Sean Murphy hits grand slam, Athletics defeat Nationals 10-6
August 31, 2022
Oakland Athletics’ Sean Murphy hit a grand slam in the fifth inning when his team played the Washington Nationals on Tuesday evening. Murphy led his team to win over the opponent 10-6, extending their winning streak.
“We battled. We didn’t get down (on ourselves), jumped right back in," Murphy told reporters after the game. "We didn’t let it snowball. Took the lead back and the bullpen kept it there.”
Murphy’s grand slam on Tuesday was the first in his career and also marked his 17th home run in 2022. He hit the ball sent by Steve Cishek, who replaced Washington’s starting pitcher Eric Fedde after the third inning. Oakland’s manager Mark Kotsay called Murphy’s hit a “big momentum swing” for the team.
“In that at bat he had hooked a slider earlier in the count foul," Kotsay said. "And generally you see guys maybe in that situation not have the success he ended up having in the at-bat. He got the same pitch and hit it out."
In this game, Dermis Garcia also scored his first-ever home run, gaining two runs from his homer. Tony Kemp then gained three hits for the Athletics and made a two-run double.
Oakland’s pitcher Cole Irvin had allowed a total of four runs in the first two innings. However, Irvin made it to the 5 1/3 innings. In total, he allowed only five runs and nine hits while pitching 105 times. Irvin also struck out six opposing batters.
“In the first two innings I was trying to throw the ball by guys. That’s just not who I am,” Irvin said. “And then as we got later into that ballgame I started pitching.
“Once we started pitching, actually started making good pitches and finding our rhythm.”
On Washington’s side, Lane Thomas made a home run and a single, while Luis Garcia also homered for the team. Rookie Joey Meneses hit three doubles, raising his batting average to .352 over the 23 games he had participated in this season.
Washington’s manager Dave Martinez complimented Meneses for his performance. Martinez said, “He stays on the baseball. He can hit the ball the other way. He's just a good hitter. He gets himself in position to hit every pitch.”
Temporary roster change at Oakland
Oakland recently placed their right-hand pitcher Zach Jackson on the 15-day injured list–retroactive to August 27–due to inflammation in his right shoulder. The team brought in prospect pitcher Ken Waldichuk to take Jackson’s spot in the meantime.
It will be Waldichuk’s debut in the major league. The pitcher was ranked as the No. 3 prospect at Oakland by the MLB. Oakland acquired Waldichuk from the New York Yankees via trade, in exchange for Lou Trivino and Frankie Montas.
Previously, he played at minor league Triple-A Las Vegas where he became a starting pitcher four times. Waldichuk currently recorded 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA. He struck out 21 batters in 18 2/3 innings so far.
For the second game against the Nationals, the Athletics have picked James Kaprielian as their starting pitcher. He has made 10 starts in the last two months, posting a 3.86 ERA in those starts and an overall 4.88 ERA. On the other hand, Washington chose to go with Anibal Sanchez who recorded a 5.72 ERA this season.