Oakland, CA – Off to a great start. The A’s scored a season-high twelve run including six runs in the fourth inning, their most in an inning this season. Oakland also snapped their season-opening four-game streak of committing ay least one error. The streak matched the longest by an A’s team over the last 39 years.
“That’s a pretty tough lineup to navigate your way through, and he had everything working,” said Oakland manager Bob Melvin. “You could see in the first inning with the strikeouts, elevated when he had to, was on the corners when he needed to, the curveball was going, just had it all working tonight.”
The A’s wasted no time in scoring their first three runs off righty Taijuan Walker in his first start of the season. Drew Pomeranz tossed a career-high tying seven innings and shutout the Mariners 12-0. Mark Canha went 3-for-5 while Oakland put up the hits to back their ace who is 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA.
“Honestly, I got a little tight when I was in between innings because we were scoring so many runs,” Pomeranz said. “I think it really made me pitch, really made me go out there and have to pitch to guys.”
Canha got the first hit to get things started, Ben Zobrist followed with a RBI double to give the A’s a 1-0 lead. Ike Davis hit a bloop single to center field and scored in Zobrist. Stephen Vogt got in on the action with a RBI single making it a 3-0 game. Vogt has now hit safely in each of the four games he’s played in.
Canha is now 6 RBI’s and seven hits through his first three games. He was hot tonight, blasting a two-run homer to left field in the second. Canha recorded his first home run in the Major Leagues. He went 3-for-5 in the cycle with three runs, a home run and two RBI’s.
“It’s good to get the first one off your back,” said Canha referring to his first home run. “It’s three games, it’s a long season, and I’m just going to come to the park each day and prepare the same way and try to replicate swings.”
The RBI’s an hits by Canha ties the most by an Oakland player since 1920 for RBI’s. And hits in the first three games since 1914 along with Jim Poole (7), Spook Jacobs (7), Ramon Hernandez (7), and Ben Grieve (7).
By the fourth the A’s put on a hitting clinic scoring six runs. Davis with a two-run double and Semien scored in another two runs on a single advancing to second on an error in right field. Oakland leading by 11-0 in the fourth is a true testament that this team can hit while providing excellent defense at the same time.
“He pitched really good,” Cano said. “He was throwing strikes. It gives you more chances to throw pitches the way you want when they score early. They scored five and it gives you a breather to your starter. And, boy, you have t give him credit for the way he pitched tonight.”
Pomeranz left nothing over the plate and as a result only gave up one hit to Austin Jackson in the third. He hit a single to left field but the A’s defense shut that down quickly. Robinson Cano followed by grounding into a double play ending the inning and leaving Seattle frustrated by not getting on base.
By the seventh Jackson singled on a ground ball to center field but Cano grounded into a force out, pitcher Pomeranz to shortstop Semien. Jackson was out at second and Cano was safe at first. Nelson Cruz popped out to first baseman Ike Davis in foul territory to end the threat.
Pomeranz allowed two hits and struck out six. His performance was another spectacular outing for opening up a series. This is Oakland’s second win and shutout on a series opener. The bullpen came in the eighth giving up a leadoff hit to Kyle Seager and a free pass to Justin Ruggaino. But a force out, pop out, and a ground out sent the Mariners back to the outfield leaving runners stranded.
“Hopefully we’ll come out tomorrow and do what we’ve been doing and score 10 and not one,” said Davis.