A’s Salvage Series Finale With Shutout Of Rangers
Coming into the 2022 Major League Baseball season back on April 8th, would you have believed me if I told you that the Oakland Athletics will be above the .500 mark 17 games into the season?
Although the A’s sold in massive fashion during the offseason, they have been a surprise team thus far, improving to 9-8 on the year following Sunday’s 2-0 shutout win over the Texas Rangers at Oakland Coliseum.
Cole Irvin picked up his second win of the season while tossing five innings of one-hit ball while striking out four batters on 87 pitches.
“I found some confidence in my slider grip and I figured out what I was doing to throw it more consistently,” Irvin said postgame Sunday. “The cutter was moving like a slider, but it was fun to throw, keep guys off balance. Fastball command was big, too. I’m still learning how to pitch a little bit more at this level.”
The rest of the A’s bullpen held it down late as Dany Jiménez locked down the ninth inning to secure his third save of the season.
Stephen Piscotty drilled his first home run of the season during the fourth inning off of Rangers right-hander Spencer Howard, a two-run shot that went well over the auxiliary scoreboard in left field.
The 31-year-old Pleasanton native is enjoying a strong start to the season following tough campaigns in 2020 and 2021. Over seven appearances this year, Piscotty is batting .286 with a .400 on-base percentage and impressive .476 slugging percentage.
Sure, it’s a limited sample size for Piscotty–but a depleted A’s lineup that no longer possesses the firepower of Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, and Mark Canha is in need of some new key contributors.
Speaking of key contributors, third baseman Sheldon Neuse improved his batting average to a team-high .313 after picking up a base hit on Sunday. The 27-year-old utility-man is tied for the 16th-highest batting average in the American League.
Next up for the A’s
The Bay Bridge series has arrived.
Oakland will travel across the bay to Oracle Park for a two-game set with the San Francisco Giants that will begin on Tuesday evening.
For the first time this year, the A’s will enjoy an off-day on Monday following 17-straight games to open up the season.
In 2021, the Giants took four of six total games against the A’s, with the most-recent series taking place in August where San Francisco took two-of-three at the Coliseum.
You can find all of your Bay Bridge Series coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK on Tuesday and Wednesday, with A’s pregame beginning at 6:00 pm PST following The Nick Cattles Show.