OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)Sam Hilliard homered for the first time this season, Antonio Senzatela pitched out of an early jam on his way to a rare road win, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Oakland Athletics 8-3 Tuesday night.
Charlie Blackmon had two hits, David Dahl drove in a pair of runs and Nolan Arenado made up for an uncharacteristic fielding error with a single and sacrifice fly to help the Rockies to their third straight win following an opening day loss to Texas.
”We’ve got a good pitching staff always and this year we’ve been doing good,” Senzatela said. ”We were just working for that in the offseason, even through the quarantine. I think we deserve this.”
Hilliard was hitless going into the day before doubling off A’s starter Daniel Mengden in the second and then homering in the fourth. Hilliard, who homered in his major league debut last August, laced a 2-2 pitch into the right-field stands after Raimel Tapia singled.
”Sam’s blast, the breaking ball in the seats was a great swing,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”I like the double the other way. We saw Sam do that a number of times last year, take pitches away from him, hit them to left field. The home run gave us a big lift.”
Senzatela worked himself into an early jam but got Oakland slugger Khris Davis to pop out with the bases loaded in the first on the way to his first win on the road since July 5, 2019. The right-hander had dropped five straight away from home since then.
Senzatela (1-0) allowed two runs (one earned) and six hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out three.
”I threw too many pitches in the first inning but I just put on myself, `I need to make it through five to give the team a chance to win,’ and I did it,” Senzatela said.
Tyler Kinley, Daniel Bard and Carlos Estevez combined to two-hit the A’s over the final four innings.
Ramon Laureano had two hits and Mark Canha added a sacrifice fly for the A’s, who were attempting to go 4-1 for the first time since 2010.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin had been hopeful of resting his taxed bullpen but didn’t get the chance after Mengden (0-1) lasted four innings and gave up three runs on five hits.
”Strike one can be a problem for him sometimes,” Melvin said. ”He tries to be a little too fine at times. It’s getting the pitch count down and trying to get the other team to put the ball in play earlier in the count.”
The Rockies tacked on a pair in the fifth with four consecutive one-out hits and a sacrifice fly off A’s reliever Jordan Weems in his major league debut. They scored three more in the eighth.
MILESTONE, BUT NO HITS
Davis moved into second place in games played by A’s designated hitters but continued to struggle at the plate. He struck out twice, popped up and hit into a double play in four at-bats, dropping the Oakland slugger to 0 for 15 this season.
”I’ve said all along that leashes can be a little bit shorter when you struggle in 60 games,” Melvin said. ”It’s like being in August right now. Some of the guys who have track records deserve a little bit of a longer leash. He’s been really good for us over the years.”
The game marked the 356th for Davis as the A’s DH, moving him past Mitchell Page on the franchise list. Davis will have to wait until next season to break Dave Kingman’s mark of 428.
Athletics: Mengden pitched in a game for the first time since undergoing elbow surgery in February. He was moved into the rotation as left-hander A.J. Puk deals with a strained throwing shoulder that landed him on the injured list to start the season and required cortisone and platelet-rich plasma injections. . T.J. McFarland, Jake Diekman and Yusmeiro Petit, all of whom pitched three times in Oakland’s first four games, were rested.
The two-game series ends Wednesday afternoon when Oakland’s Frankie Montas (0-0, 2.25 ERA) makes his second start of the season against Colorado’s German Marquez (0-1, 1.59) in a matchup of right-handers. Marquez’s loss on opening day was his first in 16 interleague starts.
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