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Oakland Athletics rally in ninth to complete sweep of Detroit Tigers

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Detroit – Matthew Boyd didn’t want to use the term snakebite to describe what happened in Oakland on Sunday – that would be too convenient, too much of an excuse.

Oakland Athletics' Matt Olson (28) slides home to score in the ninth inning against Detroit Tigers catcher Wilson Ramos (right).

“It’s just the way it happened,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it was luck. We were just on the wrong side of the odds. “

The Tigers ended up on the wrong side of the odds in four games at Oakland. That last one, a 3-2 blow to the bottom of the ninth, was more cruel than the others.

The winning run was prepared when midfielder Victor Reyes lost Matt Olson’s fly ball in the sun.

“Unfortunately the timing was bad for them to get a base runner this way,” said manager AJ Hinch. “Victor plays well in midfield and broke the ball perfectly. But the ball found the sun.”

With two outs, left-hander Mitch Moreland hit a two-hit pitch from left-hander Gregory Soto, which third baseman Jeimer Candelario could not bring in to give the athletes their 21st win in their last 23 games against the Tigers.

“Anything that could go wrong went wrong with four games in this series,” said manager AJ Hinch.

Boyd dominated athletics through seven innings, allowing only two hits. He carved out athletics with tags and curveball thrown from his precisely positioned four-seam fastball.

And the Tigers went 2-1 into eighth position, thanks to a two-part, two-part single from Harold Castro in the sixth. The Tigers had six goals in the game, three from Castro.

But Boyd missed his spot with a 91-mile heater on Sean Murphy, who drove down from eighth place. And Murphy was the first batsman in 101 record appearances to score a home run ahead of Boyd that season.

“I didn’t try to go to the middle,” Boyd said of his location on the square. “I tried to go away. That wasn’t the only mistake I made. I did one for Elvis Andrus (flyout) and Mark Canha (single). Happens. Sometimes they take a ball or a punch, sometimes they land in a glove, and sometimes they land on the other side of the fence.

“Unfortunately that was the difference in the game.”

It was the first time since July 31, 2018 that Boyd worked in the eighth inning. But he was on 82 spaces and was in full control.

“Zero,” Hinch said when asked if there was any discussion about sending Boyd back for the eighth time. “He did everything right. I had no qualms about sending it back. “

Boyd beat Aramis Garcia and gave Tony Kemp a single with an out, which was a dramatic episode for right-handed Jose Cisnero. He last started in the ninth inning in Houston on Wednesday and has not recorded an out (two walks and a single).

So this was a show of confidence from Hinch, and Cisnero rewarded him by beating Canha and Ramon Laureano with fastballs at 98 and 99 mph and a knee-locking slider.

“Speed ​​and execution,” said Hinch. “Competing against two right-handers who are very dangerous against all pitchers, but especially left-handers, was the perfect place for him and he has done a great job, as he has done several times over the past few years.

“I know he has some struggles here early on, but he’s one of our boys.”

The Detroit Tigers' pitcher Matthew Boyd (48) leaves the hill after being taken out for a relief pitcher by manager AJ Hinch (center) during the eighth inning.

Cisnero put Soto in ninth place and his fastballs hit 100 mph. He knocked out Jed Lowrie and got Olson to center one. At the start of the game, Reyes almost lost a fly ball from Kemp, but at the last second he caught a glimpse of it and caught it.

This time he was not within 10 feet of the ball when it fell.

“It’s always very bad during the day here, very bad,” said Castro. “I can tell you because I played midfield here in 2019. It’s pretty difficult to see the ball when the sun is right there.”

But even after that, it looked like Soto was going to get out of there. He knocked out Chapman and after leaving Murphy he was in a good position to push Moreland away. Moreland was 6-0 against left-handers that season and barely got a piece from Soto’s 99- and 100-mile sinkers with two hits.

On the third, however, he hit it on the left side. The exit speed from his racket was 102.5 mph, but the expected shot average on the ball was only 0.260. Candelario seemed to have crossed the ball and it passed him. An error was made.

“It’s tough,” said Castro. “These things happen. You just have to keep playing hard, keep fighting.”

Difficult to swallow.

“Matt was as good as him and he’s been good all year,” said Hinch. “Boyd did everything he could. He’s going to get on the plane with a bad taste in his mouth because it ended up like this, but there was a small margin of error today and your guy knocked a ball out of the stadium.

“It was a good baseball game today. They just did a little more than we did. “

Twitter: @cmccosky

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Dusty Kennedy