A's lose 5-4 to Twins: Promising developments, bad outcomes

Zack Gelof, Oakland Athletics
Zack Gelof, Oakland Athletics / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Oakland Athletics returned from the All-Star break in the worst possible way, losing to the Minnesota Twins 5-4 and falling short of pulling off a late comeback.

Friday's marked the fifth consecutive loss by the A's spanning before and after the break, and coming off a series sweep at Boston right before the All-Star festivities and the MLB draft took place during the past few days.

That said, the A's showed some promising signs for what might be ahead of the ballclub with the promotion of no. 1 and no. 3 prospects to the main roster ahead of Friday's game.

The best prospect in the Athletics' farm system, Tyler Soderstrom, and the third-best prospect Zack Gelofg, both went all the way from Las Vegas Aviators straight into the A's starting lineup to face the Twins manning the DH slot and the second-base position respectively.

And even better, both kids reached base on their first major league game. Soderstrom did it by way of walking to first, while Gelof was just a few inches close to hitting a homer to kick his MLB career off falling a bit short of the required distance but still bagging an RBI by way of hitting a double in the bottom of the third to tie the game.

Another rookie, Ken Waldichuk, started on the mound for Oakland but he could do nothing to prevent Minny from taking an early lead before calling it a day midway through the fourth frame.

Waldichuk was the first of seven pitchers used by the A's on Friday's matchup and he went on to throw 3.2 innings in which he allowed three runs on three hits and two walks to go with five strikeouts.

Lucas Erceg and Shintaro Fujinami were the only other two pitchers used in relief that pitched for more than a full inning, both retiring five batters each with Erceg putting together a fantastic no-runs-allowed, one-walk, four-strikeout 1.2 innings and Fujinami giving up two runs on two hits while K'ing three.

Nick Allen was the only A's player that avoided striking out (min. 3 AB) while four Athletics walked at least once each, led by JJ Bleday and Seth Brown with a couple of free bases each.

The A's lost another one, yes, but they also won big time with the promotions of Gelof and Soderstrom and the bright future both of them are already oozing.

Oakland had a chance of winning yesterday's affair in the ninth, or at least tying it, but JJ Bleday could only hit a single to score Tony Kemp and make it 5-4 with two men out and the very own Bleday reaching first.

Brent Rooker got hit by a pitch next earning a free pass to first and advancing JJ to second. Sadly, Seth Brown grounded out to second baseman Edouard Julien and that was it for the A's as Jhoan Duran got the save bringing the Twins to an even 46-46 record this season and dropping Oakland to a paltry 25-68 tally through 93 games.

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