BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER
The red hot A’s bashed their way to a sweep of their five game home stand, slamming six home runs, including two each by Mark Canha and Jurickson Profar, to romp to a 10-2 win over the Seattle Mariners Wednesday afternoon in Homer Bailey’s debut in an Oakland uniform.
Bailey (8-6) got off to a shaky start, allowing a double to the first batter he faced, Seattle’s Mallex Smith, and two runs on four hits in the second inning before settling down nicely to pitch six innings while striking out six and not walking a batter.
Oakland’s offense certainly contributed to that, as Profar blasted a two run home run to deep right-center to tie the game in the bottom of the second, and Canha’s 412 foot bomb to left-center off of former A’s pitcher Tommy Milone leading off the fourth put the A’s ahead to stay.
It was Bailey’s first outing since July 4th due to the All-Star break and getting scratched from his scheduled start for Kansas City on Sunday while he was warming up in the bullpen when his trade was announced.
Canha would go yard again in the sixth off Milone (1-4) to give the A’s a 4-2 lead. It was his first career multi-home run game, and gave him 13 homers and 28 RBI’s in his career against the Mariners, his most against any team. Four batters later, Chad Pinder’s three run blast broke the game open and added to Milone’s misery before the inning was over.
After closing the top of the eighth with yet another Gold Glove inducing catch to rob a home run from Seattle’s Tim Beckham, Ramon Laureano led off the bottom of the inning with his 19th homer of the year to deep left centerfield. After Khris Davis walked, Profar blasted his second homer of the game to finish with four RBI’s and enable Oakland to tie their season high with six long balls on the day .
With their sixth straight win and 19th in their last 24 games, the A’s moved within four games of the first place Astros in the AL West pending Houston’s game in Anaheim tonight against the Angels. It was also their sixth straight series win as they moved to a season-high 14 games (55-41) over .500 and within a game of Tampa Bay for the AL’s top Wild Card spot.
The A’s streaks, and mettle,, will now be tested as they hit the road for a seven game road trip against a pair of division leaders. Immediately after the game they flew to Minneapolis where they’ll open a four game series tomorrow night against the Minnesota Twins. Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.61) is scheduled to face off against Kyle Gibson (8-4, 4.03) in the opener. After that, it’s on to Houston for three games against the Astros.
The A’s are 36-16 since May 16 after starting the season 19-25. The last time the A’s lost a series was against the Astros during the first weekend of June.
Oakland has now homered in 17 straight games and has 37 homers during that stretch. Their record for most consecutive games with a home run is 23 in 1996.
Liam Hendriks hasn’t allowed a run in his last 17 appearances dating back to June 6 and has struck out 30 batters in his last 18 innings pitched.
Over the last calendar year (July 14, 2018 to date), Matt Chapman leads the American League with 93 extra base hits, well ahead of Xander Bogaerts who is second with 81. Only Christian Yelich of Milwaukee (104) has more among all Major Leaguers.
There has been at least one home run in all 99 of the Mariners games this season, the longest single-season streak in MLB history.