OAKLAND — After Khris Davis hammered three home runs — including a walk-off grand slam — Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin couldn’t help but smile.
“That’s a hell of a baseball game,” Melvin marveled following his team’s 8-5 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Before Davis delivered the decisive shot, it looked like the Rangers had dealt their hosts a gut-punch of a loss when Ryan Madson served up a two-out, two-run homer to Ian Desmond in the top of the ninth.
“If you’re a baseball fan, I don’t know if you get a better game to watch,” Melvin said. ”Certainly if you’re an A’s fan it turned out the way you would have wanted it to.”
With a warm breeze rolling through the Coliseum, Davis’ bat saved the A’s, but it was just a week ago that the season was spiraling out of control.
Last Tuesday, the A’s were in the midst of beatdown of historic proportions at Fenway Park. That night, the Boston Red Sox pummeled the A’s 13-5, as the club gave up 40 runs in the series — an Oakland record for a three-game set.
After getting swept out of Boston, the A’s had lost five in a row and 14 of 18.
Melvin insisted the brutal road trip was ancient history.
“We were playing a team who was red-hot in their place, swinging the bat great and you move on,” Melvin said. “We had a good series after that. So, we’re not thinking about Boston right now. But certainly we got steamrolled there. We’re playing a lot better baseball now.”
Melvin’s right. Now — thanks to the walk-off slam — they’ve won three in a row and four of five.
What that means? The A’s are a weird team.
Oakland committed two errors against the Rangers and once again leads the American League in that dubious distinction. Oakland is also the only team in baseball that has yet to have a starter pitch more than seven innings in a game.
As long as the A’s keep struggling to catch and throw the ball and the starters keep failing to pitch deep into their outings, the streaks — both hot and cold — are here to stay.