OAKLAND, Calif. ( Associated Press) – Frankie Montas allowed two shots over six overs, Athletics threw two runners on the sheet and Oakland held on, beating the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 in its home opener Monday night.
A crowd of 17,503 withstood cold temperatures to watch a match between the teams with the two lowest paid states in the major leagues. Attendance was the A’s lowest for a home opener without COVID restrictions in at least 30 years.
Montas (2-1) smashed five and walked two for his second consecutive victory. He retired 12 of his first 13 batsmen and did not allow a shot until the fifth innings, giving A’s rookie manager Mark Kotsay his first win at the Colosseum since taking over for Bob Melvin during the off-season.
The A’s scored four undeserved runs in the sixth after Orioles third baseman Ramón Urías and second baseman Rougned Odor made mistakes. Sheldon Nuese and Cristian Pache had RBI singles in the innings.
Austin Hays had an RBI double for Baltimore and Urías added two shots.
The Orioles loaded the bases with two results in the ninth before Dany Jimenez knocked out Ryan McKenna on a checkered swing and dropped McKenna to 0 for 5 this year.
Oakland’s defense has come up big time and time again.
Baltimore’s Jorge Mateo doubled the lead from sixth and moved to third on a ground-down pick, but was thrown out by sliding first baseman Billy McKinney home. Catcher Sean Murphy then made a strong play to chase Anthony Santander’s nasty doll near Oakland’s dugout.
After the Orioles got runners on the corners with one out in the seventh, right-back Seth Brown – whose failed dive attempt in the fifth led to Baltimore’s first hit – caught Hays’ loose ball and then a one-hop throw to made the plate to catch how Trey Mancini slipped into the house.
The A’s returned to the Colosseum after a season-opening 10 games. They were greeted by a voice that watched the A’s win their home opener for the fifth time in 11 seasons.
Montas encountered one over the minimum before hitting Odor in the fifth. Hays followed with a two-out RBI double that deviated from Brown’s glove.
Baltimore starter Spenser Watkins, who held just three innings in his previous start, was much sharper and allowed one run and two shots in five innings.
Joey Krehbiel (1-1) let one hold and three undeserved runs in the fifth.
A’S PLACE 6 ON COVID LIST
The A’s added six players to the list of COVID-19 injured – fielders Jed Lowrie and Chad Pinder, relievers AJ Puk, Lou Trivino and Krby Snead, and catcher Austin Allen. Outfielder Stephen Piscotty was placed on the list on Friday.
Worker Sam Selman and wickets Nick Allen and Christian Lopes have been added to the A’s active roster as substitutes.
The A’s ($ 48 million) and Orioles ($ 58 million) have a combined payroll that is lower than 21 of the other 28 teams.
FOR NOW UNIT
Before the game, A’s President Dave Kaval and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf teamed up to hoist A’s flag just outside the south entrance of the Colosseum. Both supported efforts to get a proposed 35,000-seat seat on the waterfront stadium for the team near downtown Oakland, though the A’s also explored several potential sites in Las Vegas.
Athletics: RHP James Kaprielian (inflamed right AC joint) will make a rehabilitation start with Triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday.
A’s LHP Cole Irvin (1-1, 5.40 ERA) will make his third start of the season on Tuesday night. Irvin won last season in his only career appearance against Baltimore. Orioles RHP Chris Ellis was in Oakland, in a position to be added to the roster to start.
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