The Oakland Athletics’ winning streak continued with a blowout on Wednesday night that culminated with a position player pitching for the Padres before the 16-2 game finally ended. Jesse Chavez pitched seven strong innings, allowing just one run on three hits and a walk, with 11 strikeouts. Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne lasted six innings, but gave up six runs on a walk and six hits, and only struck out two.
The A’s had the game in hand from the first inning. Billy Burns doubled to start the inning, and Marcus Semien singled. With one out, Ben Zobrist hit an RBI single to right field, and Billy Butler homered to make it 4-0 in favor of the A’s. Zobrist also tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly off of the bat of Stephen Vogt in the third inning.
A home run by Alexi Amarista made it 5-1 in the sixth inning, but the A’s tacked on even more runs in the seventh inning. Mark Canha singled, Eric Sogard walked, and then Burns singled to load the bases. One run scored on a sacrifice fly by Semien, before Zobrist doubled to drive home two more. Vogt increased the lead to 9-1 with an RBI single of his own.
The Padres scored again in the eighth, this time on a Will Middlebrooks solo home run, but San Diego’s pitching fell apart in the bottom half of the inning. A pair of hits by Sogard and Burns combined with a walk by Semien to load the bases. The hits kept coming – Josh Reddick, Sam Fuld, Brett Lawrie, Canha and Sogard all picked up RBIs before the Padres caved and sent Amarista, the shorstop, to the mound. He got Burns to fly out to right field to end the inning, but it was already 16-2 in favor of Oakland.
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The Athletics scored 16 runs on 20 hits, which is really all one can ask for in a game. Burns and Zobrist were each 3-for-4, and Lawrie, Canha and Sogard each had a pair of hits. Even Butler went 4-for-5, in a rare good game. All of the offense overshadowed Chavez’s stellar outing, which included 11 strikeouts.
Fernando Abad gave up a home run in his appearances, but with the lead the Athletics had, it hardly mattered.
– On Thursday, the Padres and A’s will finish their series in Oakland. Ian Kennedy, who is 3-5 with a 5.84 ERA, will take on Kendall Graveman. Graveman is 3-3 with a 4.22 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 49 innings. Kennedy has struck out 55 in 57 innings.
– In his last two starts, Graveman has given up just two runs in 15 innings, lowering his ERA from 5.56 to 4.22.