OAKLAND – The Oakland A’s got off to such an atrocious start to 2023 that there was legitimate talk as to whether they might set Major League Baseball’s modern-era record for most losses in a single season.
Following what’s been Oakland’s best two-week stretch of the year, there’s no longer that concern.
After being no-hit for five innings, the A’s scored four runs in the sixth and six more in the seventh on Sunday to earn a 10-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels and complete their first series sweep in close to three months.
Ryan Noda and Seth Brown both hit two-run home runs in the sixth to give Oakland a 4-3 lead. After Angels outfielder Luis Rengifo hit a solo homer in the seventh to tie the game, a Tony Kemp single to center, along with a Los Angeles error, scored three more runs to give the A’s the lead for good before an announced crowd of 12.425 at the Coliseum.
A two-RBI double by Shea Langeliers and an RBI infield single by Lawrence Butler rounded out the six-run inning, as the A’s completed their first series sweep since June 9-11 when they took three straight from the Brewers in Milwaukee.
The A’s won just 12 of their first 62 games of the season, a record that matched the 1932 Red Sox for the second-worst record after 62 games by any team since 1900.
But Oakland’s lopsided victory Sunday was its eighth in the last 13 games. Now, with four weeks left, the A’s, at 42-95, only need to win one of their final 25 games to avoid tying MLB’s modern-era single-season record of 120 losses, held by the 1962 New York Mets. Oakland begins a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday.
A’s starting pitcher Kyle Muller, the 6-foot-7, 250-pound right-hander, shined for three innings Sunday before struggling in the fourth. Muller retired nine of the first 11 batters he faced, touching 98 mph with his four-seam fastball, but allowed three earned runs in the fourth.
Muller gave up a two-run homer to Eduardo Escobar and an RBI double to Chad Wallach and was taken out after four innings, preventing him from earning his first victory since May 5 in Kansas City.