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Five home runs. Back-to-back twice.
The Oakland Athletics put on quite the power display in beating the San Diego Padres 12-4 on Wednesday.
Light-hitting Franklin Barreto got the barrage started when he connected for a 424-foot Youth Frank Ragnow Jersey , three-run home run in the second inning off rookie lefty Joey Lucchesi, who was returning from more than a month on the disabled list. Josh Phegley, Mark Canha, Matt Olson and Jed Lowrie also went deep for Oakland.
”This team’s got a lot of power,” Lowrie said. ”Continue to put quality at-bats together, that’s when this game starts to get fun.”
The A’s hit seven homers in sweeping the two-game series. Stephen Piscotty tied Tuesday night’s game with a homer with two outs in the ninth off Brad Hand and Lowie hit a two-run shot with two outs in the 10th for a 4-2 victory.
”We have it in us, that’s for sure,” manager Bob Melvin said. ”The ball carries a little better in day games here, similar to our place. After last night, other than the last couple of innings, hits were hard to come by. We started out early, led by Frankie, which was good to see.”
Barreto and Phegley went back-to-back with their first homers of the season in the second inning off left-hander Joey Lucchesi (3-3), who had been on the disabled list for more than a month. Barreto, hitting .071 coming in and batting seventh Youth Jaire Alexander Jersey , homered into Oakland’s bullpen well beyond the fence in center field on a full-count pitch. Phegley homered off the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse in the left field corner on a 1-1 pitch. Lucchesi hit Olson with a pitch opening the inning and then walked Piscotty ahead of Barreto’s homer.
Robbie Erlin got the last out of the second before allowing consecutive homers to Canha and Olson in the third. It was Canha’s ninth and Olson’s 15th. Phegley added a sacrifice fly.
Lowrie connected off Phil Hughes in the eighth, his 11th.
Frankie Montas (4-1) benefited from the long balls as he threw 6 2-3 strong innings. He held the Padres to one run and five hits, struck out six and walked three. He allowed Cory Spangenberg’s RBI single in the third.
”It’s always good getting support from the guys, especially early in the game,” he said. ”I just tried to keep myself in the game.”
Montas was the only Oakland player in the starting lineup who didn’t have a hit. Melvin said he wouldn’t have minded if his pitcher went 0 for 4, because that would mean he went deep into the game. He went 0 for 3.
”Honestly, I wanted to hit the ball really bad, but I was not about hitting the ball because the guys were actually doing it for me,” Montas said. ”So I was just going to do my job pitching.”
Lucchesi went just 1 2/3 innings, allowing four runs and three hits.
”The first inning I felt OK and then I guess I felt a little bit off, maybe a little rusty,” said Lucchesi, who hadn’t pitched since May 14 due to a strained right hip. ”I couldn’t get my offspeed to work. I felt like I was doing something weird with my arm. I just didn’t have it.”
Manager Andy Green thought Lucchesi looked sharp in the first. ”His stuff kind of fell off somewhat rapidly today,” Green said. ”This was a tough return for him, but he’s going to bounce back from it and be just fine.”
Trailing 10-1 Youth Josh Jackson Jersey , the Padres had infielder Cory Spangenberg pitch the ninth. He allowed two runs on two hits and two walks in his second appearance of the season.
”You’ve got to preserve bullpen arms,” Green said, adding that it made no sense to use a reliever such as Matt Strahm just to try to hold the game at 10-1. ”So we were to Cory. At that point in time you get what you get and he got us through.”
San Diego’s Christian Villanueva homered in the ninth, his 16th.
Padres: Placed RHP Bryan Mitchell on the 10-day disabled list with an impingement in his right elbow to make room for Lucchesi on the 25-man roster. Mitchell (0-3, 7.08 ERA) hasn’t pitched since June 5. Mitchell has been disappointing since being acquired from the New York Yankees along with third baseman Chase Headley. The Padres wanted Mitchell so badly they were willing to take on Headley’s $13 million salary, but the deal has backfired. Headley was released on May 19 and Mitchell was demoted from the rotation to the bullpen.
Athletics: RHP Chris Bassitt (0-2, 2.45) is scheduled to start Thursday night’s opener of a four-game series at the Chicago White Sox, who counter with RHP Lucas Giolito (4-7, 7.19).
Padres: RHP Tyson Ross (5-4, 3.51) is set to start the opener of a four-game series Thursday night at San Francisco, opposite LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 4.67).
The Chicago Cubs will try to bounce back from their first loss in more than a week when they host the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday afternoon in the second part of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.
A 3-2 loss on Friday afternoon snapped a six-game winning streak for Chicago (49-36), which failed to score five-plus runs for the first time in nine games. The Cubs are 3-7 against the Reds this season.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati (39-49) will try to keep up its recent hot streak. The Reds have won two straight, five of six and 14 of 18 to rewrite the narrative on a miserable start to the season.
Cubs right-hander Tyler Chatwood (3-5 Youth Taven Bryan Jersey , 4.54 ERA) is scheduled to make his 16th start. He does not have a victory in his past eight outings and is seeking his first win since May 11.
Control has been a problem for Chatwood, who leads the big leagues with 66 walks in 73 1/3 innings. He hopes for better results and his first win against Cincinnati, against whom he is 0-4 with a 4.18 ERA in five career starts. He has walked 17 and struck out 17 in 23 2/3 innings against the Reds.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati will counter with right-hander Matt Harvey (4-5, 4.91), who will make his 15th start of the season and his 11th with the Reds. The 29-year-old has found confidence since arriving from the New York Mets, limiting opponents to two runs or fewer in each of his past three outings.
“It’s nice to finally get into a groove, get into a rhythm, know I can get out of jams when I need to and also be able to go deep into games with consistent velocity and good stuff,” Harvey said recently to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “When you start feeling healthy, the confidence comes back, for sure.”
Harvey’s renewed effectiveness could make him a trade candidate for an eager contender.
In five career starts against the Cubs, including three at Wrigley Field, Harvey has posted a 2-1 record with a 4.23 ERA. He has walked eight and whiffed 28 in 27 2/3 innings.
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, who has been on the disabled list since June 23 because of inflammation in his left shoulder Youth Keke Coutee Jersey , is nearing a return as the weekend approaches. He said he felt good after taking swings in the batting cage Friday, which pleased team president Theo Epstein and others.
“The shoulder, it’s an important joint for the swing, and his swing, and the finish he has,” Epstein said to the team’s official website. “I don’t know that we expected it to (take) this long, but it’s certainly very legitimate, and he needs to be able to execute his swing. I’m glad today is a good day, and hopefully we’ll have him back sometime soon.
“He really wants to be out there, but any time you have an injury you feel on your swing, you have to be smart about it. He’s been smart about it. He wants to be out there contributing. The fact that guys have stepped up and won some games makes it a little bit easier.”
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