Takeaways: Matt Olson walks-off, Khris Davis snaps homer-less streak in Oakland Athletics’ win over Brewers

Ramon Laureano is headed to the 10-day IL with a shin stress reaction

OAKLAND, CA – JULY 30: Jurickson Profar #23 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by teammates after he scored against the Milwaukee Brewers in the bottom of the third inning at Ring Central Coliseum on July 30, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Matt Olson hadn’t seen Milwaukee power reliever Josh Hader since low-A ball. That lefty-on-lefty matchup typically went Hader’s way.

“I might have one hit off the guy,” Olson said. “He’s had my number for multiple years.”

Olson wasn’t alone. Hader has most big leaguers’ number, really. In three seasons playing under The Show’s spotlight, the two-time All-Star has a cumulative 2.25 ERA and had allowed all of 22 home runs.

In the 10th inning Tuesday night, game tied, Olson got that second hit. And it more than made up for years of minor league whiffs: a walk-off home run off Hader’s first pitch fastball, handing the A’s a 3-2, 10th inning win over the Milwaukee Brewers. It marked the A’s eighth walk-off win of the season.

Hours after the home plate Gatorade bath, Olson was still grinning.

“Any walk-off homer is obviously a blast,” he said. This one moved the A’s to 61-47 and in sole possession of the second wild card spot again.

Khris Davis hops off the schneid 

When was the last time Davis went yard? June 18th in Baltimore, two outs, two on off a Dan Strailey fastball. Over the course of this month-plus, the slugger fell into a deep slump that kept his extra-base production well below his norm.

He was a game away from having a home run-less July. Then Freddy Peralta threw him an irresistible curveball right over the plate, Davis connected and scorched the offering into the left field seats.

“I think it was a big load off everyone’s back against his old team, maybe, a little extra inspiration,” manager Bob Melvin said. “But we’ve been kind of waiting for that.”

The stars certainly aligned: Davis changed his walk-up music to “Forgot About Dre” by Dr. Dre and Eminem. A prime opportunity faced him: a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning against the team that traded him years ago.

“That’s what KD does,” Olson said “He’s one of the best power hitters in the game and sometimes you just have to feel it to get it rolling.”

He and Matt Chapman shared a tender hug upon his return to the dugout — the team looked pleased to see its DH snap a bad streak in a big moment — but Davis wasn’t focused on the past.

“I think they were happy that we had the lead,” he said. “They’re not concerned how long it’s been since I hit a home run.”

Blake Treinen is back

This team is at its best when Treinen and Davis are at their best, or so said Melvin after Sunday’s win.

Davis’ big home run preceded an encouraging inning for Treinen, who has been struggling with his command and with injury this season.

Sunday against the Texas Rangers, Treinen tossed a scoreless inning with one walk. He looked even better Tuesday against a strong top of the Brewers order, striking out Ben Gamel and reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich in a perfect 10th inning.

“I know people looking in from outside in might think I’m down, but I’ve never had a lack of confidence this year,” Treinen said. “These last two outings have definitely felt better.”

What’s changed? Treinen said he and pitching coach Scott Emerson have been working on a mechanical tweak that’s come to fruition. He’s started to mix in a slider and cutter more readily and his sinker velocity is up — most importantly, he has command of all his pitches.

Ramon Laureano to the IL

Laureano missed Sunday’s and Tuesday’s game with a sore right shin. He had an MRI Tuesday that revealed a stress reaction that will send the budding A’s center fielder to the 10-day IL.

“It’s gonna be more than 10 days,” Melvin said.

This is a huge blow, as Laureano was having a breakout second half, batting .392 with eight home runs and 18 RBIs in July alone.

 

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