Monday showed the frustrations that a young team can cause Oakland Athletics fans. Tuesday showed the tremendous positives and hope for things to come.
Ryon Healy belted two homers, Matt Chapman and Matt Olson made a series of brilliant defensive plays and Blake Treinen picked up the save as the A’s defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 6-4.
Starting pitcher Paul Blackburn left the game with no outs in the bottom of the fifth after being struck on the wrist with a line-drive, but X-rays came back negative.
Up until then, Blackburn had held the potent Baltimore offense in check by pitching to contact, just as he has done throughout his first month-and-a-half in the majors. He allowed three hits and did not walk a batter or record a strikeout. Blackburn left with a 5-0 lead.
That advantage was built by a trio of home runs off Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez. Jed Lowrie hit a two-run shot two batters into the game, and Healy took Jimenez deep twice.
Simon Castro allowed two runs across two innings in relief of Blackburn and was credited with the win. The two runs came on Manny Machado’s sixth-inning homer.
Liam Hendriks pitched a 1-2-3 seventh with a pair of strikeouts, perhaps his best performance in months.
The lead was trimmed to 5-4 in the eighth on Jonathan Schoop’s two-run single. One of the runs was charged to Daniel Coulombe, and Chris Hatcher was charged with the other. Blake Treinen got Adam Jones to ground out to end the inning.
Khris Davis snapped an 0-for-20 skid with a solo homer off Darren O’Day in the ninth.
After Trey Mancini reached base on an error, Chapman and Olson turned a brilliant double play to record the first two outs of the ninth, and Treinen struck out Chris Davis to end the game.