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A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback

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			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback

OAKLAND — Matt Joyce’s ninth-inning grand slam gave A’s fans a reason to stick around the Oakland Coliseum Sunday afternoon and be a tad late for Game 2 of the NBA Finals, which was less than an hour away from tip off at Oracle Arena next door.

But a late-inning assault from the Washington Nationals put the comeback effort just slightly out of reach.

With Bryce Harper’s return from a three-game suspension, the National League’s top-scoring offense showed just how much more lethal it can be with the 2015 National League MVP batting in the No. 3 hole, scoring eight runs in the last two innings of an 11-10 win, negating the impact of the A’s six-run ninth.

“They’re a great lineup, probably the best we’ve seen so far,” outfielder Khris Davis said. “There’s really no holes in their lineup, so every pitch is important when you’re battling a team like that.”

Every pitch did prove to be important as the A’s brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth after entering the inning trailing 11-4, making the sting of the Nationals three-run eight and five-run ninth that much more painful.

Joyce cut the Nationals lead to 11-10 with one out in the ninth, blasting an 82 mph slider to right with Ryon Healy, Stephen Vogt and Matt Olson aboard.

Joyce’s big pop came after the A’s put a pair of runs on the board earlier in the inning.

Vogt brought in Davis with a ground ball to third that got ruled as an infield single after a replay challenge overturned the call on the field. Then, Olson, who arrived at the ballpark roughly 15 minutes before first pitch after getting recalled from Triple-A Nashville earlier in the day, walked as a pinch hitter, bringing in Yonder Alonso.

But the comeback effort fell short when Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley retired Chad Pinder on a ground ball and Jed Lowrie on a pop up after Joyce’s grand slam, dropping the A’s record to an American League-worst 24-32 .

“We just never stop fighting. It was good to see that,” Vogt said. “When you end up with a loss, it’s never fun. But obviously, an 11-10 loss with the tying run at the plate when you’re down seven in the ninth is a lot better than the alternative.”

The A’s faced such stark odds entering the ninth because the bullpen surrendered eight earned runs in three innings of work.

After Sonny Gray tossed seven respectable innings, Ryan Zimmerman broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth by blasting a three-run home run to left off reliever Ryan Madson (1-4). Zimmerman smacked his 16th home run of the season after manager Bob Melvin elected to intentionally walk Harper with Trea Turner on second via stolen base.

“We were trying to at least get ourselves into a double play situation with a right-right matchup,” Melvin said. “There’s no (easy answer), you just hope it works out and give yourself the best chance that you possibly can to get out of the inning.”

The Nationals scored five more runs in the ninth off back-to-back home runs from Matt Wieters, who hit a two-run shot, and Turner, who followed it up with a solo blast, and a two-run single from Daniel Murphy. Each of the Nationals five runs in the ninth were charged to right-handed reliever Frankie Montas.

The A’s tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh when Davis launched a first-pitch changeup from Nationals starter Tanner Roark (6-2) off the left field foul pole with Jed Lowrie on first base. With 17 home runs, Davis ranks second in the American League behind New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (18).

Davis went 3 for 4, scoring three runs with two RBI in a game that he was supposed to be watching from the dugout. The 29-year-old outfielder found his way into the lineup after Mark Canha was scratched two hours before first pitch because of a stomach flu.

“I was taking the approach of going out there to help the team rather than focus on results,” Davis said, adding that his last minute insertion into the lineup actually helped him relax. “I’ve been result oriented the past couple of games, so it cleared my head and I could just go out there and play.”

The Nationals late-inning charge spoiled a solid outing from starter Sonny Gray, who surrendered three earned runs on four hits and three walks in seven innings of work.

After Sonny Gray cruised through five innings, allowing just three baserunners on 60 pitches, the Nationals took a 3-1 lead in the sixth when Matt Wieters, Michael Taylor and Turner reached base in succession.

Turner brought in a pair of runs on a triple by driving a 93 mph fastball off the top of the 15-foot extended wall in right-center field, scoring Wieters, who led off the inning with a walk and Taylor, who followed it up with a line drive single. The Nationals leadoff man scored on the next pitch when Brian Goodwin lifted a sacrifice fly to left.

“With this lineup and that team, if you put guys on base, if you give guys free passes, they’re going to do some damage,” Gray said. “They’ve got a really, really good lineup, so there’s not really a break in there. You really have to stay on top of your game with every hitter.”

— Jesse Hahn will make his return to the A’s rotation against the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday.

Hahn went on the 10-day disabled list after he experienced a startling drop in his velocity during a start against the Miami Marlins on May 23. But the 27-year-old right-hander reached his normal velocity during a minor league rehabilitation assignment with Class A Stockton Wednesday and during a bullpen session Saturday.

“Everything felt good, everything felt normal, so I should be ready to go,” Hahn said.

— Closer Sean Doolittle will continue his rehab assignment in Stockton Monday. Doolittle, who missed the entire month of May with a left shoulder strain, threw an inning of scoreless baseball with Stockton Friday night.

 

 

 



	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback		

	
	

	
				
			A’s fall one run short of completing incredible comeback

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