OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – On a day when they made a trade to strengthen the back of their bullpen, the Oakland Athletics overcame their All-Star closer’s fourth blown save and kept their late-inning magic going.
In front of the largest crowd to watch a baseball game at the Coliseum, no less.
Jonathan Lucroy singled home Matt Chapman in the 11th inning to give the A’s a 4-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.
“It looked like we were trying to give it to them a couple of times . so it was a very rewarding win,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “Lucroy was supposed to get a day off, and he’s the guy who ends up getting the hit.”
Hours after acquiring reliever Jeurys Familia from the New York Mets, the A’s improved to a major league-best 22-7 since June 16 with their third win in five games against their Northern California rivals.
The game between Bay Area foes drew 56,310 fans – the biggest crowd in the majors this season – as the Athletics celebrated their 1989 World Series championship with a pregame reunion that featured former stars such as Rickey Henderson, Dennis Eckersley and Jose Canseco.
Oakland squandered a 3-2 lead in the ninth and wasted a bases-loaded opportunity in the bottom of the inning before winning on Lucroy’s second walk-off hit this season.
Will Smith (0-1) retired the first two A’s batters in the 11th before Chapman and Chad Pinder hit consecutive two-out singles. Lucroy, who entered as a defensive replacement in the 10th, lined a 1-2 pitch into left-center to score Chapman easily.
“It’s fun being on the field for that,” Lucroy said. “Any time you get that energy from the crowd it really is a special time. I wish we could do that every night here because it’s a lot of fun.”
Chapman finished with three hits and Yusmeiro Petit (5-2) got three outs for the win.
The Giants tied the score in the ninth when Alen Hanson reached on a wild pitch after striking out against All-Star closer Blake Treinen and scored on Hunter Pence’s double that rolled into San Francisco’s bullpen down the right-field line.
Melvin asked for clarification for possible interference after replays showed right fielder Stephen Piscotty running into a chair held by Giants reliever Mark Melancon. After a short review, the call on the field was confirmed.
“It’s always been a little sketchy down there with the chairs being moved and guys sitting outside of that area,” Melvin said. “I was looking for some sort of interference and the rule is unless it was intentional, you play it.”
Brandon Belt hit his 14th home run for San Francisco.
“What a comeback there in the ninth,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “But they found a way to win the game. Two outs with nobody on and they get a couple of ground balls to get through, then they get the big hit.”
Oakland led early after taking advantage of a historically wild night by Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.
The left-hander lasted four innings – his shortest stint in more than three years – and struggled with his command while issuing a career-high six walks. Four came in the fifth inning when Bumgarner failed to record an out, two with the bases loaded.
“I lost the feel in the fifth,” he said. “Just couldn’t throw strikes.”
It was the first time in his career that Bumgarner walked in two runs and it ended a streak of 89 games in which he had gone five innings or more, which had been the longest active run in the majors.
Giants: San Francisco closer Hunter Strickland (broken hand) played catch before the game. … Ryder Jones, who homered on Friday, was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.
Athletics: Opening day starter Kendall Graveman had a setback and is seeking a second opinion on his troublesome pitching elbow. … OF Matt Joyce (lumbar strain) will begin baseball-related activities Monday in Arizona.
Oakland LHP Sean Manaea (9-6, 3.42 ERA) pitches the series finale Sunday and is seeking his fifth consecutive win since the beginning of June. RHP Johnny Cueto (3-1, 2.36), winless in two starts since coming off the disabled list, takes the mound for San Francisco.
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