OAKLAND – The walk-off victory, an A’s specialty in recent years, made its long-overdue return to the Coliseum.
After erasing a two-run deficit in the eighth, the A’s pushed across the game winner in the ninth on Josh Reddick’s fielder’s choice grounder and beat the Texas Rangers 5-4.
It marked the A’s first walk-off victory since Sept. 21 of last season, when they beat Philadelphia in 10 innings. They were the last team in the majors that hadn’t recorded a victory in their last at-bat this season.
The winning rally began when Sam Fuld singled with one out against Keone Kela. He stole second and moved to third on Billy Burns’ infield single. That brought up Reddick, who swung at the first pitch against a drawn-in infield and hit one toward second. Adam Rosales threw home late as Fuld slid across with the winning run.
Reddick received a pie to the face during his postgame interview on TV, a scene that hadn’t unfolded in front of the home fans in quite some time. The victory took right-hander Jesse Hahn off the hook after he lasted just 3 2/3 innings.
Starting pitching report:
Manager Bob Melvin talked before the game about how Jesse Hahn has fared better against lefties of late. But that wasn’t the case Wednesday. Hahn tied an Oakland single-game record with three hit batsmen, all from the left side. Another lefty, Mitch Moreland, got to him for two run-scoring singles. After making strides over his last several starts, Hahn’s command abandoned him in this one.
Spotted a 1-0 lead in the first, Hahn surrendered three runs in the third. That rally included a walk, two hit batters and three hits. He gave way to Pat Venditte with two outs in the fourth, Hahn’s shortest outing of the season. The right-hander allowed four runs on seven hits and walked two in 68 pitches.
The bullpen gets a huge assist in this one, as Pat Venditte, Fernando Abad, Evan Scribner and Tyler Clippard combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings after Hahn left.
At the plate:
The A’s broke through against Yovani Gallardo in the first, as Billy Burns singled, advanced to second on an error and eventually scored on Ben Zobrist’s fielder’s choice. But Gallardo settled in after that and had 10 strikeouts by the time he left after seven innings. The A’s went down looking on six of those, and they generally looked like an uninspired offensive bunch until the eighth, when they scored twice to tie it.
Josh Reddick singled with one out and Zobrist followed with another single to right. Reddick beat the throw to third, and then Joey Gallo fired a throw into right field as he tried to go to second to get Zobrist. That allowed Reddick to trot home and Zobrist to advance to third with one out. After Vogt was intentionally walked, Billy Butler chopped a run-scoring single through the left side to make it 4-4. Butler was in a 1-for-19 rut before that hit.
In the field:
Shortstop Marcus Semien committed his Major League-high 20th error on the game’s first batter, when he charged Delino DeShields’ bouncer and had it skip over his glove. Hahn managed to erase that runner by picking DeShields off first, a play that was overturned in the A’s favor on replay.
A crowd of 14,290 was delighted to see Venditte enter the game – just not in the fourth inning.
Scott Kazmir (2-4, 3.14) and Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-0, 0.00) match up in Thursday’s 12:35 p.m. series finale.