Piscotty hits walk-off HR in 13th, Athletics win 5-4

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – MAY 08: Stephen Piscotty #25 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates a walk off home run during the thirteenth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 08, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

The Oakland Athletics are back on track after two special wins at the Oakland Coliseum.

After Mike Fiers tossed a no-hitter Tuesday, Stephen Piscotty hit a walk-off homer in the 13th inning on Wednesday to beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4.

Piscotty, a Pleasanton native, hit the game-winner off Robert Stephenson, a Martinez native. It was also Piscotty’s first career walk-off hit.

Former Athletic Sonny Gray had a rough outing in his first return to the Oakland Coliseum. He allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits, walked five and struck out three in just 4.1 innings. 

Jurickson Profar batted second for the first time this season and paid immediate dividends by taking Gray deep for a two-run homer in the bottom of the first.

Gray left a 3-1 fastball over the heart of the plate and Profar crushed it into the right field bleachers. The ball left the bat with an exit velocity of 104.5 mph and traveled a project distance of 425 feet.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – MAY 08: Jurickson Profar #23 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates a home during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 08, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

The lead was short lived as the Red batted around for four runs in the top of the second. 

Anderson issued back-to-back walks to open the frame. Kyle Farmer drove in the first run with a double down the left field line. Curt Casali tied the game with a ground out.

Jose Peraza singled up the middle to drive in the third run. After a single by rookie Josh VanMater, another rookie Nick Senzel drove in the fourth run with a single to right.

Anderson settled down and pitched six innings. He allowed four runs on five hits, walked five and struck out none.

The last Athletics starter with 6 IP, 5 BB and 0 K was Bobby Shantz in 1949.

Gray stayed out of trouble until the fifth when he was removed after Oakland loaded the bases with one out. 

Amir Garrett relieved Gray and struck out Matt Olson on eight pitches for the second out.

Piscotty then hit a grounder to the right side of the infield. Kyle Farmer ranged far to his left to retrieve the ball, but proceeded to throw wildly to first, allowing two runs to score.

Piscotty was credited with a single and an RBI. Farmer was charged with an error that allowed the tying run to score.

The game stay tied until Piscotty lined the fourth pitch he saw from Stephenson just over the out-of-town scoreboard in left. The homer was confirmed after an umpire review.

The ball was hit at a 19-degree launch angle with an exit velocity of 109.5 mph and traveled a projected distance of 392 feet.

Anderson and the bullpen held Cincinnati scoreless for the final 11 innings. The Reds held Oakland scoreless for 7.1 innings before Piscotty’s blast.

Liam Hendriks picked up his first win despite having warmed up in the second when Anderson was struggling. Stephenson suffered his first loss.

Khris Davis left the game in the fifth with lingering effects from the hip injury he sustained on Sunday. Kendrys Morales pinch-hit for Davis and hit a single to chase Gray from the game.

WP: Liam Hendriks (1-0, 1.77) LP: Robert Stephenson (2-1, 3.12)

Time: 3:58

Attendance: 9,096

Record: 17-21


Athletics open second half with win over Indians

Sonny Gray was scheduled to pitch the second-half opener for the Oakland Athletics on Friday night at the Oakland Coliseum, but was scratched an hour prior to first pitch, leading many to believe that Gray was on the verge of being traded. Unfortunately for the Cleveland Indians, the sudden development was just a hoax.

Gray and three relievers combined on a four-hitter to lead the Athletics to a 5-0 victory over the defending American League champions. Gray gave up two hits, walked one and struck out five batters in his six innings of work. Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle and Santiago Casilla pitched one inning each to complete the shutout.

Gray (5-4, 3.72) and the A’s got all the offense they would need with two runs against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco in the third inning. Rajai Davis opened with an infield single and scored on the next pitch when Matt Joyce hit a gapper into right-center field. Davis scored just ahead of the relay throw from Indians second baseman Erik Gonzalez. Joyce advanced to third on the throw and scored on Marcus Semien’s sacrifice fly.

Oakland (40-50) doubled the lead in the fifth inning. Davis led off by hitting his third homer of the season, a shot on a 2-0 count into the left-field bleachers. After two strikeouts, All-Star Yonder Alonso connected on his 21st homer, a shot on an 0-1 count that just cleared the wall in right-center field.

Rookie Matt Chapman completed the scoring all by himself in the bottom of the seventh inning. Chapman opened by hitting his first triple of the season off Carrasco. He scored later in the inning on a wild pitch by Nick Goody that went no more than 12 feet away from home plate.

Gray was sensational in what might be his final starts for the A’s. He threw 62 of 100 pitches for strikes. Gray induced seven groundouts and five flyouts.

Carrasco (10-4, 3.65) allowed five runs on six hits, walked two and struck out 10 in his 6.1 innings of work. He received no help as Cleveland (47-41) had no runner reached third base.

ON DECK: The A’s and Indians continue their three-game series on Saturday night. Paul Blackburn (1-0, 0.66) will take the mound for the A’s against All-Star Corey Kluber (7-3, 2.80).

BAD TWEET: The following tweet was sent by David Kaplan just prior to the game. It turned out to be way off base.