The Oakland A’s won their first game of 2021 Wednesday afternoon and, of course, it had to come in extra-inning, walk-off fashion. DH Mitch Moreland drove in Mark Canha in the 10th on a line drive single to give the A’s a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers outhit the A’s 8-5 but the A’s (1-6) earned the win against the World Series Champions to put an end to their six-game, season-opening losing streak.
Jesús Luzardo started the first inning with back-to-back walks before getting the first two outs on back-to-back strikeouts. A.J Pollock hit a two-out RBI single up the middle to give the Dodgers (5-2) a 1-0 lead. Luzardo kept the Dodgers scoreless after the first until he was relieved in the sixth when the Dodgers scored their second run. Luzardo threw 5 1/3 innings and allowed two runs off five hits. He struck out six and walked four batters.
The Dodgers got back on the board when Luzardo fell into early trouble in the sixth. He gave up a one-out walk before Barnes singled to put runners on first and second. LHP Adam Kolarek relieved Luzardo before Zach McKinstry bunted to beat the right-side shift with two outs. Matt Chapman, playing where the shortstop normally would, grounded the ball and tagged out Austin Barnes at third. But Max Muncy scored before the tag, and the Dodgers took back a lead 2-1.
The A’s called up outfielder Seth Brown on Tuesday and he made his first start of 2021 on Wednesday. Brown can be a game changer and fans got to see it as early as his first plate appearance. He not only had the first hit of the game off 2020 NL Cy Young Trevor Bauer, but he later robbed a Dodgers run when he snagged with a leap against the left-field wall what would have been an Austin Barnes solo homer. Luzardo tipped his cap to Brown and kept the A’s down just one run in the fourth.
Ramon Laureano lead off the fourth and was hit by a 76-mph slider and scored on a wild pitch. Laureano stole second on Mitch Moreland‘s third-strike pitch. Chapman popped out to shallow left for the second out which made it impossible for Luarenao to tag up to third so, with two outs, Laureano stole third and scored on a wild pitch. Laureano alone tied the game 1-1 in the fourth and capitalized on two rare Bauer mistakes that cost him a run.
The A’s missed out on another home run that was foul by a foot or two, and it came from Brown, who had robbed a home run the inning prior. Bauer led off the seventh again with another hit batter, this time Canha took a 81-mph cutter to the arm before being left stranded.
Sergio Romo somehow escaped the seventh inning only allowing one earned run. He had to face top of the order in Chris Taylor and hit him with a 74-mph slider. He gave up a single to Seager before Justin Turner hit an RBI double to make it 3-1 with no outs. He had a strikeout, intentional walk, hit batter, two hits and one earned run in the seventh. Kolarek threw 2/3 of an inning, all zeros. Jake Diekman pitched a perfect eighth inning.
Bauer gave up his third homer of the year to Matt Chapman (1) who led off the seventh with a 426-foot bomb to left to make it 3-2. It came on Bauer’s 94th pitch of the day and his 105th pitch of the game was a single to Stephen Piscotty. Bauer was relieved by Corey Knebel with two outs, both on strikeouts. Sean Murphy pinch hit for Aramis Garcia, who started behind the plate Wednesday and was 0-for-2. Murphy walked and Tony Kemp pinch ran for Piscotty on second. Canha worked a full count but after fouling off two balls back-to-back, on the eighth pitch of the at-bat he struck out looking to end the inning.
Chapman lead off the ninth inning with a single before Brown walked to put runners on first and second with no outs. Brown bunted to advance the runners for the first out before an Elvis Andrus line drive tied it at 3-3.
Canha made the last out in the ninth and started on second in the tenth, but it didn’t matter. Jed Lowrie walked on nine pitches to lead off before Moreland made contact deep enough for the ball to go way over the outfielders’ heads, playing in and knowing regardless it’s going to score a run whether playing in or out. The ball rolled to the wall and the A’s dugout cleared and for the first time in seven home games, “Celebration” was blasted as Moreland got Gatorade dumped on him after the game.
The A’s are now 7-1 in extra-inning games where a runner starts on second base.