Oakland, CA – It was the first night the A’s honored African-American Heritage Day at the ballpark. A time where African-American players came together for a special night. Khris Davis went deep but that wasn’t enough to stop the surging Dodgers.
“Just one of those nights where it didn’t look like there was much life,” said Bob Melvin of Manaea. “They were getting pretty good swings on him and he wasn’t fooling anybody. More than anything else he got close to 80 pitches in 2 2/3 and that gets a little uncomfortable.”
Oakland’s 4-2 loss against the Dodgers is the first of a two-game Interleague series. Sean Manaea got off to a rocky start giving up three hits in three frames. The A’s didn’t look like the team that just swept two teams back-to-back. On a memorable night, Oakland allowed the LA to steal their shine.
In front of a crowd of 33,654, the A’s saw their winning streak end. Manaea got nickeled-and-dimed through three innings. Brian Dozier led off the first with a single. Justin Turner followed with a double off the right field wall moving Manny Machado to third.
“I just wasn’t able to locate anything,” Manaea said. “Wasn’t able to locate my fastball or throw my changeup for strikes. They battled with two strikes. It just adds up to a lot of pitches and it was a bad night.”
Enrique Hernandez grounded out driving in Machado making it a 1-0 game. By the second Cody Bellinger walked to lead off the frame. Austin Barnes hit a sacrifice bunt and Bellinger scored extending the Dodgers lead 2-0. Turner who recorded his second hit of the night, led off the third with a single.
Manaea walked Matt kemp, Bellinger’s RBI single drove in Turner and knocked out Manaea after 2.2 innings. He gave up five hits, three runs, three walks and one strikeout. Through three frames a leadoff batter got on base each time.
Rich Hill who retired the side and recorded his fourth strikeout by the third allowed Oakland a hit in the fourth. Besides four walks, Oakland had two hits through six frames. The bullpen’s magic that were used to seeing disappeared tonight. But the defense got better.
“He throws a lot of breaking balls and it’s a tough one to track,” said Melvin on former A’s player Hill. “Kept us off balance early on with a few more fastballs than we were expecting to see. He’s got a lot of deception with what he does and his breaking ball is one of the tougher ones to track in the league.”
After scoring three quick runs, LA went scoreless until the eighth. Despite loading the bases in the sixth with two walks and a single, the A’s left all three runners stranded. Oakland, the team that comes alive late in the game got their “mojo” back when Matt Chapman doubled to leadoff the sixth.
Khris Davis went deep with his 32nd home run of the season on a 1-2 pitch. He cut the lead 3-2. But the Dodgers didn’t waste anytime and extended their lead with an insurance run. Pinch-hitter Joc Pederson led of the inning with a double and Kemp followed with a RBI single making it a 4-2 game.
LA’s bullpen was more dominant than the A’s who couldn’t muster any more runs after scoring in the sixth. Game two of the series is tomorrow at 7:05pm.