutout innings to pick up his second win of the season. He allowed four hits, walked two and struck out seven. Bassitt lowered his ERA to 1.93 in five starts since being called up in April 17. 

Spencer Turnbull suffered his third loss. He allowed six runs on five hits, walked two and struck out six in four innings. But only one of the runs were earned. The A’s added 11 runs off the Tigers bullpen, including two against second baseman Brandon Dixon. 

The Tigers wasted the game’s first scoring opportunity in the second inning. 

Ronny Rodriguez tripled with one out, but was thrown out by Matt Chapman trying to score on a Josh Harrison grounder to the edge of the infield grass. 

The A’s took advantage of their scoring opportunity in the third. 

Robbie Grossman led off with a triple and scored on an RBI single by Phegley on the next pitch. After Semien grounded into a forceout, Chapman walked on five pitches. 

Olson followed with a grounder to Niko Goodrum at first base, but Goodrum threw wild to second trying to start an inning-ending double play and the bases were loaded. 

After striking out Davis for the second out, Turnbull threw a wild pitch on a 2-1 count to Stephen Piscotty, allowing Semien to race home for the second run. 

After walking Piscotty on the next pitch to reload the base, Turnbull tried to get ahead of Profar with a curve on the first pitch.

But it was a hanger and Profar deposited it into the right field bleachers for a 6-0 Oakland lead.

The farthest (419 feet) and highest exit velocity (105.9) of the homers belonged to Canha off Dixon, who was making his third career pitching appearance. Dixon had worked 1.1 perfect innings as a member of the Cincinnati Reds last season.

The bottom four of the order (Profar, Ramon Laureano, Grossman, Phegley) were a combined 9-of-19 with seven runs and 10 RBIs. The A’s now have seven players with five or more home runs and six with 20 or more RBIs.

While the A’s were raking, Bassitt was cruising against Detroit. He did not allow a runner to reach second base after the second inning. 

Bassitt threw 69 of 105 pitches for strikes. He threw 39 sinkers, 33 four-seamers, 14 cutters, 12 curves and 3 changeups. Bassitt generated 21 called strikes and just nine swinging strikes. 

Dawel Lugo broke the shutout with a two-out, three-run homer off Aaron Brooks in the bottom of the ninth. It was the second career homer for Lugo, who was recalled from Triple-A Toledo earlier in the morning. The 24-year-old was the 17th-ranked prospect in the Tigers farm system. 

WP: Chris Bassitt (2-1, 1.93) LP: Spencer Turnbull (2-3, 2.40) 

Time: 2:55 Attendance: 18,527 Record: 20-25 


Athletics lose 12-4 to Orioles, starters continue to struggle

After a strong start to the season, the Oakland Athletics starting rotation has lost its mojo on the road. 

Marco Estrada allowed six runs in four innings, and the Baltimore Orioles used a 15-hit attack to beat the A’s 12-4 on Monday night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 

In the first 15.2 innings on the road, the A’s starters have allowed 19 earned runs on 32 hits, walked nine and struck out 12 for an 11.25 ERA. 

Jonathan Villar and Trey Mancini homered, and Cedric Mullins added a Little League Home Run for Baltimore, who is off to a 5-5 start after losing 115 games last season. The Orioles got four RBIs from Villar, three from Mullins, and two from Mancini and Hanser Alberto. 

Josh Phegley hit a two-run homer for a second straight game and Mark Canha added a solo shot for the A’s, who have lost four straight.

Oakland got off to a promising start with back-to-back singles off Andrew Cashner to open the game. But Stephen Piscotty lined out to left and Khris Davis grounded to the left of third, where Alberto made a diving stop to start a 5-4-3 double play.

The Orioles scored first in the bottom half when Mancini homered to the opposite field on an 1-2 count with two outs. Estrada did not get the fastball high or wide enough. 

Estrada allowed three more runs, including the aforementioned Little League Home Run, in the second. 

With one out, Jesus Sucre and former Athletic Richie Martin hit back-to-back singles. Mullins followed by hitting a grounder fair down the right field line for a triple, scoring both Sucre and Martin. Mullins bolted for home when Jurickson Profar’s relay throw hit him as he was sliding into third. Profar was charged with an error. 

Oakland cut the lead in half when Phegley hammered a 3-1 pitch to the left field bleachers. Cashner left a fastball belt-high on the inside half of the plate and Phegley did not miss. 

Estrada gave two runs back in the fourth. Mullins lined a triple to right-center with one out and scored on Villars third homer of the season. Estrada left a fastball on the outer half of the plate and Villar hit it over the center field fence. 

Oakland scored a run in the fifth when Cashner mislocated another 3-1 fastball and Canha launched it halfway into the left field bleachers. 

The A’s pulled another run back in the sixth. Kendrys Morales led off with a single. Marcus Semien grounded into a force out. Profar singled to right, advancing Semien to third. This would be the end of the line for Cashner, who was replaced by Jimmy Yacabonis. 

Canha struck out on a foul tip, but turned into a run for Oakland. Profar was running on the pitch. Sucre’s throw to second ricocheted off Villar’s knee into right field, allowing Semien to trot home. Sucre was charged with an error. 

The final line for Cashner: 5.1 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO. 

But Yusmeiro Petit, who relieved Estrada in the fifth, couldn’t deliver a second straight shutdown inning. Martin led off with a triple and scored on Mullins’ sacrifice fly to make it 7-4. 

The A’s failed to score in the eighth when they loaded the bases against Yacabonis with one out. Davis led off with a single. After Morales flew out, Semien singled and Profar walked.  

Mychal Givens was called upon by Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde and kept Oakland from scoring. Canha struck out on an outside fastball that would have been ball four and a run. Pinch-hitter Chad Pinder grounded out to second to end the threat. 

The Orioles broke the game open with five runs off Ryan Buchter and Fernando Rodney in the bottom half. 

The victory would have been sweeter for Baltimore if Chris Davis had not set an MLB-record with 47 straight hitless at-bats. He lined out three times and struck out twice to extend his unfortunate streak to 49.  

WP: Andrew Cashner (2-1, 5.28) 

LP: Marco Estrada (0-1, 4.87) 

 Time: 3:07 

Attendance: 6,585 

Record: 6-8 


Anderson shuts down Angels, Athletics win 4-2

The Oakland Athletics might not need to deploy the opener strategy if their starting pitchers continue to perform as they have in the first three games against the Los Angeles Angels. 

Brett Anderson pitched six scoreless innings, leading the A’s to a 4-2 victory over their Orange County rivals on Saturday night at the Oakland Coliseum. 

Player of the game: Brett Anderson

Anderson invited trouble when he walked the first batter of the game, Zack Cozart, but retired Mike Trout on a groundout, Andrelton Simmons and Albert Pujols on fly outs.

Anderson walked the leadoff batter once again in the second inning and followed by giving up a single to put two runners on with no outs. But he managed to escape unscathed when Kole Calhoun grounded into a force out, Peter Bourjos struck out and David Fletcher flew out to left.

Anderson was not in a giving mood for the rest of the game. He allowed only a one-out double to Trout in the third and a two-out single to Pujols in the sixth.

The final line for Anderson: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

In 18 innings, the trio of Anderson, Mike Fiers and Marco Estrada has allowed just six hits and seven walks, while striking out nine.

Bullpen: Took care of business

J.B. Wendelken relieved Anderson in the seventh and retired the side in order on just nine pitches. He started the eighth and that’s when things got dicey. 

Fletcher reached first base on an error by Jurickson Profar. Cozart doubled to put runners on second and third. The dangerous Trout hit a sacrifice fly that scored Fletcher and moved Cozart to third. Simmons singled home Cozart to make it a 4-2 game. 

Oakland manager Bob Melvin knew it was time to unleash Blake Treinen. Treinen gave up a single to Pujols to put runners at the corners with one out. Simmons had moved to second base on a passed ball. Treinen then fell behind Bour 3-0, but recovered to struck him out looking on a borderline pitch. Treinen then got Lucroy to pop up to Profar to end the threat.

Los Angeles went quietly in the ninth as Treinen picked up his first save.

Offense: Clutch two-out hits 

Angels starter Felix Pena retired the first eight batters, but Josh Phegley and Robbie Grossman hit back-to-back singles. Pena plunked Matt Chapman to load the bases. Stephen Piscotty made Pena pay for the two-out mistakes by lining a two-run single to center. 

Pena issued a leadoff walk to Morales in the fourth. After two fly outs, it looks as if Pena would escape trouble. But he threw a fastball right down the middle to Mark Canha. One swing and a bat flip later, Oakland had doubled its lead to 4-0. It was Canha’s first start of the season and he capitalized on the opportunity. The homer turned out to be the last pitch for Pena.

WP: Brett Anderson (1-0, 0.00) 

LP: Felix Pena (0-1, 9.82) 

S: Blake Treinen (1, 0.00) 

Time: 2:42 

Attendance: 16,051 

Record: 2-3