By Sam Bush
Daniel Mengden threw a two-hitter, Matt Olson and Matt Joyce each hit two-run homers and the Oakland Athletics beat the Phillies 4-0.
Mengden (1-1) struck out seven and walked none to record his first career shutout in his 18th start. J.P Crawford had both hits off Mengden.
Using a herky-jerky delivery, Mengden kept the Phillies off-balance with a heavy dose of offspeed pitches and low 90s fastballs. He entered the game with a 2-10 record and 6.59 career ERA. It was the first complete game by the A’s this season.
“Mengden really stymied us,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “He pitched backward, threw as many offspeed pitches as fastballs. Give him credit. Glad I didn’t give Crawford the night off.”
The 24-year-old righty cooled down Rhys Hoskins and a hot-hitting lineup that scored 27 runs in a three-game sweep over Miami. Hoskins, who hit 18 homers in his first 34 games, was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.
“He threw a lot of strikes, got ahead and as the game went on, you could see his confidence grow and grow,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “When he’s got everything working, there’s a gap between his off-speed stuff and his heater and it’s tough to think along with him.”
Phillies starter Mark Leiter Jr. (above) allowed four runs and seven hits, striking out nine in six innings.
“I thought the two homers put us in a tough hole early on. That was disappointing,” Leiter said. “After that, I tried to keep us in it.”
Olson hit a shot four rows shy of the third deck in right-center in the first inning, giving the A’s a 2-0 lead on his 19th homer. The blast was estimated at 483 feet.
Joyce drove his 24th homer out to right-center in the second for a 4-0 lead.
Mengden also got his first career hit , a single off Crawford’s glove in the shortstop hole before Joyce connected.
“I love hitting,” he said. “Just try to get a good pitch to hit, close my eyes and swing and see what happens.”