Oakland, CA – After taking game one of a three-game series last night, the A’s got shutout by the Phillies making the road to the pennant race a difficult one. Unable to provide the run support needed to back Drew Pomeranz, Oakland fell back into their offensive slump.
The A’s held Philadelphia scoreless through six innings. But the bullpen allowed a double to Cody Asche and that sparked the offense for the Phillies. Freddy Galvis blasted a two-run homer to right field making it a 2-0 game. Pomeranz tossed five shutout innings, allowing one hit, two walks and six strikeouts.
“I was trying to throw a fastball in and it just kind of tailed over the middle of the plate, didn’t really have that sink to it, and he put a good swing on it,” said Dan Otero who gave up the home run.
Pomeranz struggled in the first but calmed down to get out of the jam. He loaded the bases when he allowed an infield single to Maikel Franco, walked Chase Utley and hit Marlon Byrd with a pitch. After settling down, he struck out Darin Ruf to end the threat stranding three.
“When we start nitpicking about one pitch, it means you’re not doing anything offensively to help out the other end,” Oakland’s manager Bob Melvin said. “That’s what it’s been like lately. One or two pitches within a game have been magnified because we’re not giving them enough run support.”
“It’s been almost three weeks, I was just trying to find my rhythm out there,” said Pomeranz. “It’s been awhile since I pitched in a game, even longer since I started.”
Despite being thrown into the lineup Pomeranz did a good job bouncing back from the first inning. He replaced Jason Hammel who was out for the birth of his child. Pomeranz made his first appearance since Sept 2 and his first start since Aug 27. He has a 0.60 ERA over the first three innings of a game and did not allow a run through five frames.
The A’s had a few opportunities but failed to drive in any runs. Both Adam Dunn and Josh Reddick knocked two bloop singles in the second putting two on with one out. Jed Lowrie’s single up the middle loaded the bases but Derek Norris hit into a double play to ended the inning stranding three.
“I just didn’t let it travel far enough to hit in the hole where I was trying to hit it for a base hit in right, and I just hit it right at him,” Norris said. No excuses. Just gotta be better in situational hitting, get a ball more elevated next time.
Reddick leadoff the fifth out running pitcher Jerome Williams to first base and was safe. But Lowrie hit into a double play followed by Norris grounding out to end the inning. Williams pitched seven frames, gave up four hits, one walk and struck out three. Williams is the first pitcher to to earn three wins against the same opponent in a season as a member of three different teams.
“I don’t think anything changed after the second,” said Williams. “It’s just I had a couple pitches I left over the plate and I wasn’t attacking the zone, keeping the ball down, getting key ground balls when I needed them.”
The Phillies extended their lead 3-0 with an insurance run when Byrd hit a RBI single after Utley hit a double in the eighth. Despite Oakland’s loss they still lead both the Royals and Mariners by a 1/2 game for 1st in the American League Wild Card.