OAKLAND — Four months later, the Oakland Athletics finally wrapped up their win against the Detroit Tigers.
“Now we get past it and play a real game where we can start and have a little different train of thought as it goes along,” said manager Bob Melvin.
The A’s and Tigers had their May 19 game suspended in the seventh inning due to the threat of rain, and they made up the rest of it on Friday. Oakland was leading when the game was called in May, and they held on for a 7-3 victory thanks to three clean innings from their bullpen and an insurance homer by Chad Pinder.
With the delayed win now in the books, the A’s officially had an 11-game winning streak in May, as this contest had been smack in the middle of a hot streak by the team. The win was retroactively credited to pitcher Mike Fiers, who didn’t appear on Friday but had originally started the game and thrown six quality innings. Fiers has now won his last 12 decisions, spanning 21 starts, with his last loss coming on May 1.
The game was in the bottom of the seventh when it was suspended, with Oakland leading 5-3. Fiers had been pulled for reliever Liam Hendriks, who threw four pitches to Josh Harrison before the contest was interrupted. Harrison was since released by the Tigers in August, so Jordy Mercer took his place with a 2-2 count and struck out on the first pitch he saw, though the strikeout was officially credited to Harrison.
The rest of Detroit’s hitters didn’t have any better luck, as the A’s bullpen combined to retire nine of the 10 batters they faced. Hendriks finished off the seventh, Jake Diekman pitched the eighth and J.B. Wendelken worked the ninth, after being called up from the minors earlier in the day.
The outing by Diekman provided a particularly weird quirk. Diekman began the year with the Kansas City Royals, and he pitched for them on May 19, before being traded to the A’s in July. That means, according to the official records, he pitched in two different games for two different teams in two different cities on the same day.
While Oakland’s bullpen was taking care of business, their lineup tacked on some insurance for good measure. In the ninth inning, Pinder blasted a two-run homer to right field off Tigers reliever David McKay.
“My lineup card looked a little different,” said Melvin. “[Pinder’s] been giving [Matt Olson] grief all day about him in the three-hole and Oly in the six-hole, so he backed it up today.”
The A’s lineup required some changes, since it had included right fielder Stephen Piscotty, who is currently on the injured list, and catcher Nick Hundley, who was released in July. They were replaced by rookies Sheldon Neuse and Sean Murphy, respectively, neither of whom were even on the team yet in May, but Elias Sports Bureau clarified that their official major league debut dates are not superseded by these appearances in a May box score.