Oakland, CA – The A’s were down four to one in the eighth inning but rallied back to end their seven game skid. Coming off their worst road trip this season, Oakland had no choice but to look ahead. With roughly six weeks remaining in the season, the A’s put their focus on tonight’s series against a first place team in the National League.
One of the league’s best pitchers, Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers thought they had the game under control in the eighth when they scored three runs making it a 4-1 game. But Oakland fought back to tie the game forcing extra innings. With the tying run on base in the tenth, Billy Butler’s double to right field gave the A’s the 5-4 victory.
“We need a win to get past that road trip,” Oakland’s manager Bob Melvin said before the game.
Despite having the worst record in the American League Oakland continues their fight through this slump. The A’s have lost a season-high seven straight games under .500, marking the first time Oakland has been at least 18 games under .500 since finishing the 1997 season. The A’s seven-game losing streak is the longest since 2012 when they lost nine straight from May 22 to June 1.
Oakland struck first, scoring off Kershaw in the second. Mark Canha led off the frame with single, Butler walked and Josh Reddick’s sacrifice bunt moved both runners to second and third. Marcus Semien followed with a RBI ground out, scoring in Canha who recorded his first career four-hit game and his 15th multiple hit contest of the year.
“It’s definitely the most memorable game we we’ve played, for me,” said Canha. “It’s just been like kind of emotional roller coater ride this year so to get a win like that in front of a big crowd made it really cool.”
Felix Doubront made his first start as an Athletic and fifth overall this season. He faired well tonight, walking six batters and allowing one hit. After issuing a free pass to both A.J. Ellis and Joc Pederson in the third and fifth innings. The Dodgers took advantage in the fifth when Doubront put two on with no outs. Jimmy Rollins grounded out and scored in Ellis tying the game 1-1.
“It was tough stringing hits together against a guy like wild like that,” Kershaw said. “A.J’s homer was huge, it was a swing in momentum, but it was definitely tough to give it back like that.”
The A’s bullpen took over and unraveled in the eighth. Yasiel Puig singled but left the game with right hamstring tightness. Carl Crawford replaced him, while pinch-hitter Andre Either knocked a single down the right field line.
Ellis followed with a three-run homer off Fernando Rodriguez, giving the Dodgers a 4-1 lead. Oakland clapped back in the bottom of the frame.
Danny Valencia led off the inning with a single and Josh Phegley followed with a double. Canha with his third hit of the night, scored in both Valencia and Phegley with a two-run double.
A huge break for the A’s as they cut the lead down to one. Reddick’s infield single to third baseman Justin Turner resulted in an error, allowing him safe at first with the tying run at third. Semien’s RBI single tied the game 4-4.
Heading into extra innings, Fernando Abad did his job by keeping the Dodgers off the board in the tenth. He gave up a single to Crawford and walked Ellis, but Abad struck out Pederson to end the frame stranding two. Canha who went 4-for-5, led off the inning with a double. Butler followed with a double scoring in Canha for the win beating the first place Dodgers in the NL West Division.
“It was definitely stacked against us today but that’s why you show up and you play the game,” Butler said. “It doesn’t matter how it looks on paper, you’ve still got to go out there and play. That’s the game of baseball.”
Tonight, six batters walked. Over the past three seasons, A’s pitchers have walked nine batters in a single game on five different occasions. Oakland has won all five of those games. The loss tonight snapped a three-game winning streak for the Dodgers who had won five of their last six games. They fell 2-13 all-time at the O.co Coliseum. Puig will have a MRI in the morning.