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A’s rally late to drop Guardians in extras

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Cleveland’s anemic offense and James Karinchak combined to sink a strong outing for Triston McKenzie

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Cleveland Indians David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

James Karinchak squandered a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning, opening the door for the Oakland A’s to take the lead against Nick Wittgren in the tenth inning. Elvis Andrus scored the go-ahead run on a Jed Lowrie RBI double, sending the Cleveland Guardians to a 4-3 loss.

Clinging to a 3-2 lead, Cleveland sent Karinchak to the mound in the eighth, at which point he allowed a one-out single to Starling Marte. Marte stole second, advanced to third on a Matt Olson single, and scored on an RBI groundout from Jed Lowrie.

In the top of the tenth, with Andrus standing on second base to start the inning, Wittgren retired the first two batters he faced before intentionally walking Olson and giving up an RBI double off the wall in left field to Lowrie, plating the go-ahead run.

Amed Rosario lined out on a 108.2 mph screamer to the third baseman to start the bottom of the tenth inning for Cleveland. Jose Ramirez grounded out to third and Bradley Zimmer struck out on three pitches, leaving Myles Straw stranded at second base.

Triston McKenzie did his part to keep the Guardians in the game, delivering another solid start for Cleveland. He ran into some trouble in the top of the second inning, allowing back-to-back doubles to Josh Harrison and Sean Murphy to tie the score at 1-1. But he was able to hold serve for the next four frames once the Guardians took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning. His only other blemish was a solo home run to Seth Brown in the fourth inning. McKenzie surrendered four hits, one walk, and two earned runs over six innings, racking up five punch-outs.

Oakland A’s starting pitcher Sean Manaea had his worst start of the season. Cleveland was off to the races in the first inning — literally, in Amed Rosario’s case. He beat Manaea to first base for a one-out infield single, eventually coming around to score on a Harold Ramirez RBI single.

The Guardians had Manaea on the ropes to start the second inning, with Owen Miller singling down the first base line and Austin Hedges drawing a walk to put runners on first and second with no outs. Ernie Clement’s 10-pitch at-bat pushed Manaea’s pitch count to 59 pitches but ended up in a double play that wiped Miller and Hedges off the board. Fortunately, two outs were not enough to deter Myles Straw, who lined a double down the third base line to score Clement from the first and re-claim the lead, 2-1. Amed Rosario tacked on another run by squeezing a sharp grounder past third baseman Matt Chapman, allowing Straw to touch home.

Manaea then walked Jose Ramirez and got the hook from Oakland manager Bob Melvin. His night ended after 1.2 innings, having allowed five hits, three walks, and three earned runs. Manaea’s command simply wasn’t there, as only 56% of his 69 pitches went for strikes. The Guardians put together a number of good at-bats, pushing Manaea to seven three-ball counts.

Unfortunately, Cleveland’s bats went cold against the A’s bullpen. Until Franmil Reyes drew a one-out walk with familiar foe Sergio Romo on the mound in the eighth inning, the Guardians had only reached base once since Manaea was pulled from the game. Bradley Zimmer took over for Reyes on the basepaths and stole second before Harold Ramirez reached on a walk. Oscar Mercado, who is riding a 1-for-18 streak at the plate, lined into a double play to end the inning.

The Guardians had another scoring opportunity in the ninth inning after Owen Miller drew a four-pitch walk. But Austin Hedges bunted him over to second, Andres Gimenez grounded out to advance Miller to third, and Myles Straw popped out to leave him stranded.