OAKLAND –- The A’s are remarkably consistent in their inconsistency.
Well, so are the 2015 A’s to this point. They continued their every-other-day pattern of crushing the baseball Friday with a 12-0 dismantling of the Seattle Mariners.
In opening the season 3-2, the A’s have outscored opponents 30-0 in victories on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In losing Tuesday and Thursday, they were outscored 13-2.
It’s not exactly conventional baseball, but it’s extremely entertaining for their fans who happen to show up to the Coliseum on the right day. Friday’s rout resembled some of the lopsided victories that marked Oakland’s dominant first half of 2014, where several heroes jumped out from the box score.
Mark Canha continued his torrid start to the season, going 3-for-5 and connecting for his first home run of his major league career, a two-run shot in the second. The Rule 5 first baseman/outfielder is hitting .500 (7-for-14) in three games and tied the A’s franchise record for the most hits in the first three games to start a career (dating back to 1914).
Canha formed quite a 1-2 punch with leadoff man Sam Fuld, who was 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. They were two of five Athletics to record multiple hits. Ike Davis (3-for-4) doubled twice and drove in three runs, and Canha and Marcus Semien each had two RBI as the A’s banged out 16 hits total.
Almost lost in the shuffle – the outstanding performance from lefty Drew Pomeranz, who turned in what was statistically the best all-around start of his career. He limited Seattle to two hits over seven innings, didn’t issue a walk and struck out six. Pomeranz faced just one over the minimum for the time he was in the game.
Starting pitching report
Pomeranz dominated in his season debut. He allowed Austin Jackson’s one-out single in the fourth, which Robinson Cano promptly erased on a 6-4-3 double play, and he gave up another single in the seventh (also to Jackson). That was it.
Pomeranz had the Mariners chasing his fastball up and out of the strike zone all night, and he snapped off a sharp curve ball to complement it. Going seven full was noteworthy, as Pomeranz has had trouble pitching deep into games for much of his career as a starter.
Fernando Abad and R.J. Alvarez handled the easy mop-up duty in this one, with each tossing a scoreless inning.
At the plate
The A’s batted around in a six-run fourth, when they chased Seattle starter Taijuan Walker. That rally was highlighted by Davis’ two-run double to right-center. Oakland jumped on Walker for three runs in the first, getting an RBI double from Ben Zobrist and run-scoring hits from Davis and Stephen Vogt.
Canha justified manager Bob Melvin’s decision to bat him second. He legged out and infield single in the first, then hit a laser deep into the seats in left-center for a two-run homer in the second. Canha added a bloop single in his third at-bat, and he scored three runs on the night.
Surely Melvin was happy to see his team get to Seattle’s bullpen so early, another staple of their first-half success from a season ago.
In the field
The play of the night came with the outcome well decided. A’s second baseman Eric Sogard made a diving backhand stop up the middle, and made a glove flip to Semien for a force-out at second on Logan Morrison’s grounder in the eighth.
Oakland played an errorless game, snapping a string of four consecutive games with an error to start the season. That matched the longest such season-opening streak by an A’s team over the past 39 years.
The announced turnout was 30,114 on Sonny Gray jersey giveaway night.
This three-game series continues Saturday with Sonny Gray (1-0, 0.00) matching up against lefty J.A. Happ (11-11, 4.22 last season). First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.