PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Billy McKinney homeriders and Doulton Jefferies and four relievers combined on a three-hitter to lead the Oakland Athletics in a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday and avoided a three-game sweep.
The A closed a Phillies offense that scored 13 runs in the first two games of the series. Only two hits in The Phillies’ first five innings came from backup Garrett Stubbs and Johann Camargo.
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Jean Segura hit his second homer out of the season for the Phillies in ninth, off a ball from Lou Trivino.
Jefferies (1-0) bowled two hit balls in five scoreless innings before issuing a leadoff walk in the sixth. Sam Moll, Domingo Acevedo and Kirby Snead bowled three innings of shutout.
Tony Kemp’s two-RBI single in the ninth made it 4-0, sending most of the 33,507 fans out to the ballpark on a chilly, windy day.
Elvis Andrus hit a double each on Bailey Falter (0–1) and scored on Seth Brown’s bloop single in sixth place to give Oakland their first lead of the season.
McKinney, who on Friday became the 1,000th player in Oakland A’s history, hit a single shot off Falter in the seventh. The 1,000-player milestone marks major history for the A in Oakland—even more so than Philadelphia. After playing 54 years in Philadelphia from 1901–1954 (A spent 13 years in Kansas City), Oakland is in his 55th season.
Phillies starter Zack Eflin, who was acquired from the Dodgers in a Jimmy Rollins trade in 2014, made his first start since July 16 against Miami. He was scratched from his next scheduled start because of what the Phillies said was tendinitis in his right knee. The injury to the right arm turned out to be worse than expected: Eflin had surgery to repair a tear in his right patellar tendon in September.
Eflin still needed time to build arm strength and return to form but was solid on 68 pitches and four shutout innings. He survived his only jam in the third innings when he loaded the bases without an outsider. Andrus put Eflin into a back line which he caught and circled from second to double for Christian Pache. He retired Shaun Murphy over a popup to keep the game scoreless.
Phillies debuts Aaron Nola and Kyle Gibson made no batsman in more than 13 innings in the first two games. Eflin scored two and scored three.
It was Oakland A’s manager Mark Cootse’s first win. Cotsey was promoted from third base coach to manager after Bob Melvin left for San Diego.
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Joe Girardi and the Phillies might just get a little help from the top of this season.
Well, at least from Girardi’s top shelf inside the manager’s office, where a sister Jeanne Bobblehead keeps an eye out. Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt has become as much a part of March Madness as the Blue Bloods that make up the Final Four. Sister Jean Loyola has become the face of Chicago during the NCAA tournament, and her idol is part of Girardi’s collection as an inside joke.
Girardi played at Northwestern and was close to his catching coach, Bob Behrens, who didn’t pick Loyola at all to win it all.
“Bobby didn’t believe in the power of Sister Jean,” said Girardi, laughing.
Behrens told him, “Come on, there are other Catholic and Christian schools playing in this.”
Girardi replies, “It took Sister Jean a hundred years on them.”
Girardi turned to an inside source to have fun at Behrons’ expense. Girardi asked his old coach’s son, Loyola’s sports information director Bill Behrens, for two bobbleheads—one for Girardi and his office and the other to “just rub it in” and send the former catching coach.
A hit a Skye Bolt (right oblique strain) on the 10-day IL after suffering an injury during Saturday’s batting practice. He recalled LHP Adam Kolarek from Triple-A Las Vegas.
The A’s head to Tampa Bay for the next four games of the 10-game road trip. They will send RHP Paul Blackburn (1-4, 5.87 ERA in 2011) to the mound against Rays RHP Luis Patino (5-3, 4.31 in 2021) on Monday.
The Phillies welcome a more traditional opponent and open a three-game set against the New York Mets. The Phillies send LHP Ranger Suarez (8-5, 1.36 ERA in 2021) to the mound against New York RHP Taijuan Walkers (7-11, 4.47 ERA in 2021).
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