Oakland, CA – All it took was one inning for the A’s offense to dominate. Madison Bumgarner tossed only two scoreless innings before unraveling in the third frame. The Giants have no answer for Oakland. They recorded their sixth win after their 6-1 victory over San Francisco.
The A’s have won a season-high tying six straight wins. And recorded their 11th undefeated homestead of six or more games in Oakland history. The A’s 57 wins are the most ever before All-Star break and continue to maintain the best record in the Majors.
“We play 15 minutes from each other,” Jed Lowrie said. “We want to be the better team. We want to beat them.”
Bumgarner retired the first six batters he faced but by the third, his command got away from him. Lowrie leadoff the inning with a bloop single to right field that dropped right in front of both the second baseman Joe Panik and right fielder Hunter Pence.
He forced Alberto Callaspo to fly out but Nick Punto’s RBI double scored the Oakland’s first run. Coco Crisp followed with a RBI single and stole third. Yoenis Cespedes hit a bloop RBI single that dropped in front of the shortstop, center fielder and second baseman making it 3-0.
Josh Donaldson walked and Derek Norris added on another run with a RBI single. An error from Gregor Blanco advanced both runners but Bumgarner struck out Nate Freiman to stop the bleeding and end the inning leaving two runners stranded. The A’s scored a total of four runs with the entire lineup getting an at-bat.
“It stinks to make pitches and get beat on them,” said Bumgarner. “It seems like the A’s can break a bat and get a hit and our guys are crushing the ball and it seems like it’s always at somebody. That’s the way the game goes. But, man, it’s a frustrating time.”
“We feed off each other,” Sonny Gray said. “This is what we are capable of. Really, on the inside, this is what we expect of each other.
Gray tossed six scoreless innings before giving up a home run to Tyler Colvin in the seventh. He lasted seven frames in his last three of his last four starts. Gray worked out of a jam in the second after giving up two hits to Pablo Sandoval who leadoff the inning and Michael Morse.
He forced Colvin to fly out to right field and struck out the next two batters leaving two stranded in the corners. After that he settled in pitching six scoreless innings. Oakland starters have now tossed six or more innings while allowing one run or fewer in six straight games, which is the longest streak since 1914.
“Once our starters get on a roll like that,” said manager Bob Melvin. “They’re really kind of competing with each other and pushing each other.”
Colvin’s solo blast was the only run the Giants had avoiding another shutout. San Francisco had an opportunity in the eighth to rally back in the game but Morse struck out swinging to end the inning. Pence led off the frame with a single, Buster Posey walked putting two on but the Giants couldn’t produce the runs needed.
Bumgarner was done after giving up a leadoff walk and a double to Norris and Freiman. Jean Machi came in to replace Bumgarner and was called on a balk moving Freiman to third. Callaspo’s RBI single extended the A’s lead 6-1 and Machi was ejected after arguing the balk call.
“I know it’s frustrating for them but you can’t dwell on that too much,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Now you’re not only competing against the pitcher, you’re thinking about the calls. We have to play better and that’s our best way out of this.”