Stephen Piscotty slam once again gives A’s extra inning win

Stephen Piscotty continued his late game heroics for the Oakland A’s, powering them to an extra inning victory.

A game with a weird start had to have a weird end, right? Stephen Piscotty made sure of that, with his second ninth inning grand slam that led the A’s to a 8-7 extra inning win on Friday night.

With the “Late Inning A’s” making another appearance in an all-around historic 2020 season, Oakland was able to come back from a five run deficit in the ninth inning, thanks to Piscotty and Matt Olson providing some firepower.

This was the first such late inning comeback for Oakland since July 15, 1952. The Giants hadn’t lost after leading by five or more runs in the ninth inning or latter since June 25, 1929.

The evening began under rough circumstances for the Athletics, with Opening Day starter Frankie Montas scratched due to back tightness, and young phenom Jesus Luzardo took the ball on short notice.

After a few solid outings to begin the season, Luzardo struggled on Friday night. Hunter Pence and Evan Longoria hitting homeruns of off the rookie lefty.

Luzardo only lasted 3.1 innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Luzardo’s opponent, Johnny Cueto, provided a vintage seven inning, one run performance that set the Giants up well for success.

In the historic ninth inning comeback, Giants relievers Tony Watson, Trevor Gott, and Tyler Rogers all allowed runs from the Olson and Piscotty homeruns.

Once again, the A’s bullpen starred and bailed out a rough outing from the starting five. J.B. Wendelken, Lou Trivino, Joakim Soria and Liam Hendriks all provided scoreless outings which allowed the A’s time to complete their comeback.

Oakland again benefited from the extra inning rule which places a runner on second base beginning in the tenth inning.

Third baseman Matt Chapman started the inning on second base and eventually was driven in on a sacrifice fly by Mark Canha.

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Without Ramon Laureano for three more games, the A’s will continue their three game series against San Francisco on Saturday with Sean Manaea looking to rebound from a rough beginning to the 2020 season.