Sunday, April 6, 2014

A's Take Series Finale

On Sunday the Oakland Athletics came back from an early three-run deficit to defeat the visiting Seattle Mariners 6-3. A's starter Sonny Gray looked shaky in the early going; his pitch count after just two innings stood at 47. But after Brandon Moss belted a three-run homer in the third inning, Gray and a trio of relievers allowed only three Mariner hits the rest of the way. Josh Donaldson singled in what turned out to be the winning run in the fifth inning, and Yoenis Cespedes capped the scoring with a home run to right-center in the eighth. Two of the three runs given up by Gray in his six innings of work were unearned. Other notes:

* Sam Fuld, who started in right field in place of the slow-out-of-the-blocks Josh Reddick, continues to impress. He threw out (almost Reddick-like) Abraham Almonte trying to go from first to third on Brad Miller's single to right. Fuld also made a nice diving grab to deprive Logan Morrison of a hit. In the post-game press conference, A's manager Bob Melvin, citing Fuld's versatility in the field -- he's already played all three outfield positions in this, the first week of the season -- called the Stanford product “a unique talent.”

* Moss's homer turned a 3-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie. That's the beauty of baseball: one swing of the bat can completely change the character of a game. And Sonny Gray looked like a different pitcher after Moss's blast; he set down nine of the next ten batters. Was it the psychological lift provided by the first run support the young hurler's gotten this season, or did he make mechanical adjustments?

* Melvin lost a replay challenge in the fourth inning. Sam Fuld rounded first and was tagged as he slid back to the bag. (He was called out.) Teams are now allowed to show challenged plays on the in-stadium Jumbotron; this particular replay convinced many at the Coliseum that Fuld was safe. Lusty booing greeted the decision to uphold the ump's ruling. Which is to say, the new replay rule did little, in this case, to clear things up in the minds of fans . . . .

Posted by C.S. Soong

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