OAKLAND -- When Stephen Piscotty saw Padres reliever Craig Stammen intentionally walk Matt Olson ahead of him to load the bases in a tied game in the eighth, he wasn't upset. He knew it might happen, with Olson being a power-hitting lefty and a base open."That's the smart play there,"
OAKLAND -- When Stephen Piscotty saw Padres reliever Craig Stammen intentionally walk Matt Olson ahead of him to load the bases in a tied game in the eighth, he wasn't upset. He knew it might happen, with Olson being a power-hitting lefty and a base open.
"That's the smart play there," he said. "As soon as guys were on second and third, [I knew] they're probably going to put him on, [so I] tried to get locked in earlier."
He locked in, and made the Padres pay, delivering a go-ahead, two-run double to help the A's win 4-2, taking both games of the two-game series at the Coliseum. The A's recorded their eighth win in their last nine games and 14 of the last 17 to improve to a season-high nine games over .500 (48-39).
The eighth-inning hit was Piscotty's third double of the game. It was his first career three-double game.
"You're reacting," he said of the 92-mph fastball he ripped to right. "I saw the ball well. That's the biggest thing. I was confident in the swings I was taking."
Blake Treinen converted his 19th straight save opportunity and his 22nd save of the season as the A's string of late-game magic continued. The A's have scored the winning run in the eighth inning or later in eight of their last 18 wins, and they lead the Majors with 61 runs scored in the eighth. They are 40-0 when leading after eight innings.
Like Tuesday's win over the Padres, the A's rallied from a 2-0 deficit. Manager Bob Melvin said this is a team that doesn't care when they fall behind.
"It kind of feels like the same game," Melvin said. "We get down, and there's an even better feeling. Not that that's ideal and that's where you want to go with it, but we've been pretty resilient, and it doesn't seem to bother us when we get down in a game."
Matt Chapman, who had a stellar defensive game, said the A's have a sense of "quiet confidence" about them.
"I think we're having a lot of fun," Chapman continued, "and no matter what the score is, I don't think we count ourselves out. There's no panic in the dugout. We just keep playing our game. We trust that we're a good team."
The late-game offense overshadowed a strong performance by starter Sean Manaea, who settled on a no-decision. Manaea recorded his fifth straight quality start, giving up two runs and four hits in seven innings and throwing 84 pitches. His only blemish came in the second inning when Christian Villanueva hit a two-run homer just over the yellow line above the left-field scoreboard to give the Padres a 2-0 lead.
But he didn't let the early runs get to him, which Melvin sees as part of the maturation process for the 26-year-old.
"He gives up a quick one, and then seems to come back and get back in the game," Melvin said. "That's him maturing as a pitcher. You gotta put that away and say, 'That's all they're going to get,' and that's what he did."
The A's evened the score with a run in each of the second and third frames. In the second, Piscotty knocked in Olson from first with a double that split the gap in left-center, and Khris Davis tied the game on a single with the bases loaded in the third for his 57th RBI of the season.
While Davis has not homered in his last 17 games, he has a seven-game hit streak and is 10-for-27 during this stretch. His double to left in the eighth was crucial in the game-winning rally.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With a runner on first in the sixth, Chapman scooped up a hard ground ball by Padres right fielder Hunter Renfroe to start an inning-ending double play.
Though he went 0-for-3, Chapman has been his Gold Glove Award-caliber self since returning from the disabled list on Tuesday. Chapman said his teammates don't expect him to come back and start hitting home runs, but he wants to feel like he's contributing, and where he shines is at the hot corner. For his manager, Chapman's defense on Wednesday was the equivalent of driving in three runs.
"It's acrobatic. It's everything," Melvin said. "That's one of the reasons we wanted to get him back as quickly as we could. He didn't get too many at-bats and might be rusty as far as the at-bats go, but the defense is off the charts."
HE SAID IT
"They just try to win today's game. They're resilient in the fact they get behind, they don't care, and they know if we get a lead late in the game, we've got a pretty good bullpen to finish it off, and the numbers would suggest that. There's kind of a way we've been playing games here recently -- get down and come back, turn it over to the bullpen and win -- and it's been a pretty good recipe." -- Melvin, on the A's mindset
The A's have a day off before beginning a 10-game road trip leading up to the All-Star break. They face the Indians on Friday, with Paul Blackburn looking to build off 6 1/3 scoreless innings against Cleveland last Friday in Oakland. Carlos Carrasco (8-5, 4.24 ERA) is expected to come off the DL to start for the Indians. First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m. PT at Progressive Field.
Eric He is a reporter for MLB.com based in Oakland.