SAN FRANCISCO –- The A’s hardly identified the team they’ve been most of the spring on Friday night.
They displayed uncharacteristically wobbly defense early on, couldn’t get anything going against six Giants pitchers and absorbed a 4-0 defeat that evened the Bay Bridge Series at a game apiece. There haven’t been many subpar efforts from Oakland, which at 22-10-2 has tied an Oakland record for spring victories.
Kendall Graveman allowed Buster Posey’s three-run homer in the first after two errors were committed behind him, and that was the difference in this one. Graveman found out Thursday he would be the A’s No. 4 starter. He entered with a sterling 0.42 ERA, and though he gave up three runs, they were all unearned, so his ERA actually dropped to 0.36.
The Giants tacked on a final run in the sixth on Joaquin Arias’ RBI infield single for the final margin. Those who showed up late to AT&T Park missed most of the action in this one.
Starting pitching report
Graveman came in having allowed just one run over 21 1/3 innings this spring. His defense has been very sharp behind him all spring, which made Friday’s ragged bottom of the first a bit surprising. Marcus Semien charged leadoff man Nori Aoki’s slow bouncer but had the ball go under his glove for an error, though Aoki might have beaten it out anyway. Two batters later, Sogard made a backhand attempt on Angel Pagan’s grounder up the middle but had it glance off his glove for another error. Then Posey sent a first-pitch fastball from Graveman sailing over the wall in center for a three-run homer.
With one swing of the bat, Graveman allowed triple the runs he had given up in five previous starts this spring. He recovered, however, and held the Giants scoreless over his final three innings. Graveman gave up just two hits and struck out six, but he also walked three.
Dan Otero, Eric O’Flaherty, Tyler Clippard and R.J. Alvarez held the Giants to one run over the final four innings.
At the plate
Not much going on for the visiting team. The A’s mustered just four hits. Uncharacteristic stuff from an offense that entered the night leading the majors in runs scored.
In the field
The early errors proved costly. The A’s came in having committed the second fewest errors in the Cactus League. They nearly had a third error on the night when third baseman Tyler Ladendorf let a ball glance off him in the third. But Semien retrieved the ball and whipped a strong sidearm throw across the diamond for the out.
A crowd of 42,972 came dressed mostly in black and orange. Expect to see lots more green and gold when the scene shifts to Oakland on Saturday.
Drew Pomeranz takes the mound in the A’s spring training finale, a 1:05 p.m. game at the Coliseum. The lefty will oppose the Giants’ Tim Hudson.