SAN FRANCISCO — Daniel Mengden finally got some run support from his A’s teammates, not that he required much of it Monday night.
The rookie dazzled in front of a sellout crowd at AT&T Park, leading the A’s to an 8-3 victory over the Giants and notching his first major league win. He gave up just four hits and two runs over 7 2/3 innings, and one of those runs scored after he left the mound in the eighth.
Starting the opener of the Bay Bridge Series, Mengden was pitching in the most charged-up atmosphere yet of his four big league starts. He showed the same poise and quality stuff that drew notice over his first three outings. But this time, his hitters came along for the ride.
Marcus Semien tied his career-high with four RBI as the A’s jumped all over former teammate Jeff Samardzija. Mengden (1-3) received just two runs of support total over his first three starts, as he became just the fourth major league pitcher since 1913 to lose each of his first three career games while allowing three runs or fewer in each one.
But he was staked to a 5-0 lead by the time he took the mound for the bottom of the second, and he cruised from there. The Giants came in tied with Texas for the most wins in the majors and had taken 13 of their past 15, but the A’s enjoyed a rare lopsided victory at AT&T Park. Coming in, they had lost 16 of their last 19 in San Francisco.
Khris Davis drove in two runs and Danny Valencia collected three hits.
Starting pitching report:
So efficient was Mengden, it appeared he had a shot at throwing the A’s first complete game since Sonny Gray went the distance last Aug. 7 against Houston. Mengden struck out five and walked three, but he thrived because he pounded the strike zone early and held the Giants to little in the way of hard contact. He didn’t allow his first base runner until Angel Pagan singled with one out in the fifth.
Sporting his handlebar mustache and eye-catching windup, Mengden even fielded his position with flair. Gregor Blanco lined a rocket up the middle in the second that Mengden threw his glove up and snared. Then he nonchalantly flipped the ball over his head back toward the mound as he headed for the dugout.
The Giants scored twice in the eighth after Fernando Rodriguez entered, and they added another run off Zach Neal in the ninth. Marc Rzepczynski was called upon to close it out.
At the plate:
The A’s, who took three of four from the Angels over the weekend, carried their offensive momentum home from Southern California and took it across the Bay Bridge. They struck for a five-run second off Jeff Samardzija (8-5), highlighted by Semien’s three-run homer. They banged out 12 hits total and have now scored 33 runs and collected 56 hits over their last five games. They’ve won five of their past seven and are showing an ability to put big rallies together, a trait that’s been missing most of this season.
Semien homered for the second day in a row, and he’s tied his career-high of 15 homers with five games still to go until the season’s halfway point.
In the field:
The A’s turned two double plays in the late innings that helped stifle any thoughts the Giants had of making a comeback.
The announced crowd was 41,442.
Kendall Graveman (3-6, 4.68) will try to keep his recent roll going in Tuesday’s 7:15 p.m. game. He’s allowed just three runs over 13 2/3 innings in his past two starts. Albert Suarez (3-1, 3.68) will go for the Giants.