Oakland – The A’s are keeping pace and enjoying the ride. The September call-ups have been an asset to the team and the veterans continue to lead by example. Home runs from both Chad Pinder and Mark Canha were a few highlights from tonights game.
Oakland’s 8-0 shutout victory over the Texas Rangers keeps them atop of the American League Wild Card. The A’s offense didn’t disappoint in the first of a three-game series, the final home series of the season. Mike Fiers was brilliant on the mound.
“Last couple of starts have been not ideal and getting late into September here, I kind of had a bad September, so I needed to get the ball rolling and comeback healthy,” said Fiers. I’m just happy to be healthy and go back out and battle for the team.”
“I guess his elbow’s OK,” Bob Melvin said.
Fiers exited the mound on his last start in the second inning, last Saturday after feeling numbness in his pitching hand. After a MRI that showed no injury, Fiers was ready to go tonight. He tossed eight frames, walked none and struck out five.
Pinder’s three-run homer got the offense going in the second. Ramon Laureano led off the second with a bloop single. Sean Murphy walked and Pinder followed going deep to center field making it a 3-0 game.
Canha’s RBI double in the third and his solo blast in the sixth kept the the A’s rolling. Their 6-0 lead knocked Mike Minor out of the game. Ariel Juardo replaced Minor heading into the bottom of the sixth. Minor lasted five frames, allowed six hits, walked four and gave up two home runs.
By the seventh, back-to-back walks to both Matt Olson and Canha put two on. Laureano singled driving in Olson to make it a 7-0 game. A Wild pitch in the eighth gave Oakland an insurance run after Matt Chapman scored. The A’s now hold a two-game lead in the AL Wild Card and have eight more games left in the season.
The A’s don’t always look like a team stressed out about a potential postseason run. The guys keep a casual attitude throwing a football around, kicking a soccer ball and just having a good time in their batting practice. Oakland takes it one game at a time and that works for them.
“I think its apart of who we are we you see there nine games left,” said Melvin before the game. “Every game seems like its paramount so we’ve been consistent all year when we worry about just one game. If you look out too far its a distraction and even in a series its too much to look at, best you can do is win one game at a time.”