PHILADELPHIA — Athletics’ starter Kendall Graveman, along with the rest of his team, has been abysmal on the road this season. The four-year veteran has compiled 6.75 ERA in seven starts on the road compared to a 2.98 ERA in nine starts at the Coliseum. Graveman was looking to one-up fellow starter Daniel Mengden, who tossed a two-hit shutout last night.
After two scoreless innings facing the minimum, Graveman’s shot disappeared when the skies opened up, delaying the game for one hour and 46 minutes in the A’s 5-3 loss to the Phillies.
The A’s took an early 2-0 lead in support of Graveman in the second, when Matt Olson hit a solo shot, his 20th of the year on a line drive to right field off Phillies’ rookie starter Ben Lively. Mark Canha followed by getting plunked, and was moved over to third on Matt Chapman’s league-leading 17th double since the All-Star break. Boog Powell, batting eighth in Bob Melvin’s lineup, plated Canha with a sac fly to left field.
Chris Smith, who relieved Graveman in the third, allowed two runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings. After retiring the first two batters in the fourth, Cesar Hernandez singled home Ty Kelly, who doubled on a failed diving attempt by left fielder Matt Joyce. J.P. Crawford tagged Smith in the fourth with an RBI to right to tie the game at 2.
By that point, it was a battle of the bullpens, and the momentum clearly swung the Phillies way. A trio of rookie relievers, Yacksel Rios, Victor Arno, and Hoby Milner tossed 3 2/3 perfect innings to keep the A’s off the board.
The A’s were hurt again with two outs in the sixth, when Melvin called Simon Castro’s number. The right-hander induced two fly outs to start the inning, but a walk to Crawford proved to be costly when Phillies’ catcher Jorge Alfaro blasted his fourth home run of the season to dead center to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Santiago Casilla allowed an insurance run in the eighth when hit Odubel Herrera, who promptly stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Crawford’s sacrifice fly scored the Herrera.
Luis Garcia pitched a scoreless eighth and Hector Neris earned the save. Jed Lowrie’s 12th home run off Neris represented the only hit the A’s registered since the rain delay.
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