The Mercury News
A’s rally in ninth, defeat Padres in 10th behind Olson
The Oakland A’s were three outs away from yet another disappointing loss that saw the offense shut down. Instead, they came away with a 5-4, extra-inning walkoff win against the San Diego Padres, sealed on a towering, two-run double in the 10th inning by Matt Olson.
The A’s were staring at a two-run deficit in the ninth inning with just two hits registered. A ninth-inning comeback and 10th-inning stunner came together with some clutch hits by the A’s newest teammates and tide-turning at-bats from some of the regulars.
“We don’t give up,” A’s starter Frankie Montas said. “We keep pushing and keep
trying, good things happen.”
With a league-leading 32 saves, Padres closer Mark Melancon would be a tough nut to crack for a comeback, but Ramón Laureano was relentless in his leadoff at-bat to start the ninth. He fouled off curveball after curveball and worked 10-pitch at-bat that ended with a double laced down the third-base line.
“That really gave us a big spark. Obviously the big hits in the end win the game for us, but that was as big a hit as we had because nothing was going on. We had two hits to that point,” A’s manager Doug Melvin said. “He fights that atbat against a real tough closer and starts an inning when we tie the game. For me, that hit was as big a hit we got today.”
Laureano’s hit wasn’t just Oakland’s third hit of the game, it sparked a rally that closed a two-run gap — a gap that has, lately, felt insurmountable for this team. After a ground out and Sean Murphy’s walk, Matt Chapman, who’s struggles of late have him batting eighth in the lineup, got enough of a ball for an infield hit to score the A’s second run.
Yan Gomes, pinch hitting for Elvis Andrus for the matchup against Melancon, scored pinch-runner Tony Kemp with a game-tying single. Mark Canha flied out on the first pitch to send the game to extras.
With Kemp in at second and Josh Harrison at third, Chapman moved to shortstop and recorded his first error at the position to allow the Padres to squeeze a run out in the top of the 10th.
A one-run deficit was nothing for Oakland — fortified by the comeback — in the 10th. With Canha the designated runner at second, Starling Marte blooped a single to put runners on the corners against funky left-handed reliever Tim Hill.
Having seen Hill last week in San Diego, Olson was looking for a sinker to at least hit into the air. He did that, and was surprised to see it hit the wall, allowing Canha to score easily and a speedy Marte to also score from first base.
“Honestly I thought it was a sac fly. It carried pretty well for Oakland standards,” Olson said. “I just wanted something up in the air to at least tie the game and avoid a double play. When I hit it, I thought my job was done, but it kept going.”
The A’s looked to be continuing their anemic offensive habits coming off an 8-1 loss on Tuesday night.
They struggled against Padres
starter Joe Musgrove, who stymied them with a tight curveball he threw 37 times in his 99 pitches, holding Oakland to two hits and one earned run.
That earned run was courtesy of Jed Lowrie, who hit his 12th home run in the second inning. Musgrove hit two batters and walked another — the only other baserunners he dealt with — while striking out five. Musgrove went six innings and ceded the mound to Pierce Johnson, another arm with a good curveball.
Lowrie’s home run gave Frankie Montas the slimmest of leads with which to work. Adam Frazier tied the score with an RBI single in the third. A nice play by Lau- reano to relay to Harrison to get Jurickson Profar at home on Trent Grisham’s double saved a run, but not enough to stop a three-run inning for the Padres.
“I felt like my fastball was better the last two innings and I felt better with my pitches in the last two innings, but they’re really good,” Montas said. “They’re a hard team to strike out.”
Montas went six innings with eight strikeouts, including three of Manny Machado, without issuing a walk.
A’s bring back Davis
Khris Davis is back in the A’s organization and there’s a chance he could return to the big leagues in 2021.
The A’s signed Davis to a minor league deal and assigned him to their Arizona Complex League roster. Melvin, though, said Davis is expected to join the Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators with the hopes that can rejoin the big league roster at some point.
“We loving having him back in the organization. It’s given him an opportunity to get him back to where he was in the past. He hasn’t had the opportunity here recently,” Melvin said.
“So we’ll see what happens in Triple-A. We wish him the best and hope he gets off to a good start and plays his way here.”
Davis, 33, hit 158 home runs in five seasons with the A’s from 2016-2020 before he was traded in February to the Texas Rangers as part of the deal that brought shortstop Elvis Andrus to Oakland and sent backup catcher Jonah Heim with Davis to Texas.
Davis was released by the Rangers in June after he went 8-for-51 with two home runs and five RBIs in 22 games.