The A’s found an answer to the Miami Marlins’ huge sixth inning Friday night.
They pulled off a huge inning of their own.
After tying the game in the eighth, they scored four times in the top of the ninth and notched a 9-5 victory at Marlins Park to take the opener of this three-game series.
They overcame what could have been a knockout punch from the home team, as Miami put up five runs in the sixth off Jesse Chavez and Dan Otero to erase a 4-0 deficit.
The A’s knotted the game 5-5 in the eighth as Marcell Ozuna gamble couldn’t make a diving catch on Josh Reddick’s sinking liner with two outs. It went for an RBI triple that scored Stephen Vogt from first.
Then the A’s unloaded in the ninth, but only with help from a critical replay overturn. Coco Crisp attempted to score from second on Yoenis Cespedes’ single to shallow right field. Crisp initially was called out on Giancarlo Stanton’s throw home, but after a replay review of 3 ½ minutes, the call was overturned and the A’s led 6-5.
From there, Josh Donaldson added a sacrifice fly, Stephen Vogt singled home a run as did Reddick, and the A’s made it a drama-free bottom of the ninth.
Not only did Cespedes deliver the go-ahead single in front of family sitting in the stands, he made another highlight throw to the plate, delivering a strike on the fly to nail Stanton, who tried scoring on Garrett Jones’ single to left.
Starting pitching report
Chavez sailed through five innings, but the end to his night came swiftly. Equipped with a 4-0 lead as he started the sixth, he gave up four consecutive singles that cut the lead to 4-2. That was it for Chavez, who gave up only two hits through the first five innings.
He wound up charged with four runs on six hits, as Dan Otero came on and gave up two more hits that contributed to three runs and a 5-4 Marlins lead.
Ryan Cook, Luke Gregerson and Sean Doolittle kept Miami off the board over the final three innings after the chaotic sixth inning.
At the plate
There were some good signs in this department for the A’s. Struggling Jed Lowrie singled in his first two at-bats, including a two-out RBI single in the first. Reddick enjoyed a three-hit night and drove in two. Donaldson had three RBI.
In the field
Cespedes’ on-the-money throw in the third gave him his 10th assist of the season, most among major league outfielders.
The A’s scored a run in the fourth to make it 3-0, and they didn’t get more due in part to a great play from Marlins shortstop Donovan Solano. He made a great stop of Coco Crisp’s hard grounder up the middle and got a force-out at second. Jed Lowrie scored on the play but Alberto Callaspo lined out to shortstop to end the rally.
After nine days of rest, Sonny Gray (7-3, 2.91) returns to the mound in Saturday’s 1:10 p.m. contest. With two days off last week, the A’s took the opportunity to give their young right-hander extra days off. He’ll oppose Nathan Eovaldi (5-3, 3.52).