Nearly three years after throwing a no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Mike Fiers shut them down again, reprising some of that dominance but this time for the Oakland Athletics in a 3-2 win.
Making his A’s debut, Fiers was mowing his way toward making history yet again. He matched a season high with eight strikeouts through four perfect innings. To that point he’d experienced a pair of near-hits.
Brian Dozier nearly had a single in the second inning but his looping line drive was snagged by Marcus Semien on a leaping catch. In the fourth, Manny Machado hit a drive to center field that was caught at the warning track.
It was then Yasmani Grandal who denied Fiers by leading off the fifth inning with a solo home run. Fiers joined Milwaukee Brewers starter Chase Anderson in surrendering a leadoff home run to Grandal in the fifth inning of a perfect game within the past week.
Fiers stranded a pair of runners in the fifth, then was picked up Lou Trivino in the sixth inning after allowing a one-out double to Machado. Trivino couldn’t keep the Dodgers off the board in the seventh, however, with Chris Taylor’s two-out single scoring Cody Bellinger to tie the game.
While the Dodgers were struggling to come up with their first hit, Clayton Kershaw was successfully pitching to contact. He allowed a one-out single in each the first and third innings but stranded the baserunner in both instances.
That changed in the fourth, when Khris Davis and Mark Canha found holes in the infield for back-to-back singles. Kershaw was then one strike from another scoreless inning, only for Stephen Piscotty to line an RBI base hit into center field, giving Oakland a 1-0 lead.
Ramon Laureano followed with a flare into shallow right field that dropped between Brian Dozier and Yasiel Puig for an RBI single. Puig didn’t appear to pick up the ball off the bat, and had that not been the case, it’s conceivable he would’ve made a running catch.
Kershaw allowed just the two runs over six innings, but in an oddity only had one strikeout. Kershaw went 4.1 innings before picking it up, marking the longest he’s gone in 307 career starts without a strikeout.
Moreover, it was just the third time in Kershaw’s career he finished with one strikeout or fewer in a game. The two prior instances came in September 2008 and July 2010.
J.T. Chargois retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh inning but was in trouble in the eighth after allowing a pair of singles. The second of which was to Jed Lowrie, snapping an 0-for-16 drought and putting runners at the corners.
Chargois did manage to get Davis to hit the ball on the ground, only for Grandal to drop the throw from Machado, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
Puig walked with one out in the ninth and advanced into scoring position before Blake Treinen
converted the save opportunity.