MILWAUKEE — Chris Carter plies his trade in the National League now, so he won’t be seeing the A’s too often.
He still knows how to put the hurt on his old team though.
With two swings of his bat Tuesday, Carter single-handedly spoiled Sean Manaea’s night in the A’s 5-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. He hit a two-run homer in the second, then took Manaea deep for a three-run shot in the sixth to account for all the damage off the rookie left-hander.
That was enough on a night the A’s were without Khris Davis and Danny Valencia, but just barely. Oakland scored twice in the ninth off Jeremy Jeffress and had the tying run at third base with one out. But Jeffress struck out Marcus Semien and retired Chris Coghlan on a deep fly to left to send the A’s to their fourth consecutive loss.
Brewers right-hander Zach Davies took a no-hitter in the seventh, his bid for history dashed when Billy Butler launched a two-run homer with two outs in the seventh to bring Oakland within 5-2.
The A’s mustered just two hits through eight innings, and advanced a runner past first base only in the seventh and ninth. The 23-year-old Davies (4-3) struck out five and walked three over seven innings.
Carter, a one-time stud A’s prospect who played with Oakland from 2010-12 before, has 12 homers in 51 games total against the A’s, though Tuesday marked his first multi-homer game against them.
Starting pitching report:
Manaea (2-4) had been avoiding the long ball, allowing just one homer over his previous four starts entering Tuesday. He was also coming off a stellar start against the Twins, when he allowed just one run over six innings and struck out a career-high eight.
But after he issued a leadoff walk to Jonathan Lucroy in the second, Carter mashed a first-pitch fastball over the wall in straightaway center. It was still 2-0 in the sixth, when Manaea jumped ahead of Carter 0-2 with two runners aboard. He tried to go high and outside to Carter, but the 6-foot-4 slugger extended his arms and launched another deep shot to center, this one a three-run jack that made it 5-0.
Manaea stuck around to complete seven innings, his first time in eight career starts pitching that deep. He gave up six hits, struck out six and walked two.
Fernando Rodriguez fired a 1-2-3 eighth, striking out two in relief of Manaea.
At the plate:
Minus Davis, out with a hand injury, and Valencia, who was sick, the A’s batting order hardly looked imposing. They pieced together a big threat in the ninth though. Billy Burns singled, Jed Lowrie doubled and then two run-scoring grounders made it 5-4. Brewers shortstop Jonathan Villar made a throwing error on that second grounder from Billy Butler, and the A’s had the tying run aboard with one out. Yonder Alonso’s bloop single moved the tying run 90 feet from home plate, but neither Semien nor Coghlan could get the job done.
In the field:
Villar’s throwing error left the door cracked open for the A’s in the ninth, and he had time to gather himself and make an accurate throw because Butler was not burning down the base line.
Other than that error, the Brewers’ defense did well to aid Davies’ bid for the no-hitter much of the night. Carter snared Coghlan’s liner in the sixth and center fielder Ramon Flores made a diving catch of Billy Burns’ shallow fly in the seventh. Manaea helped himself with a nice play to get the runner at home on Davies’ squeeze play attempt.