A’s stumble once more, blowing 4-run lead
Every time it looks like the Oakland A’s are picking up some positive momentum, they hit a snag, and it happened again Saturday.
The A’s were well on their way to a fourth straight victory at the Coliseum, with a four-run lead entering the 8th inning, but the bullpen faltered again and let it slip away for an 8-6 loss to the Texas Rangers. That’s their eighth blown save in the past three weeks.
Oakland had everything else they needed to win today. Their offense stayed hot, piling up a half-dozen runs in the first four innings including three homers to take a commanding early lead. Their rotation tossed another seven-inning gem, this time from a pitcher who had struggled his previous few times out. And they had their two hottest late-inning relievers available to cover the final two frames.
But then, as it has so often this season, it went wrong. With a 6-2 lead in the 8th inning, Sergio Romo took setup duties. But a single and a homer made it 6-4, and a walk and a double made it 6-5.
That brought in Andrew Chafin to escape the jam. His first batter was Jonah Heim, the former A’s prospect who was traded to Texas last winter, and Heim blasted a hanging slider for a go-ahead two-run homer to make it 7-6. The Rangers added one more in the 9th on a solo homer.
Frustrating. Another winnable game lost, and in particular another blown save. In the past 19 games they’ve blown it eight times, in seven different games (twice in one game), and it’s resulted in six losses (once they still won in the end). Six different pitchers have been the culprit at least once, leaving nobody to fully trust.
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