The Oakland Athletics played and lost another baseball game on Saturday, the second in a row to the visiting Minnesota Twins by a 10-7 final score, and the sixth consecutive matchup sandwiching the All-Star break.
On a positive note, the A's are still on pace to finish the season with 119 losses, not reaching the dreadful 120-figure put up by the New York Mets decades ago. A win is a win, folks. Not a massive win, mind you, as they'd match the second-worst loss record ever in the 2003 Detroit Tigers' one, but still.
Even in defeat, the A's showed some willingness and effort on the first day of the weekend. After falling down 6-0 through the first three innings, the A's started to mount a comeback that brought them closer in the scoreboard cutting the Twins lead to 6-4 by the end of the fourth frame.
The Athletics would surrender another run in the fifth inning, but they would answer immediately with two more, followed by another one in the sixth to make it all a 7-7 tie entering the final three innings of the game.
Austin Pruitt opened the game for Hogan Harris but he struggled mightily on the role and lasted a single inning. He retired three batters but he needed 21 pitches while allowing two runs on two hits and walking against just two strikeouts.
Harris, who entered the game at the start of the second inning, would pitch four innings in which he was massively tagged allowing five runs on six hits while walking three batters and striking out five. It was a mediocre-at-best type of collective performance by the pitchers of the A's, yes.
Although the comeback fell a bit short, the A's had a few reasons to celebrate. First of all, the day started with Ramon Laureano (still injured and out of the squad) celebrating his birthday.
Great news kept coming as the Athletics by way of Mark Kotsay announced a lineup that included Tyler Soderstrom starting behind the plate as the catcher of the A's, and Zack Gelof repeating on second base. They batted back-to-back in the sixth and seventh slots.
Gelof found paydirt for the second game in as many times in the MLB bagging a triple, while Soderstrom hung a couple of tokens in his personal Hits column going 2-for-4 on the day against the Twins.
Gelof's triple wasn't the prettiest, but it's not that you get this thing for free in the MLB anyway. Soderstrom's first hit even was even uglier, but what can we do about it?
Tony Kemp stayed hot and scored one runner with a single RBI in the fifth, only for Nick Allen to follow with another run thanks to a wild pitch thrown by Twins' pitcher Pablo Lopez. Allen would then be the main man in the sixth inning as he sacrificed with a fly ball to center to bring Zack Gelof home and tie the score.
This being the A's, you kinda knew what was coming.
Freddy Tarnok, who got promoted to the majors along with Soderstrom and Gelof, pitched a clean sixth inning but he just couldn't make it unscathed past the seventh frame as Kyle Farmer homered off the rookie's 26th pitch on the day putting Minny in front and sealing the win for the visitors.
Tarnok surrendered more than a few walks in the eighth leading to the Twins watching their lead grow to 9-7 before Sam Moll got the call to replace the struggling Tarnok. Trevor May would enter the game in the ninth to try and keep Minny at bay and prevent the lead to go higher, something he just couldn't do with the Twins putting up their 10th run on a sac-bunt.
The Athletics will play one final time against the Twins on Sunday afternoon trying to get their first win in seven attempts while looking for avoiding a sweep at the hands of Minny.