Documenting the Athletics – From Philadelphia, to Kansas City, to Oakland and Finally to Fremont
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April 5, 1989 at the Oakland Coliseum
Athletics 11, Mariners 1 (2-0)
The Athletics made it two straight behind a signficant offensive outburst by the A’s bats. Of course lost in all of the offense was an outstanding start by veteran Bob Welch. The right hander gave up just a single run on four hits in eight innings of work and the lone blemish was a solo home run in the fifth inning by Mariners’ catcher Dave Valle.
After stranding two baserunners in the first inning, the Athletics struck in the second. With two outs, Mike Gallego singled and then Walk Weiss went yard to make it 2-0. The A’s actually got a couple more baserunners after the long ball, but like the first inning, they left two runners on base.
The Athletics struck again in the fifth when Mark McGwire belted his second homerun in as many days. He did it with two outs when it looked like the Mariners might get out of the inning unscathed.
After three uneventful innings, the A’s opened things up in the sixth inning. Ron Hassey led off the inning with a ground out to second base before Felix Jose singled to center. Gallego then pushed Jose over to second with a double. Then it looked like the A’s might strand some more runners because Jose was gunned down on a comebacker to the pitcher by Wal Weiss but Gallego scored on an error by Harold Reynolds. Luis Polonia then singled home Weiss to make it 5-1. Polonia stole second before Dave Henderson drew a walk and then Dave Parker doubled them both home to make it 7-1.
The eighth frame was another big inning for the A’s. Gallego led off with a double and then he scored on Walt Weiss’ second home run of the game. Luis Polonia lined out but then Stan Javier singled. Dave Parker then belted his first homerun of the season to make it 11-1.
Overall, Weiss finished three for four with three runs and four RBIs. Dave Parker also drove in four runs while Polonia went one for three with two walks, one run, one RBI and two stolen bases.
April 3, 1989 at the Oakland Coliseum
Athletics 3, Mariners 2 (1-0)
With the A’s 1988 World Series loss to the Dodgers still fresh on their minds, the home team got off to a nice start in front of their home town fans in their 1989 season opener. It was a solid pitcher’s duel with only five runs between the two teams but some early offense by slugger Mark McGwire and some excellent bullpen work helped the A’s win this one.
One thing to note was this was also the very first game that Ken Griffey, Jr. and Omar Vizquel played. He batted number two and he doubled in his first big league at bat. He later drew a walk and scored one of the Mariners two runs. Vizquel went 0 for three in the number eight slot.
The Athletics didn’t waste much time in this one. Tony Phillips led off the bottom of the first with a double before Dave Henderson was hit by a pitch. Carney Lansford flew out to center and that allowed Phillips to advance to third and that set up a one out sac. fly by Mark McGwire to make it 1-0.
The Athletics then struck again in the third. Carney Lansford singled with one out then moved to second on an error by Vizquel. Mark McGwire then followed that up with a two run blast to give the A’s a 3-0 lead.
In the meantime, Dave Stewart was cruising along. He didn’t allow a run until the fifth when Edgar Martinez singled home Jeffrey Leonard. Then in the sixth, Griffey walked and later scored on Darnell Coles single before Tony LaRussa went to the pen. Gene Nelson came into the sixth with one out and two runners on and he salvaged the inning by striking out the final two batters in the frame.
From there, the Mariners never really threatened the A’s pen and they garnered just a single hit in the final three frames. Nelson pitched a shutout seventh and then Rick Honeycutt got the first two batters out in the eighth before the A’s big closer, Dennis Eckersley, came in. He got the final out in the eighth and then didn’t yield a base runner in the ninth to earn his first save of the season.
The A’s never got much more from there offense but the three runs were enough. McGwire was the lone hitter with two hits and the only other extra base hit was the first inning lead off double by Phillips.
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