A pair of 25-year-old left-handers will get the call Tuesday night when the Arizona Diamondbacks and the host Oakland Athletics continue a three-game series that got off to an unusual start on Monday
Two pop flies caught by the shortstop, one for each team, played a big part in the Diamondbacks' 5-2 win during the opener of the interleague set
After home runs by Geraldo Perdomo and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. gave the visitors an early 4-1 lead, the tight contest got weird in the fourth inning. With one out and runners on first and third, Arizona's Corbin Carroll lifted a shallow fly to left field.
A's shortstop Nick Allen made a nice catch running away from the infield, but Perdomo alertly took advantage of the fielder's momentum taking him farther into the outfield, tagging up and scoring a key insurance run.
The A's had a similar situation while batting in the eighth, having rallied within 5-2 on a Jace Peterson homer earlier in the frame.
With runners at first and second and no outs, Esteury Ruiz blooped a ball similar to the one Carroll hit four innings earlier. Perdomo, the Diamondbacks' shortstop, made a similarly nice catch
But in this case, instead of tagging up at second or simply holding his position, Oakland's Jordan Diaz dashed to third base, believing the ball would fall for a hit. Perdomo flipped to second baseman Ketel Marte for an easy double play.
When Ryan Noda followed with a walk, instead of having the bases loaded with one out and top power hitter Brent Rooker at the plate in a 5-2 game, Rooker came up with two outs and did no damage with a fly to right field.
A's manager Mark Kotsay was not happy afterward.
"An error in his judgment," he said of Diaz. "Down by three ... too aggressive. At that point, he's just got to see the ball land on the ground before he takes off. Big play. Took the momentum from the game.
"He'll learn from it. It was talked (about with) him. We'll continue to coach and continue to teach these guys. They're here. They're big-leaguers. It's a mistake. It's a teaching moment for us and a development moment he can learn from."
Kotsay will hope that his starter in the rematch, Kyle Muller (1-3, 7.34 ERA), can build upon previous strong outings at home after logging two clunkers on the road in his past two appearances.
When last seen in Oakland, the 2016 second-round pick was limiting the Cincinnati Reds to one run in five innings during a no-decision on April 29. He is 0-1 with a 4.58 in four home outings, 1-2 with a 10.31 ERA in four road appearances.
He has never faced the Diamondbacks
Meanwhile, Arizona's scheduled Tuesday starter, Tommy Henry (1-1, 4.43), has never opposed Oakland.
The 2019 second-rounder's only win came on the road on April 29, an 11-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies in which he allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings. His last two outings have been at home, where he limited the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants to a total of four runs in 12 2/3 innings.
"He's been throwing better each outing, making some quality adjustments," said Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, who was tossed from Monday's game for disputing a check-swing call. "I know the four days in between his starts, he's working his butt off to perfect some mechanical things that can be touched up.
The A's have lost three games in a row and eight of the past nine. The Diamondbacks are on a four-game winning streak
--Field Level Media