The Oakland Athletics had a busy day, playing split-squad games against Italy and the Kansas City Royals. The A’s beat Team Italy by a score of 4-3, while they lost 8-2 to a Kansas City team that is undefeated in spring training.
Brett Anderson picked up the win against Italy while Bartolo Colon fell to 0-2 this preseason, allowing five runs on seven hits — three of them in the first inning — and a home run in the second. Anderson went three innings and allowed one hit while striking out three against a roster that includes major leaguers like Nick Punto, Chris Denorfia, and Anthony Rizzo, who hit a solo home run off of Fernando Rodriguez to get Italy on the board in the fourth.
Against Italy, the A’s did all of their damage on offense by the end of the third inning. After Coco Crisp and Jed Lowrie hit consecutive singles to lead off the game, and after both advanced on a wild pitch, Josh Reddick hit into a groundout that brought Crisp home and moved Lowrie over to third. Yoenis Cespedes then hit a sacrifice fly to score Lowrie and the A’s had an early 2-0 lead.
Those same four players would account for the two other Oakland runs in the third, when Crisp again reached on a single and then proceeded to steal second. Crisp was 3-for-3 on the day. He scored on a double by Lowrie, and Reddick advanced him to third on another groundout before Cespedes singled to left to bring in the winning run. Cespedes went 2-for-2, and the A’s had a good day as a team at the plate with 12 hits.
Against Kansas City, the A’s went for nine hits but couldn’t match the Royals run production. Nine base runners were left on, and the A’s struck out eight times on the day. Shane Peterson went 2-for-4, and he’s had a productive stint so far in Arizona, going 12-for-27 with a home run, a triple, and four RBI. Nakajima went 1-for-3, and it’s always nice to see him get a hit, as he’ll have to hit the ground running once the season starts. Grant Green went 2-for-4 as well, and that was about it as far as the offensive production goes.
Travis Blackley pitched two innings and stuck out one and allowed no hits, which is good to see after he had a rough outing in his last appearance.
The A’s are off tomorrow, but they’ll be back in action on Thursday against the Seattle Mariners. We’ll be here to keep you posted on how it all went down.