Programming note: Angels-A's coverage starts Friday at 6:30 p.m. with A's Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
OAKLAND – When it comes to base runners, it seems the more the merrier for A’s reliever Fernando Abad when he enters a game.
The lefty entered a bases-loaded situation Wednesday against the Mets and coaxed Matt den Dekker into an inning-ending fly out. He worked two scoreless innings that bridged the sixth and eighth innings and provided a bright spot for the A’s in an 8-5 defeat.
Abad has stranded all 26 of his inherited runners, the most inherited runners stranded in the majors this season without allowing one to score.
“He seems to be doing really well when we bring him in when there’s some traffic out there,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He ends up throwing 22 pitches for us and goes two innings. As early as we went to the bullpen, we needed him to do that. It just seems he turns it up a notch when there are runners on base.”
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Since at least 1974, just one reliever has gone a full season stranding more than 20 inherited runners without allowing one to score. That was Randy Myers, who stranded 22 in 1998.
Third baseman Josh Donaldson wasn’t in the lineup, but he pinch-hit in the seventh and came up hobbling a bit after legging out an infield single. He stayed in the game to play third base and grounded out to short in the eighth. He seemed to be moving decently down the line on that at-bat.
Melvin has mentioned in the past that Donaldson has played through some leg issues and other ailments, but he didn’t get specific after Wednesday’s game.
“He plays with some things, little aggravations,” Melvin said. “Coming into a game like he did today, maybe he was a little stiffer than normal, but it wasn’t an issue after that.”