BY STEVEN LUKE
It was kids’ day in Oakland today with elementary aged kids all over the ball park and they brought the noise level for the Athletics and White Sox match up, but by the time it finally ended five hours and 48 minutes later the kids were long gone and the seagulls outnumbered the fans.
A slugfest for nine innings turned into a battle of attrition as the bullpens for both teams put up zeros for the next five until Matt Olson delivered a walk off hit, giving the A’s a hard fought 12-11 win in the 14th inning of what became the third longest game by time in Oakland history.
“Covering eight plus innings of that game alone and extra innings means the bullpen was herculean,” Manager Bob Melvin said. “So even though we gave up some runs…everyone contributed to the win today and that’s what makes it feel that much better.”
Before the winning run you could have looked anywhere on either lineup and picked out a hero. Yoan Moncada hit his first career grand slam in the second inning for the Sox. Jed Lowrie continued to be on fire for the A’s delivering what, at the time, was a go-ahead two run home run in the eighth. Chris Volstad came on for the Sox as the fourth pitcher for his team and put up zeroes for 3 1/3 innings.
“You need to find a way to push one across,” Olson said. “It’s just like a heavyweight fight. We just kept trading blows the whole game and finally at the end we were able to get that one.”
The big hit was just one time Olson helped the team in this game. He reached base six total times knocking in three runs and scoring one. All this after Olson said earlier in the week he hadn’t felt right this season, and he reiterated after the game.
“The longer the game went on the better I felt,” Olson said. “I hadn’t had that perfect start I had in my mind and I’ve been feeling a little off at the plate and I did some extra work this morning with Bushy (Darren Bush), our hitting coach, and I really started to feel better as the game went on.”
The A’s were in a position where they had to fight back because starting pitcher Andrew Triggs couldn’t make it out of the second inning. “The silver lining for me, personally, is physically I feel fine,” Triggs said. “It was just a really bad combination of I didn’t feel like I had great life on my pitches. I didn’t have great command of my pitches, and the results showed that.”
The bullpen bailed Triggs our after a bad start. There were multiple impressive outings that helped the team stay in the game, but it was rookie Lou Trivino who pitched three innings of shutout ball just one night after making his major league debut. “I was just thankful to keep our team in it,” Trivino said. “Obviously they’re talented hitters, clearly, they put up 11. We knew we were going to score one, it was just a matter of when. So my mindset was just to keep us in it and it worked out.” Trivino got his first career win for his efforts.
Notes: This was the first series win of the season for the A’s and the first sweep.
Lowrie added to his Major League leading totals in hits and RBI with two more hits and three more runs batted in.
The A’s have an off day tomorrow before they welcome the team with the best record in baseball, the Boston Red Sox (14-2), in for three games beginning Friday night. Drew Pomeranz, making his season debut, is set to face the A’s Kendall Graveman (0-3, 9.87 ERA) in the opener.