Athletics

Instant Replay: A's score eight late, hold off Giants 13-11

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Instant Replay: A's score eight late, hold off Giants 13-11

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — The A’s won a game that their offense simply refused to lose Tuesday night.

With both teams’ bullpens basically unable to hold any kind of lead, the A’s outlasted the Giants 13-11 in a game that tied the highest-scoring game in Bay Bridge Series history.

The A’s overcame two separate three-run deficits and their own bullpen implosion in the sixth inning. In the end, Ryan Madson gutted his way through 43 pitches to cover the final two innings and ensure Oakland captured the first two games of this four-game set against their cross-bay rivals.

The teams combined for 30 hits and burned through 12 relievers in the 3-hour, 53-minute marathon.

Jake Smolinski, summoned off the bench in the eighth, delivered a pinch-hit three-run homer to put the A’s ahead for good, 9-8. But the A’s hitters didn't stop there, and that was probably the wise course of action on this night. They scored eight runs total over the final two innings.

That continued a stretch that has seen the A’s score 46 runs over their past six games (7.67 per game).

The A’s trailed 4-1, then went ahead 5-4, before relievers John Axford and Marc Rzepczynski gave up four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Brandon Crawford’s three-run triple gave the Giants an 8-5 lead.

Last season, the teams also combined for 24 runs in a game won 14-10 by the Giants at the Coliseum.

Starting pitching report:
Riding some momentum from back-to-back strong starts entering the night, Kendall Graveman didn’t fool Giants hitters in this one. They knocked him around for nine hits and four runs over five innings. Crawford’s two-run double put San Francisco ahead in the third. But Graveman was hurt by a failure to get a shutdown inning in the fourth, a problem that has bit him often this season. After Khris Davis’ homer pulled the A’s to within a run at 2-1 in the top of the fourth, Graveman gave two runs back in the bottom half. In fairness, Angel Pagan’s two-run single was a routine ground ball that found a hole. But it was preceded by two singles and a walk.

Bullpen report:
Madson hadn’t completed a two-inning outing since Sept. 29, 2009, and the fact that manager Bob Melvin asked so much of the 35-year-old points to a physical issue of some sort hindering Sean Doolittle, who hasn’t pitched since Saturday.

When all was said and done, Madson had thrown 43 pitches. He also recorded his first at-bat since 2010, striking out in the top of the ninth.

Axford is going through his roughest patch of the season by far. Over the last seven games, he’s allowed nine earned runs and 12 hits in just 3 1/3 innings for an ERA of 24.32 in that span.

At the plate:
The A’s erased two separate three-run deficits in this one, and two of their biggest hits came in the pinch. Billy Butler singled home two runs to put Oakland ahead 5-4 in the sixth. In the eighth, Smolinski worked the count to 2-2 off lefty Javier Lopez and then smoked a three-run homer into the left-field seats, his first career pinch homer. Entering the night, the A’s had been hitless in their previous nine pinch-hit at-bats.

Another huge moment was delivered by Stephen Vogt, who was dropped from third to sixth in the order with Josh Reddick’s return from the disabled list Tuesday. It was Vogt’s two-run double off George Kontos in the sixth that pulled the A’s to within 4-3 and snapped Oakland’s offense to life.

Davis’ homer was his 19th of the season. The A’s finished with 12 hits, continuing their team-wide hot streak that’s seen them score at least six runs in each of the last five games.

In the field:
In a game where offense dominated, Giants center fielder Denard Span delivered the defensive highlight of the night, making a lunging catch in right-center to rob Yonder Alonso in the eighth.

Attendance:
The announced turnout was 41,740.

Up next:
The series shifts to the Coliseum on Wednesday, as A’s rookie Sean Manaea (2-4, 6.02) is set to come off the DL for his first start since June 13. He’ll match up against Jake Peavy (4-6, 5.22). First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

Khris Davis leaves (and receives) lasting impression with special fan

Khris Davis leaves (and receives) lasting impression with special fan

OAKLAND -- Baseball is just a game. It’s easy to lose sight of that when you are battling for playoff position and every game matters. 

For Oakland A’s slugger Khris Davis, he was reminded of this fact during pregame on Monday evening when a special guest dropped by the dugout to meet him. 

Anthony Slocumb, a sixth grader from Claremont Middle School in Oakland, is a big-time fan of Davis. He’s also in remission after battling a rare cancer called Langerhans cell histiocytosis.

Before the game, Slocumb met Davis as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and asked for an autograph. Davis returned the favor, having the 10-year-old sign the back of his jersey before the A’s took on the Texas Rangers.

With blue ink sprawled across the back of his uniform, Davis stepped to the plate and gave Slocumb an incredible memory to hold onto, blasting a towering shot into the left field bleachers.

“There was a lot of emotion with those kid’s situation,” Davis said following the game. “It’s the worst situation you can be in, probably. I just wanted to put a smile on his face and thought maybe it would mean something if I had him my jersey signed by him.” 

These events play out often in professional sports, but Davis was moved by his experience Monday. The A’s leader in home runs crushed a ball that careened off a luxury box window an estimated 438 feet from home plate.

As he rounded the bases, he did so with a his newly found friend in mind. 

“I thought about him around the bases,” Davis said. “There’s not a better feeling than hitting a home run. And if he got some excitement and joy from watching that ... I hope he saw it.”  

Davis only had a few minutes to spend with Slocumb before the game, but it left him energized. The home run was Davis' 37th of the season, tying for second place in the majors, one behind the Red Sox’ J.D. Martinez. 

When asked whether he considered swapping out for a new jersey before the game, Davis gave a definitive - “no.” 

“I wanted to rock that. I wanted him to know I was thinking about him,” Davis said. 

The A’s are having a season of big moments. Coming away with a 9-0 win over the Rangers is great for the win/loss record, but for one fan, this was a game he’ll never forget. 

A's notes: Ramon Laureano leads Oakland power surge with two homers

A's notes: Ramon Laureano leads Oakland power surge with two homers

OAKLAND — The A’s keep rolling. After taking two of three against the Houston Astros over the weekend, Oakland’s hitters jumped all over Rangers starter Bartolo Colon Monday evening at the Coliseum.

With Mike Fiers dealing on the mound, the A’s position players crushed Colon for seven earned runs on 10 hits over five innings, coming away with a 9-0 win to improve to 75-50 on the season. 

--- A First and a Blast - Ramon Laureano got in on the power surge early, hitting his first big-league homer in the second inning off the top of the right field scoreboard. It was a nice moment for the rookie, but it was completely overshadowed by a shot from Kris Davis in the third. Davis crushed his 37th homer of the season an estimated 437 feet to left center field. The shot came off the bat of the A’s DH at an estimated 111 mph exit speed at a 28-degree angle and hit off the windows of a suite. The ball might have hit a BART train if not for Mount Davis impeding its path.  

--- Chasing J.D. - With home run No. 37, Davis is now tied for second place in the majors with Cleveland’s José Ramírez. The two sluggers trail Boston’s J.D. Martinez, who has 38 homers on the season. Davis is one RBI away from 100, which would give him three straight seasons in Oakland with 37-plus home runs and a 100 or more RBI.

--- Not to be Outdone - Laureano crushed a three-run blast in the six inning off of Colon for the first multi-homer game of his career. The 23-year-old center fielder finished the night 2-for-4 with the pair of jacks and five RBI. 

--- Starters on Fier - Mike Fiers picked up his second win in three starts as a member of the A's. He gave up a double to lead off the second inning, but then shut down the final 18 hitters he faced to pick up the victory. Oakland starters are now 10-2 over their last 18 games and have yielded two runs or fewer 15 times over that stretch. 

--- Stay Hot - With the win, Oakland improved to 41-14 over the last 55 games. They came into the evening tied with Boston for the best record in the majors over that stretch, but with the Red Sox' loss to the Indians, the A’s now lead by a game. 

--- Quiet Night - The official attendance on the evening was just 9,341. With the A’s battling for a playoff spot, the numbers have been all over the board.