Bob Melvin is a low-key guy, or at least that’s how some A’s players have described him. So a celebration for his record-breaking 799th managerial win, one that pushed him beyond Tony La Russa for most managerial wins in Oakland history and second-most wins as an Athletics manager behind Connie Mack, wasn’t too wild.
At the same ballpark where Melvin’s managerial career began in 2003, the team popped some champagne in the visiting clubhouse following a comeback 12-6 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
“It just means I’ve been around a long time,” Melvin said of the accomplishment. “I told these guys that it’s just about the players. I’ve just been lucky enough to be around for a long time.”
Even if the A’s skipper of 10 seasons hoped to stay humble about the accomplishment, the team couldn’t suppress their excitement for him.
“The clubhouse is pretty danged jacked up right now,” Chris Bassitt said.
Modest in celebration and unruffled by the ups and downs of a baseball season, the A’s were surprised to hear Melvin speak up in the dugout when the team looked to be sleeping their way to a fourth straight loss, down three runs with no apparent fire under them.
Tony Kemp couldn’t share exactly what Melvin said in the dugout, but a pep talk from their even-keeled manager hit the dugout hard.
“I just think that’s the boost that we kind of needed because Bob really doesn’t say many things,” Kemp said. “But what he said in the fifth inning will definitely stick in your head.”
The entire lineup answered their manager’s call. And Kemp was a central figure in the A’s comeback-turned-runaway win, putting together his first five RBI game since he was with the Houston Astros in a 2018 game against the San Francisco Giants.
His double in the fifth scored Elvis Andrus for the A’s second run. His sacrifice fly in the seventh inning with Stephen Piscotty and Andrus on put the A’s within one and ignited a stunning six-run inning extended by Mark Canha’s game-tying two-out single, Matt Olson’s base-loaded double against the shift and Sean Murphy’s laced double down the third base line.
Kemp hit his second home run of the year wth two-run home run off Daniel Zamora’s hanging curveball in the eighth inning to give the A’s an 8-4 lead and, when the Mariners’ Tom Murphy tacked on a two-run home run in the eighth, added an RBI single in the ninth for good measure.
Seattle is one of Kemp’s favorite cities in the country, he said. Pair a pleasant day with some pre-game shopping and Kemp was feeling good heading to T-Mobile Park — where Kemp was batting .298 with an .822 OPS in 19 games — penciled in as one of two left-handed A’s to face left-handed starter Marco Gonzales.
One player doesn’t create 12 runs, of course. Piscotty had a three-hit, one-RBI game. Canha had two hits.
Olson got the A’s on the board first and snapped the A’s five-game home run-less streak with his 14th home run of the year, an opposite field solo blast of Gonzales.
Chris Bassitt’s rough start: Bassitt came off a pristine two-hit shutout against the Los Angeles Angels with a less-than-stellar four-inning outing against the Mariners. Though he was able to strike out six, he left a few too many pitches up in the zone and Seattle feasted.
The trouble inning came in the third when J.P. Crawford blooped a single and stole second. Mitch Haniger, Kyle Seager and Ty France doubled on two fastballs and a hanging breaking ball to give the mariners a 3-1 lead. Fresh from a call-up with Kyle Lewis headed to the IL, Taylor Trammel hit a solo home run in the fourth inning for the Mariners’ fourth run.
Jesús Luzardo’s bullpen dominance continues: Luzardo was dominant in his second bullpen outing since coming off the IL, tossing three scoreless innings with six strikeouts to keep the A’s in the game. He hit 99mph on his fastball and his breaking ball, in particular, looked at its best this year.
Luzardo has a 2.76 ERA in 11 career appearances as a reliever and a 4.54 ERA in 15 career starts.
Dan Carter was a reporter for nomad Labs, before becoming the lead editor. Dan has over forty bylines and has reported on countless stories concerning all things related to tech and science. Dan studied at CSUF.