Friday, June 24, 2016

Semien's shot helps A's pay back Lincecum

 Marcus Semien hit a three-run homer in a four-run second as the A's spoiledTim Lincecum's Angel Stadium debut, knocking the righty out after three innings en route to a 5-4 win on Thursday night.
Oakland added another run in the fifth on Khris Davis' 17th homer of the season, which proved to be the difference when Jett Bandy's two-run homer off Sean Doolittle made it a one-run game in the ninth.
"We were patient. We didn't come out as aggressive as we did the other day, and we made him work," A's catcher Stephen Vogt said of the team's approach against Lincecum. "I think that was more of what we did, just had a good approach, and obviously Semien getting the big homer and [Davis] tacking on the homer at the end, those are huge runs."
Doolittle recovered to record his fourth save of the season and secured the win for Kendall Graveman (3-6). Graveman battled trouble, scattering eight hits and allowing two runs in 6 2/3 innings. It was the righty's second consecutive quality start, with both coming against the Angels.
The Angels' loss was their fourth in a row and dropped them to a season-high 11 games under .500, 31-42.
Early offense: The A's collected six hits and scored four runs in the second inning off Lincecum. Semien delivered the big hit, a three-run shot to left after consecutive singles byJed Lowrie and Yonder Alonso opened the frame. Oakland entered Thursday averaging two runs per game over its last 12 games.
Not so Freaky: Lincecum's home debut did not go as planned, as he struggled with command throughout the night. After getting into three three-ball counts in the first, the right-hander allowed six of the first seven A's hitters to reach base in the second. He needed 83 pitches to get through his three innings. 
"My shoulders were going horizontally, and my stuff was flattening out," Lincecum said of his mechanics. "I was pitching on both sides of the plate and missing on either side. I didn't do a good job of hitting my spot." More >
Do it for dad: Davis crushed a solo homer to center off Deolis Guerra with one out in the fifth, surely pleasing his father, Rodney, who was in attendance. The ball left Davis' bat at 106 mph and was projected by Statcast™ to travel 412 feet. Rodney Davis is the senior manager of Major League Baseball's Urban Youth Academy in Compton. It was the first time he saw his son play in person this year.
"Just spending time with my son, getting a chance to spend time with him is a great blessing," Rodney Davis said. "I love it like that. It's great to see him play, but just to be around him and connect and hear from him and talk to him, that's what's special about it for me." More >
Almost, but not quite: After falling behind, 4-0, the Angels battled back in the fourth inning. They got on the scoreboard on Johnny Giavotella's RBI single and added a second run a sacrifice fly from Bandy. They had the tying run on second base for Andrelton Simmons, who took Graveman deep to center field, but Coco Crisp had enough room to track it down for the third out of the inning.
"I didn't notice that, but you know it's something that's special. We'll start rolling some wins together with the starters." -- Graveman, on earning the A's first win by a starting pitcher since June 1
 "Here's what the players know: The players know that we have a game tomorrow. The players aren't dwelling over where we've been. They know the process. They understand that we need to play better baseball if they want the results to be where you want them to be." -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia, on his team being a season-high 11 games under .500
Graveman earned the win, snapping a 17-game streak for the A's without a win from a starting pitcher. It was one game shy of tying the Oakland franchise record, which was set over 18 games from July 24-Aug. 12, 1997.
A's: Eric Surkamp gets the call for the A's on Friday to make his second straight outing against the Angels. The left-hander took the loss on Sunday in Oakland, striking out five over six innings and allowing two runs on six hits. Surkamp is 0-5 in eight starts this season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT.
Angels: Jered Weaver takes the mound against the A's on Friday looking to replicate his best start of the season his last time out. He threw a shutout on fewer than 100 pitches on Sunday in Oakland despite striking out only one batter.

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