Game four of the four game series against the Royals is now in the record books and with it the Athletics have dropped the series. The game, which did not air on television until the top of the 6th inning, began quietly with Samardzija showing great economy in his pitch count but the Royals struck first in the bottom of the third when Jarrod Dyson brought Erik Kratz home on a sacrifice fly. It is worth noting that Kratz reached third base on a throwing error by Callaspo.
The Athletics probably didn’t like this but they didn’t show it on the field, going down in order in the top of the fifth. It wasn’t until the 6th inning, with two outs, that the A’s responded with an RBI triple off the bat of Josh Reddick who would then score off of a single by Callaspo making the score 3-2 and giving Oakland the lead for the first time since Tuesday’s blowout.
If you are a Royals fan without access to television, the bottom of the 6th started with a bit of a controversy when Alcides Escobar was called out for batter interference. This was a crucial out for the A’s since Escobar had reached second on what he thought was an errant throw to first by Jaso. Butler singled later in the inning which may have scored Escobar and tied the game had he stayed on the base path. Instead, Samardzija was able to get out of the inning by, seemingly, taking four balls off of his pitch count. The guy is good, guys.
Going into the seventh trailing by a run, the Royals sent Francisley Bueno to the mound which turned out to be no bueno for the A’s when he took two men out on three pitches. Samardzija was pulled out in the bottom of the seventh having thrown 90 pitches and giving up one earned run after a near home run put two men in scoring position. With no pitches thrown, Melvin challenges a pickoff attempt at third base but ultimately lost. You can’t win them all. Had he won it, though, Cook wouldn’t have broken a 20 inning scoreless streak. From this point forward, this was a bullpen game with Melvin doing his match-up mix-up. Those pesky Royals ended up scoring five runs in the inning.
Nothing else happened. A’s go down 7-3. All hope was lost.
With the Angels having an off day, today’s game puts the A’s 2 over Anaheim in first place of the division. The A’s will start tomorrow in their 59th day with the best record in baseball, 77th day with the best record in the American League and 110th day leading the American League West. To put it simply, the A’s are still awesome.
Standings: 1st (AL West), 1st (AL), 1st (MLB)
Next Game: August 15 vs. Atlanta