A’s bounce back from thumping in desert to beat D-backs 4-1
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Manager Bob Melvin always expects resiliency from his Oakland Athletics.
Mark Canha hit a two-run homer, Robbie Grossman got things going with a two-run double in the first to back Jesús Luzardo, and the A’s beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-1 on Wednesday night a day after being thumped in Phoenix.
“It’s good to be back in Oakland,” Grossman said.
Luzardo (2-0) struck out a career-best seven batters over 6 1/3 sharp innings in his third start as the A’s ran their unbeaten run at home to seven games while snapping the D-backs’ six-game winning streak.
“These guys are pretty resilient, they come back typically after a bad game almost every time,” Melvin said.
Luzardo worked through three scoreless innings on just 29 pitches after allowing six runs in 3 1/3 innings against San Francisco his last time out.
Liam Hendriks, Oakland’s third reliever, finished for his eighth save. The A’s improved to 4-4 in interleague play and rebounded as the clubs matched up for a third straight day but in the Bay Area after playing a pair in Arizona.
Starling Marte hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth as Arizona avoided being shut out.
“It just turned into one of those typical Oakland Coliseum games where four runs wins a baseball game,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.
Nick Ahmed had two hits a day after he homered and drove in five runs as the D-backs beat the A’s 10-1 in the desert. Arizona is in a stretch of 17 straight games before its next off day Aug. 31.
Ramon Laureano went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his first home game since serving a four-game suspension for his role in a benches-clearing brawl here with the Houston Astros on Aug. 9.
D-backs starter Merrill Kelly (3-2) struck out seven over five innings but was tagged for four runs on five hits. He had allowed only five runs total over his initial four starts and one run in 12 2/3 innings spanning his previous two outings.
Both clubs were monitoring the smoky conditions given multiple fires surrounding the Bay Area. The air was hazy.
D-backs catcher Stephen Vogt arrived for early batting practice, no matter the smoky skies from nearby fires, and thought back to some of his fondest memories playing in Oakland — like that bases-loaded single the unheralded catcher hit in the ninth inning of a 1-0 victory to beat Justin Verlander and the Tigers in Game 2 of the 2013 AL Division Series.
“Coming back here feels great,” Vogt said of his Bay Area home for five years. “There’s a lot of emotions, a lot of people unfortunately I won’t be able to see this time around because of COVID.”
And of his former manager with the A’s, too.
“Aww, man, Bob Melvin is probably my biggest mentor in this game, someone I look up to the most,” Vogt said. “He was like a father figure when you play for him. He loves you like his own child. Gets the best out of you, knows your personality, knows what makes you tick. I could go on and on. I’ve learned so much about baseball from him, about how to care for players, about how to care for your staff, you name it. Just an A-plus human being and an A-plus-plus manager and baseball person.”
Diamondbacks: Arizona placed LHP Andrew Chafin on the 10-day injured list with a left middle finger sprain. He will have imaging done Thursday in the Bay Area. LHP Matt Grace takes Chafin’s roster spot. ... LHP Madison Bumgarner, on the injured list with a mid-back strain, will throw another bullpen Thursday after he made 46 pitches Monday. “He will once again be evaluated and give us some feedback,” Lovullo said. “One thing that we know and we’re very comfortable with is his ability to give us the right feedback and has a general understanding of how he’s feeling through this whole process.” ... OF/INF Ketel Marte was back in the lineup playing 2B and batting second.
Athletics: LHP A.J. Puk, yet to pitch because of a strained throwing shoulder, will have another bullpen session Friday at the team’s San Jose alternate site then the A’s will determine when he might face live hitting.
The A’s recalled RHP Paul Blackburn from San Jose and optioned RHP James Kaprielian to the alternate site.
LHP Alex Young (1-0, 3.86 ERA) makes his second start and ninth appearance for Arizona. LHP Sean Manaea (0-2, 7.65) tries again for his first victory of 2020 making his sixth start after reaching five innings for the first time all season his last time out vs. San Francisco.
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