The A’s put a charge into a fireworks night crowd Saturday, getting a two-run homer from Jake Smolinski and a walk-off shot from rookie Ryon Healy to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3.
It was a stunning turn of events for a team that had mustered just five runs over its previous 39 innings and looked like it would waste a sterling pitching effort from Kendall Graveman.
Smolinski hit the first pitch he saw from Alex Colome for a two-run shot to left to tie it. Two batters later, Healy worked the count to full and launched the game winner to left-center, setting off the A’s second walk-off celebration in as many nights.
Healy scored the winning run in the 13th Friday on Coco Crisp’s single.
Graveman (7-6) turned in the first nine-inning complete game of his career and was rewarded with a well-deserved victory. In the process, he snapped the A’s 149-game streak without a complete game, second longest in franchise history. The A’s mustered just a single run off Rays lefty Drew Smyly in six innings. Smyly came in with a 5.64 ERA and having lost his past seven decisions. He walked with a tough no-decision in this one.
Healy has made a big impact both with his production and his high energy since being promoted and taking over the third base job after the All-Star break. His first major league hit was a three-run homer last Saturday against Toronto and he’s been instrumental in several big rallies since then.
Starting pitching report:
Graveman continues to impress. He scattered nine hits and allowed three runs, with four strikeouts and a walk. He kept his pitch count down all night, generating lots of early contact. The right-hander is 6-0 with a 3.25 ERA over his past 10 starts.
The relief corps got to enjoy a night off.
At the plate:
Smolinski’s two-run game-tying blast was his sixth homer, but his first of the season off a right-hander. The A’s took an early lead in the first on Khris Davis’ RBI single but were held silent after that until the ninth.
In the field:
The Rays broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth, a rally keyed by Oswaldo Arcia’s double to deep center. Coco Crisp looked in position to make the catch but couldn’t haul it in at the wall. The sun may have been a factor. At any rate, that put runners on second and third with one out, and Brandon Guyer’s grounder to second gave the visitors a 2-1 lead.
On “Day On The Green” fireworks night, a crowd of 30,436 showed up.
Back for his third stint with the big club this season, Jesse Hahn (2-4, 6.49) takes the ball in Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. homestand finale. It’s his first start against the Rays, the team that drafted him in 2010. He’ll oppose rookie lefty Blake Snell (2-4, 3.11), who began this season as the majors’ No. 12 overall prospect as ranked by Baseball America.