By Jeff Weisinger
Beau Taylor has played in 10 career Major League Baseball games, but he knew the routine after hitting his first career home run in the A’s 16-2 rout of the Baltimore Orioles Tuesday night: make sure to touch every base. He made sure to touch second base and third base, but touching home plate was easy.
In fact, he described the moment as “deja vu.”
“I know I hit it good, but just kind of blew at it a bit trying to get it to go,” he said after the game. “I knew I hit it good and then it finally went out. It felt great.”
What he didn’t expect was the silent treatment he received in the dugout after his first career home run trot.
“I was not expecting that,” he explained. “It’s been a couple of years since I’ve had that, so it was funny. I tried to get everybody to stop silent treating me, but it didn’t work so well.”
Taylor’s home run in the third inning opened the scoring for the A’s, the first of six home runs by the Athletics on the night that’s a highlight alongside their 10-run sixth inning that launched them to the win.
“So many home runs, I lost count,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said as he entered his post game press conference, smiling.
“First and foremost on Beau, you hit your first Major League homer you’re never going to forget that,” he said of Taylor’s home run.
“And then, we have the ability to [score often], got some good counts, got some good swings on a night early on it didn’t look like the ball was really going anywhere and we end up scoring a few.”
Taylor’s first career homer was followed by a three-run home run by Ramon Laureano in the next inning that extended the A’s lead to 4-0.
Laureano’s hot streak continued Tuesday night after he went 4-for-5 at the plate with a double and a three-run home run. He’s hitting .308 since May 8th with his 11 home runs since then the second-most for any American League centerfielder.
After the O’s scored a pair in the fifth inning, the A’s went to work in the sixth.
Laureano led off the inning with a single, then was sent home immediately on Robbie Grossman’s home two-run home run to put the A’s up 6-2. Marcus Semien then lined a triple to right, scoring catcher Beau Taylor to extend the A’s lead to 7-2, Taylor reached on a force out on the previous at-bat. Matt Chapman then reached on a fielding error by O’s shortstop Richie Martin to make the score 8-2.
After Matt Olsen lined a single to center, Khris Davis crushed his 16th home run of the season to extend the A’s lead to 11-2 with one out. Laureano singled on the following at-bat as the A’s batted around, the Grossman walked before Stephen Piscotty hit his ninth home run of the season, scoring both Laureano and Grossman to extend the score even further at 14-2.
Chad Pinder joined in on the fun in the bottom of the seventh inning, blasting a two-run home run off of former Athletics pitcher Dan Straily to extend the A’s lead to 16-2 after the seventh inning stretch.
“Today is a day where we got a good start and just backed it up with a lot of home runs,” Melvin said.
Starter Brett Anderson had an extremely solid outing on the mound for the A’s, retiring his first nine batters faced before Hanser Alberto’s leadoff single to left in the fourth inning. He retired the next three O’s to come to the plate in the fourth. He faced some trouble in the fifth inning though after Jonathan Villar ended the then-shutout with a home run to center to make it 4-1 at the time, then Rio Ruiz scored Keon Broxton, who singled in the previous at-bat, after Semien seemed to misplay a routine grounder to short, firing a ball high to third as he was trying to get the lead runner Broxton out.
Anderson worked out of the fifth inning by retiring both Martin and Alberto out on the next two at-bats.
“You play 2:30, or whatever it was and score 10 runs I mean, somebody’s working pretty quick and that’s what he does,” Melvin said of Anderson’s start. “Early in the game, balls on the ground and it was almost a shock to see the home run because at that point in time he was rolling along pretty well and keeping the ball on the ground early, pitching to contact.”
The seven-inning outing was Anderson’s longest of the season, and the home run allowed a rarity as he’s allowed just eight home runs in 85.2 innings pitched this season.
“It’s always nice to have run support,” Anderson said about the A’s 10-run sixth inning. “Tried to keep the pace quick, but through five pretty quick and kind of hit the wall [in the fifth] but I was trying to get out there and trying to get three outs as quick as I can and get our offense back out there.”
The A’s will look for the sweep Wednesday afternoon as Chris Bassitt (3-3, 3.68 ERA) takes the mound for the A’s against Jimmy Yacaponis (1-1, 5.40 ERA).