SAN FRANCISCO – Had it been a boxing match at AT&T Park on Sunday, the A’s might have won by decision.
They recovered from a very shaking beginning to play a solid game from the third inning on. In the end, they fell short 4-3, and that was all that mattered as the Giants swept the Bay Bridge Series for the first time since May 2011.
A’s starter Kendall Graveman lasted just 1 1/3 innings, and Oakland trailed 4-0 by the second inning. The bullpen did admirable work with 6 2/3 shutout innings, but the A’s couldn’t complete their comeback. Tim Hudson, the former “Big Three” member who rose to stardom in an A’s uniform so many years ago, beat his former team for the first time in three career starts, allowing three runs over five innings.
For the second day in a row, the A’s made noise in the ninth off Santiago Casilla, another former Athletic. Pinch hitter Jake Smolinski led off with a walk and Brett Lawrie singled. But after Josh Phegley struck out, Smolinski was easily thrown out trying to steal third with one out. For the second day in a row, Casilla struck out Marcus Semien to ice it for the home team.
Starting pitching report:
Graveman (6-7) endured his second rough start in a row. He gave up three homers his previous time out against Toronto, and has now surrendered 10 earned runs in 6 2/3 innings over his past two outings. He stuck around long enough to face just 13 hitters Sunday, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks. After walking leadoff man Angel Pagan in the first, he retired Joe Panik but then piped a 2-0 fastball that Matt Duffy drilled for a two-run homer. The hard contact continued until manager Bob Melvin came out to get Graveman with one out in the second.
Dan Otero, Evan Scribner, Drew Pomeranz and Eric O’Flaherty stepped up to keep the A’s in the game. Pomeranz was listed to start Wednesday, but his two innings of relief figures to change the A’s plans one way or another.
At the plate:
It was a game where the A’s needed to start chipping away at their deficit early to give themselves a chance. They did that. Josh Reddick doubled in the second and eventually scored when Hudson uncorked a wild pitch. A two-out rally in the fourth produced two more runs, as Brett Lawrie and pinch hitter Billy Butler each came through with run-scoring singles to make it 4-3. That was it however.
In the field:
Scribner tossed two scoreless innings, but his most entertaining work came in the fourth, when he nonchalantly fielded Duffy’s comebacker behind his back and threw to first for the out. Ben Zobrist, immediately after going from left to second base on a double switch, made the turn on a 5-4-3 double play that got Otero out of the second.
The announced turnout was 42,034.
The A’s make their first trip to Dodger Stadium since 2009 for a two-game series beginning Tuesday. Sonny Gray (10-4, 2.30) will match up against former Athletic Brett Anderson (5-5, 3.33) that night, with a 7:10 first pitch. Consider the A’s TBA for a Wednesday starter given that scheduled pitcher Drew Pomeranz threw in relief Sunday. Three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 2.51) will go for the Dodgers in that 7:10 p.m. game. Both games will air on CSN California.