Kontos blows Cain’s Lead as San Francisco Giants Fall to A’s 8-5

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 31: Buster Posey
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 31: Buster Posey /

It was a quiet trade deadline for the San Francisco Giants, but a loud night for the Oakland Athletics’ bats as they knocked around Matt Cain early, and launched a grand slam off George Kontos for an inevitable win.

Matt Cain turned in a decent outing for the San Francisco Giants lasting five innings, while giving up two runs. But it wasn’t enough to take down the Oakland Athletics by a score of 8-5 as the bullpen faltered late at the Oakland Coliseum.

The Giants’ bats came alive early as Brandon Belt doubled in appreciation for living to see another year in a Giants’ uniform. Buster Posey then singled to score Belt and give the San Francisco Giants a rare 1-0 first inning lead.

Cain started his night with a similar nightmare in the first. He allowed Matt Joyce to walk leading off the inning, and he was quickly moved to second by Marcus Semien’s single. Jed Lowrie then singled to score Joyce, eliminating the Giants lead quick. Khris Davis followed by hitting a sacrifice fly to left to score Semien from third giving the A’s a 2-1 lead. After a coaching visit to the mound, Cain relaxed, found himself and got the next two outs to end the inning.

The San Francisco Giants would strike back in the fourth inning as Posey singled for his second hit of the game. Brandon Crawford then singled to move Posey to third. Jae-Gyun Hwang came up and singled the other way to right field to score Posey and tie the game at two all.

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Carlos Moncrief then singled for his first major league hit, which would also result in his first major league RBI as his single up the middle was smothered but no throw was made by Semien and Crawford was allowed to score giving the San Francisco Giants a 3-2 lead.

Matt Cain was hit around early but showed some resiliency in the fifth as he allowed a lead off double to Lowrie off the wall in right field. He buckled down to strike out Davis for his first out. Cain then got Yonder Alonso to ground out, and Ryon Healy popped out to Belt for the third out, retiring the side.

Trouble would surface in the sixth inning as the San Francisco Giants sent Josh Osich into the game to preserve the lead. He allowed a lead off walk to Bruce Maxwell, and Rajai Davis followed by doubling off the wall in left field to move Maxwell to third. Matt Joyce walked for his second time to load the bases, as George Kontos entered the game.

How did Kontos do? He only gave up a grand slam to Semien to take the win away from Cain and pin the loss on his buddy Osich, giving the A’s a 6-3 lead.

Moncrief slashed a lead off double and was later caught for an out on Nick Hundley’s fielder’s choice. Hernandez then singled to move Hundley to third, and Hundley was cashed in by Denard Span’s single to shorten the lead to 6-4. Belt followed with another single to center to bring the score within one run. Posey would kill the rally as he struck out swinging to end the inning and threat.

The Oakland A’s would add two runs of insurance off of Kyle Crick and Hunter Strickland in the bottom of the eighth to bring the final score to 8-5.

Notes from the Game:

  • Carlos Moncrief came up with his first hit and RBI, and added a double later for the San Francisco Giants, but I was more impressed with his defense. Giants have the worst defensive outfielders in the league, and to see Moncrief flash an elite cannon for an arm in right field was very refreshing. With how this season is going, what do they have to lose to see what this kid can do? In a lost season, he deserves consistent at -bats, since he is the only outfielder to step into a role and flash an arm that made fans pause for a minute and marvel. That hasn’t happened for a while. Let’s see if the bat can follow, they have nothing to lose through doing so.
  • Kontos needs to be in a different uniform by spring training and there’s really no other way to put it. When you publicly are outspoken about taking a bigger role, when you’re the longest tenured guy on a club who needs a partial rebuild, and you’re 0-5 with an ERA at four, it’s your time to go. He’s a low leverage sixth inning guy.

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