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Olson obliterates 100th career homer

Milestone shot not enough as A's settle for twin-bill split
@MartinJGallegos
September 9, 2020

In an organization with a history of developing some of the game’s most prolific sluggers, Matt Olson etched his name among the elite power hitters who have come through Oakland. On Tuesday night in the A's 5-4 loss to the Astros in the second game of a doubleheader at the

In an organization with a history of developing some of the game’s most prolific sluggers, Matt Olson etched his name among the elite power hitters who have come through Oakland.

On Tuesday night in the A's 5-4 loss to the Astros in the second game of a doubleheader at the Coliseum, Olson blasted career homer No. 100 -- a three-run shot off Chase De Jong in the third -- into the second deck in right field to give Oakland a 4-0 lead.

Box score

The milestone home run was truly a mammoth shot, smashed 112.5 mph off the bat and projected by Statcast to travel 418 feet. It was Olson’s team-leading 11th home run of the season.

Playing in his 399th career game, Olson reached the 100-homer mark in the second-fewest games in franchise history, putting him between the Bash Brothers. Mark McGwire reached 100 homers in 393 games, while Jose Canseco previously held the record for second-fewest games to 100 at 450 games.

“That’s a nice feather in his cap,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Hitting 100 home runs is a lot, and he did it quickly after he was up and down for a while before finally solidifying himself. Now he’s won two Gold Gloves and is one of the premier power hitters in the league. I’m guessing that won’t be his last [milestone].”

Olson also became the 11th Major Leaguer to reach 100 career home runs in fewer than 400 games.

“I knew about it and kind of forgot after the moment,” Olson said. “I was more worried about putting together good at-bats tonight. But it was cool. I got in the clubhouse and Chappy said something about it. Cool moment.”

Olson’s three-run blast had the A’s in good position to sweep the twin bill after winning the opener, 4-2. But a rare off-night from the bullpen led to the A's having to settle for a split and a 4 1/2-game lead over second-place Houston in the American League West.

Though Mike Minor, who made his first start with the A’s, was charged with four earned runs, three of those runs scored after Yusmeiro Petit took over with a 4-1 lead and the bases loaded with one out in the fourth. The Astros proceeded to tie the game against an unusually wild Petit, who allowed the next two runs to score on walks before George Springer tied the game with an infield single.

Entering the night, Petit had walked only three batters in 16 innings this season and a total of 10 in 83 innings last season.

“You’re not going to be perfect all the time,” Melvin said. “He’s been so good in that role so many times for us over the years that every now and then you’re not going to get it done. That was just the case today.”

Houston’s go-ahead run came in the seventh on Yuli Gurriel’s sacrifice fly against J.B. Wendelken. That run was set up after Springer reached on an error and Myles Straw reached on an infield single, leading to a walk by Michael Brantley that loaded the bases.

“We just didn’t get it done. We had a lead and couldn’t hold it, which is unlike our bullpen,” Melvin said. “In a seven-inning game, we felt good about where we were but didn’t do enough offensively after we gave up some runs to tie it.”

Martin Gallegos covers the A's for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MartinJGallegos.