The Oakland Athletics became the first team to win a game under Major League Baseball’s new speed-up, extra-innings rules Friday night, getting a grand slam from Matt Olson with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning for a 7-3 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Angels.
The walk-off ending capped a busy night for Joe Maddon, who began his fourth stint as Angels manager — first as the full-time skipper — in a game that ended with the visitors employing a five-man infield after Oakland loaded the bases.
The A’s took advantage of the free inning-opening baserunner by starting Marcus Semien on second base. He was at third while Ramon Laureano, who was hit by a pitch, was at second, and Khris Davis, who had walked, was at first when Maddon brought in left-hander Hoby Milner (0-1) to deliver the game-ending pitch to Olson.
Olson belted Milner’s first pitch, a 77 mph curveball, deep beyond the right field fence.
Under the new rules being used on a trial basis in this shortened season, Shohei Ohtani became MLB’s first “designated runner” when he took second base to start the top of the 10th with the game tied at 3-3. He was immediately erased on a grounder to Olson, the A’s first baseman, who alertly gunned down Ohtani at third.
The Angels went on to load the bases against Oakland’s seventh pitcher, right-hander Burch Smith (1-0), but Andrelton Simmons grounded out to end the threat.
The A’s were two outs away from a 3-2 win before Jason Castro bombed a solo home run to right field off Oakland closer Liam Hendriks in the top of the ninth inning, tying the game.
The A’s had trailed 2-1 when right-hander Ty Buttrey, the fifth Angels pitcher, walked Semien with one out in the eighth. Laureano, who had earlier homered, tied the game with an RBI double to right field, and Matt Chapman followed with a triple, giving Oakland the lead.
Both starting pitchers were effective before leaving a 1-1 tie.
Oakland right-hander Frankie Montas gave up one run and three hits in four innings. He walked three and struck out five.
Two of the walks came back to bite him in the fourth, when Albert Pujols and Castro drew consecutive free passes with one out. Pujols eventually came around on Brian Goodwin’s two-out single that opened the scoring.
The A’s drew even on Laureano’s one-out solo home run in the bottom of the fourth. The 441-foot blast into the left field bleachers came after left-hander Andrew Heaney had retired the first 10 Oakland batters in order.
Heaney was pulled two outs into the fifth inning, having given up just the one run and two hits. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.
–Field Level Media