A's get big boost from order's final third

April 9th, 2019

BALTIMORE -- The bottom of the A’s lineup tried to push the team to victory on Monday night, but they couldn’t quite manage it.

Still, Oakland's bottom three hitters -- , and -- combined for three hits, three runs, three RBI and two homers. But it wasn’t enough as the Orioles prevailed in a 12-4 victory in Baltimore.

No. 9 hitter Phegley belted a two-run homer in the third, and No. 8 batter Canha hit a solo shot two innings later for three of Oakland’s four runs.

Then, in the sixth, No. 7 batter Profar pitched in. He came into the game batting .106 and snapped an 0-for-16 skid with a single in that inning. Profar stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error, which allowed a run to score that cut the Orioles’ lead to 6-4.

“We came from Houston where we played a couple of good games,” Profar said. “That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re just trying to keep grinding until we get better. That’s what we need to keep doing every day.”

All three batters finished 1-for-3 with Phegley knocking in two runs and Canha driving in one. The latter scored twice while the former scored once.

“We believe [batters] one through nine can contribute on this club,” Phegley said. “So we try to do that every night. Any given night, someone’s going to put up some numbers for us, and it’s just happened to be the bottom of the order tonight.” 

That boost from the bottom of the lineup gave Oakland some help as the A’s finished with 11 hits but still lost their fourth straight game. Offense and playing on the road have been issues for the team so far this season. The A’s now have just a .237 team average through 14 games, losing all four on the road. 

Oakland manager Bob Melvin didn’t seem too worried about being 0-4 away from home so far this season. 

“I don’t think these guys worry about playing on the road too much,” Melvin said. “These guys aren’t afraid to play on the road.” 

The A’s are hopeful that the offense can keep going the way it’s been the past two games. Oakland scored eight runs Sunday, but the Astros won on a walk-off walk, 9-8. 

Monday, the A’s created several scoring chances but could not come through when it mattered most, finishing 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Still, they hit the ball well, especially that final third of the order. 

Phegley now has a five-game hitting streak and is batting .438 during that stretch. Profar has been struggling at the plate (currently sporting a .120 average), but had a single and helped create that run-scoring opportunity with his steal. 

Phegley said that the A’s are just going to look at the second game of this series as a new day and try again. 

“I think we’ll come out swinging the bats tomorrow,” Phegley said.