OAKLAND—It took an extra inning of baseball for the Oakland Athletics to claim a 7-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels during their opening day matchup on Friday, July, 24, at the Oakland Coliseum.
After the Angels forced the game into the 10th inning, Matt Olson capitalized off a bases-loaded opportunity by hitting a grand slam to seal the Athletics’ win.
The game also displayed for the first time the implementation of MLB’s new extra-inning rule. At the beginning of each frame, teams will start with a free runner on second base.
Shohei Ohtani made history as the first player to demonstrate the rule, but was quickly tagged out after getting caught in a pickle following Angel’s first batter. Marcus Semien started on second during the A’s at-bat and was brought home by Olson’s home run.
The AL West matchup proved to be a competitive back and forth contest with neither team able to maintain a lead for long.
The Angels took the initial go-ahead in the fourth inning with Brian Goodwin hitting an RBI single to bring Albert Pujols home. Ramon Laureano for the A’s answered back in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run to tie it 1-1.
David Fletcher reclaimed the advantage for the Angels with an RBI sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.
Oakland took their first lead of the night in the eighth inning. Laureano earned his second RBI of the game with a double to right field that knotted it up. Matt Chapman followed up with a triple to bring Laureano home and claim the lead.
Jason Castro tied the game with a home-run in the ninth inning, but he’d receive no support from Los Angeles, who gave up two bases-loaded opportunities in both the ninth and tenth innings.
In addition to their home runs, Laureano went 2-3 at the plate and Olson went 2-4.
Mike Trout batted 1-3, while also making it to first off an intentional walk. Pujols made his 20th consecutive opening day start since making his debut in 2001 with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Joe Maddon lost in his managerial debut with the Angels. Maddon came to Los Angeles this past offseason after previously managing the Chicago Cubs. He previously coached on Angel’s coaching staff from 1974-2005 before landing his first managerial job with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Athletics will host the Angels again on Saturday, July, 25, for game two of their four-game series. The first pitch is slated for 1:10 p.m. at the Oakland Coliseum.