Athletics

Pache's mad dash sparks eventful A's series win over Rays

Athletics

Cristian Pache’s Little League home run in the second inning set the tone for the Athletics on Thursday and helped secure their first series win of the season against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. 

With a runner on first and second, Pache had a two-out RBI single that turned into a three-run inside-the-park homer following a disaster in the Rays outfield.

Left fielder Randy Arozarena was charged with an error after the ball somehow bounced off him as he slid. It continued to bounce until center fielder Kevin Kiermaier picked it up, dropped it, then picked it up again and threw it with any hope of catching Pache. 

But it was too late.

It took 15.90 seconds for Pache to go home-to-home after realizing the Rays’ error, the fastest home-to-home run since Adam Rosales in 2017, and the fastest trip around the diamond so far this season. 

“As I continue to talk about the excitement [Pache] brings, the energy, if he wasn’t running hard out of the box, that play might not happen,” manager Mark Kotsay said after picking up his first series win as A's manager. “Again, the fight, the character, it’s continuing to grow in the right direction.” 

A few moments later, another unusual thing took place in the bottom of the second. Tampa Bays’ Manuel Margot took second base umpire Jerry Layne with him while trying to slide to second. From the ground, Layne still made the out call. 

 

Aside from the second-inning antics, Cole Irvin pitched into the seventh, allowing three runs and five hits. He retired 14 straight batters before Harold Ramirez doubled and Brandon Lowe’s third homer of the year cut the deficit to a 6-3 score that didn’t change for the rest of the game. 

And it was reliever Dany Jiménez who worked the ninth for his first big league save.

Oakland scored 31 runs during the series and improved to 4-3. 

The energy the A’s brought to this series will hopefully stay with them in Toronto as they take on the Blue Jays for a three-game series beginning Friday. 

RELATED: Report: White Sox won't trade Vaughn to A's for Montas

“It’s great,” Irvin said after the game. “As soon as you get your first series win, you motivate yourself for the next series coming up, and we got a good team in Toronto this next three days. We've just got to stay hungry, we've got to stay ready and the guys are. That’s the mentality from the starters; that’s the mentality from the relievers, hitters -- everyone’s hungry.”