Butler hits home run, winning single to lift A's to 2-1 walk-off win over Nationals


OAKLAND, Calif. — Lawrence Butler hit the game-winning RBI single in the 10th inning and had a solo home run to power the Oakland Athletics to a 2-1 walk-off win over the Washington Nationals on Friday night.

Max Schuemann scored the winning run in his major league debut after entering as the automatic runner on second base to begin the 10th inning. The 26-year-old utility man was called up on Thursday to replace injured outfielder Brent Rooker.

“That’s my boy. We were drafted together,” Butler said of Schuemann. “To see him score that run for my first walk-off, his first MLB run in his first MLB game; that was a pretty cool moment.”

A crowd of 5,777 fans attended Friday, as the A’s hosted their first home game since announcing April 4 they will play the next three seasons in Sacramento. They are playing their 57th and final season at the Oakland Coliseum until the team moves to Sutter Health Park, which is home to the Sacramento River Cats, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.

The Nationals tied the game in the top of the ninth inning on a solo shot off A’s right-hander Dany Jiménez from Jesse Winker, who went 4 for 4 with a double.

“A win tonight feels really good,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “Especially when you give up a lead in the ninth and you come back and win the game in the 10th.”

The A’s (6-8) have now won five of their past six games.

Butler hit his first home run of the season 445 feet to right field in the third inning with a 113.1 mph exit velocity.

“That felt pretty good,” Butler said. “I mean, if that didn’t get out I might as well just give it up.”

Oakland right-hander Paul Blackburn made his third straight scoreless start to begin the season, striking out four in 6 1/3 innings. His 19 1/3 scoreless innings to begin a season are an Oakland record and third-most in franchise history, behind Philadelphia A’s pitchers Harry Krause (23 IP in 1910) and Alex Kellner (21 IP in 1953).

“It’s cool,” Blackburn said of his scoreless streak. “But 19 innings is a very small sample size. I hope I get 180 innings this year. You look at 19, like — yeah, it’s fun, don’t get me wrong — but just being able to approach every game like it’s its own game.”

Michael Kelly (2-0) pitched one inning for the win. Kyle Finnegan (0-2) gave up Butler’s winning hit.

Nationals right-hander Jake Irvin tossed six innings of one-run ball. Washington first baseman Joey Gallo was ejected in the eighth inning after he and Lane Thomas were called out on strikes by home plate umpire John Libka.

Before the game, the Nationals (5-8) recalled right-handed reliever Amos Willingham and optioned catcher Drew Millas to Triple-A.

TRAINER’S ROOM

A’s: LHP Ken Waldichuk (left elbow UCL sprain) threw a 20-25 pitch bullpen Friday. … OF Brent Rooker (costochondral cartilage injury) started total body workouts Friday. … IF Aledmys Díaz (right calf strain) has started a running program. … RHP Luis Medina (right knee MCL sprain) has started a running program. … RHP Freddy Tarnok (right hip inflammation) had a cortisone injection last week and could pitch off a mound next week. … OF Miguel Andujar (right knee lateral meniscus surgery) is playing catch and is expected to start running and hitting next week.

Nationals: Manager Dave Martinez said RHP Josiah Gray (right elbow/forearm flexor strain) has a full range of motion. “He’ll get back on the mound again real soon,” Martinez said. … Nick Senzel (fractured right thumb) will rehab at least one or two more games for Double-A Harrisburg. … OF Stone Garrett (left ankle surgery) has joined Double-A Harrisburg to begin a rehab assignment.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb



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