SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Oakland Athletics were down to their last strike when Stephen Piscotty hit a tying home run off closer Brad Hand, who was San Diego’s only All-Star last year.
Jed Lowie then hit a two-run shot with two outs in the 10th to lift the Athletics to a 4-2 victory Tuesday night.
Hand was trying for his 22nd save when Piscotty drove a 2-2 fastball into the second deck, his fifth.
“That’s a guy you don’t typically think you’re going to string some hits together against and you’re down to your last pitch and the next thing it’s a homer,” manager Bob Melvin said. “That’s about as big a momentum shift as you’re going to get, when you’re a strike away from losing and all of a sudden now you potentially have got their closer out of the game and bullpen-wise maybe we’re a little better set.”
Against a pitcher like Hand, “you’re probably only going to get one pitch to hit and you don’t want to miss it,” Piscotty said. “He did a good job of getting ahead but in my mind I was just waiting for that one, and luckily I got it and didn’t miss it.”
Piscotty took a 1-2 slider to even the count before homering.
“I saw that one really good and felt confident. Sometimes when you have a good take like that it locks you in,” he said.
“We were one out away from winning the ballgame. I made a mistake, they came back and hit a home run and then the tenth inning didn’t go our way,” Hand said. “It was down, it was just inner third. A little more in would have been better, but it wasn’t necessarily a terrible pitch, but he made a good swing on it.”
Said manager Andy Green: “I’m sure if he had it back, he’d throw a slider instead of a fastball. I also think he wouldn’t mean to throw the fastball right where he threw it. Brad’s been good all year. I’m not the least bit worried about him. He’s resilient as anybody, and it’s one of those days, it’s a tough loss. It one of those that stings late because we did have it. One strike away, and those games sting.”
Adam Cimber (3-3) allowed Marcus Semien’s one-out single in the 10th and retired Chad Pinder on a fly to right before Lowrie connected for his 10th homer.
“I was just looking for something over the plate that I could square up and he made a mistake right down the middle,” Lowrie said.
Rookie Lou Trivino (4-1) pitched two innings for the win. Blake Treinen pitched the 10th for his 16th save.
Padres rookie left-hander hander Eric Lauer had been in line for the victory after pitching six strong innings. He settled down after allowing an unearned run in the second and held the A’s to one run and three hits while matching his strikeout high with seven. He walked two.
The Padres had given Lauer just enough support in the first two innings against Paul Blackburn. Jose Pirela brought in a run in the first on a grounder and Raffy Lopez doubled with one out in the second to bring in rookie Franmil Reyes, who was aboard on a leadoff double.
Blackburn allowed two runs and four hits in five innings, struck out four and walked two.
The A’s scored in the second with some help from replay. Khris Davis drew a leadoff walk and was originally called out on a force play on Matt Olson’s ground ball. The A’s challenged and the call was overturned, with shortstop Freddy Galvis given an error because his foot wasn’t on second base when he took the throw. Davis advanced on Mark Canha’s single and scored when Piscotty grounded into a double play.
The Padres are in a stretch in which they will play just five of 28 games at home. After going 5-5 on a trip through Miami, St. Louis and Atlanta, the Padres are home for just two games before heading out for a seven-game trip to San Francisco and Texas. Then they’re home for three games against Pittsburgh before a six-game trip to Oakland and Arizona.
Padres: Have cut short OF Franchy Cordero’s rehab assignment after he felt something in his right elbow. Manager Andy Green said it’s “highly unlikely” Cordero is back soon.
Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas (3-1, 2.67 ERA) is scheduled to start the finale of the two-game series.
Padres: Rookie LHP Joey Lucchesi (3-2, 3.23) is scheduled to return from more than a month on the DL with a strained right hip.
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