Danny Valencia’s 3 RBI

I did some grading of papers and spent more time on Ticketmaster trying to buy a ticket for the Warriors game on Thursday.  I managed to do it. I took the bus out to the Fruitvale BART station and went to the Coliseum.  I took my seat and waited for the game to start.  It seems that a lot of kids have been singing the national anthem at the stadium recently.  The A’s were hoping to get five or six innings from Eric Surkamp, but he couldn’t quite do it.  He had a promising start with a clean first inning, but then he allowed two hits in each of the next four innings.  On the bases there was about as much traffic as on an L.A. freeway.  In the second inning, Surkamp allowed a walk before a double play, but then he gave up a double and a single for the Twins’ first run.  In the bottom of the inning, the A’s got the run back.  Marcus Semien singled.  Chris Coghlan hit a ground ball that looked like a 3-6-3 double play, but an error put him at second base.  Billy Burns followed with a ball that got past the right fielder for a triple and the tying run. The A’s couldn’t bring in Burns, as Coco Crisp struck out and Jed Lowrie grounded out.  Surkamp couldn’t come up with the shutdown inning in the third, as he gave up two singles and hit two batters with pitches.  The Twins’ run came on a 5-4 force out that wasn’t quite a double play.  However, the Twins’ runner was injured running to first base.  In the bottom of the first inning, the A’s loaded the bases with two singles and a walk, but couldn’t score any runs.  Surkamp was fortunate that the score was only 2-1 at the end of the inning.  The A’s again responded in the bottom of the inning with Stephen Vogt hitting a single and Danny Valencia sending the ball over the fence for a two-run home run and a 3-2 A’s lead.  Surkamp alternated outs with hits in the fourth inning, barely getting that shutdown inning.  In the bottom of the inning, the A’s got only a single from Burns.  In the fifth inning, Surkamp got the first two batters out, but then surrendered a single and a double to make the score 3-3.  That was the end of his night on the mound, as Bob Melvin brought in Ryan Dull, who remained perfect in preventing inherited runners from scoring this season, as he got a strikeout to end the inning.  The A’s again responded to a Twins run in the bottom of the inning, as Vogt got his second single, and Valencia doubled for his third RBI, making the score 4-3.  After Khris Davis and Yonder Alonso made outs, Semien doubled on a 3-2 pitch, and now the score was 5-3.  Dull pitched the top of the sixth inning, allowing a double with one out but no runs.  The A’s went down quietly in the bottom of the inning, the only inning in which no one reached base for them.  There was no Big Head race on this night.  Marc Rzepczynski pitched a clean inning in the top of the seventh.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.”  In the bottom of the inning, Davis and Alonso both walked with two outs, but Semien struck out.  Fernando Rodriguez came in for the top of the eighth inning with a 2.02 ERA, and he got into quick trouble with a double.  A fly ball allowed the runner to get to third base.  Former A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki, who always gets a lot of praise from the radio announcers for being a great person, got a hit to bring the Twins to within 5-4.  Rodriguez struck out the next two batters.  For the last time, the A’s would score after the Twins scored.  In the bottom of the inning, Jake Smolinski struck out, but Billy Burns walked on a 3-2 pitch.  Coco Crisp struck out, but Lowrie singled, and then Vogt doubled for two runs, making the score a more comfortable 7-4.  Valencia wasn’t able to get another RBI, as he grounded out to the pitcher.  Since both Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson both pitched in the previous two games, Bob Melvin sent John Axford out to the mound for the top of the ninth inning.  The first out was a ground ball to second base.  Axford gave up a single to the second batter.  He got to a 3-2 count to the next batter before getting a strikeout.  A fly ball to right field was the last out of the game.  With the rest of the teams in the American League West winning, this was a good win.  After winning four consecutive games, the A’s record at the end of May is only 24-29, an indication of how bad the months was for the team.  They finished the month at 11-17.  They actually had a winning record of 13-12 in April.  Ray Fosse predicted that the team would even their record by the time they return from the next road trip, which seemed overly optimistic to me.  This game began at 7:07 with a game time temperature of 72 degrees, and it ended at 10:21.  The attendance was 12,767.  A day after a game that went only 2:32, this game felt especially long and slow.  I thought about the Warriors game tomorrow and hoped I would at least get a T-shirt for all the money I spent.  It’s too bad that I won’t be able to get over to San Jose for one of the hockey games there.  This has been a championship year for me.  Some of the people who died on June 1 include James Buchanan (1869), Lizzie Borden (1927), Leslie Howard (1943), Sonny Boy Williamson (1948), Helen Keller (1968), David Ruffin (1991), Hank Ketcham (2001), and Ann B. Davis (2014).  Today is a birthday for Ron Wood (69) and Morgan Freeman (79).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 1, Alfred Hitchcock’s remake of his own “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” starring James Stewart and Doris Day, was released in 1956.  In 1985, the Number One album on the charts was Prince’s “Around the World in a Day.”  In 1990, Paul Verhoeven’s “Total Recall,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone, was released.  Today would have been Marilyn Monroe’s 90th birthday.

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