Cole Irvin pitched eight shutout innings and Aramis Garcia continued the surprising play of backup catchers in the Bay Bridge Series with two hits and two RBIs Sunday afternoon, combining to help the visiting Oakland Athletics salvage one win in the three-game set with a 6-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Facing the Giants for the first time in his three-year career, Irvin (6-7) allowed just three singles, including two by Darin Ruf, in the second eight-inning outing of his career. His other came last month in a 4-1 home win over Toronto.
The Giants, who entered the game on a five-game winning streak, didn’t get a runner past first base against the 27-year-old until he hit Austin Slater with a pitch with two outs in the eighth after Irvin had walked Steven Duggar to open the inning. But Irvin’s last of 100 pitches got Wilmer Flores to line out to center field to keep a possible shutout intact.
Irvin, who walked two and struck out eight, was denied a third career combined shutout (one in relief) when the Giants scored twice in the ninth off Deolis Guerra on a double play ball off the bat of Ruf and consecutive two-out doubles by Donovan Solano and Duggar.
Every pitch Irvin threw was with a lead after Oakland, coming off a walk-off 6-5 loss on Saturday night, scored twice in the top of the first on singles by Elvis Andrus and Matt Olson, a double-steal, and a two-run single by Matt Chapman.
Garcia aided his batterymate in a three-run sixth with an RBI single after Giants starter Sammy Long (1-1) had hit Chad Pinder with a pitch and walked Tony Kemp to end his day.
Irvin brought home the second run of the inning with a safety squeeze, after which Andrus made it 5-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Long, who had won his only previous major-league start, was charged with four runs on four hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out three.
Garcia, a former Giant who previously had just 18 RBIs in his three-year career, matched his career-high with a second run-scoring single in the seventh, this one scoring Chapman, who had reached on an infield single.
Garcia’s big day came after Giants backup Curt Casali had contributed to both earlier San Francisco wins in the series with a home run on Friday and a game-ending RBI double on Saturday.
Chapman joined Garcia with two hits and two RBIs for the A’s, who completed a 4-6 trip.
Ruf and Posey collected two hits apiece for the Giants.
–Field Level Media