OAKLAND — Frankie Montas on Wednesday became the first A’s starter this season to pitch five complete innings and Jesús Luzardo touched 98 mph with his fastball in an up-and-down outing at the Coliseum.
But Matt Chapman’s solo home run in the first inning was all of the offense the A’s could muster in a 5-1 interleague loss to the Colorado Rockies, as they closed their season-opening homestand with a disappointing 3-3 record.
The A’s had runners on first and second with no outs in the eight inning. But after Matt Canha was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs, Rockies reliever Jairo Diaz struck out Robbie Grossman to end the threat. The A’s had five hits and left eight runners on base.
No A’s pitcher had lasted more than 4 2/3 innings before Wednesday. In his first start on Opening Night last Friday, Montas went four innings, struck out five and walked three, throwing 81 pitches.
Against the Rockies, Montas was up to 70 pitches by the start of the fifth inning as he allowed single runs in the second and the fourth. In the second with the bases loaded, though, Montas got Trevor Story to ground out to end an early threat.
Montas retired the side in order in the fifth before giving way to Luzardo, who struck out five and allowed three runs in 3 2/3 innings in his second appearance this season.
Luzardo gave up a slicing double to Charlie Blackmon that Grossman could not field cleanly, allowing Story to score from first base and give the Rockies a 3-1 lead.
The Rockies had runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth when Blackmon sent a ground ball up the middle that Luzardo blocked with his leg. Luzardo fielded the ball, but threw a lazy ball to first base. Blackmon beat the throw and two runs scored as the Rockies took a 5-1 lead.
Still, Luzardo was able to use his slider and changeup for strikeouts, and may be on track to start a game this weekend in Seattle when the A’s play the Mariners in a four-game series that starts Friday.
The A’s thought they had tied the game 2-2 in the fourth inning.
Stephen Piscotty grounded a German Marquez pitch to third base with two outs and Nolan Arenado — a seven-time Gold Glove winner — made the curious decision to throw to home plate. Olson, running home from third, was called out but appeared safe on replay. The call was upheld after a video review.
A’s manager Bob Melvin said earlier Wednesday he would either start Luzardo this weekend or give him one more chance to come out of the bullpen.
Melvin made some tweaks to his starting lineup for Wednesday’s game, as Ramon Laureano replaced Khris Davis as the A’s designated hitter. Davis went hitless again Tuesday and is 0-for-15 so far this the season with seven strikeouts.
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