Legends watch Oakland A’s beat SF Giants behind Allen’s two home runs

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland A’s inducted five franchise icons into the [team’s hall of fame] before Sunday’s game against the San Francisco Giants.

Among those honored was Jason Giambi, the 2000 AL MVP who hit 241 home runs in eight seasons in Oakland.

Among current A’s players, the 5-foot-8 Nick Allen would not have been the obvious choice to replicate one of Giambi’s moonshots. However, after only hitting one home run in his first 59 games, the shortstop tripled his season total, blasting two over the left field wall in front of a handful of A’s legends.

“I woke up on the right side of the bed,” Allen joked, explaining what caused his big day at the plate. “But, no, I felt like I was seeing the ball really well today.”

Allen’s unexpected home runs in the second and fifth innings propelled Oakland to an 8-6 victory over the Giants (61-51) in front of an announced crowd of 27,381 at the Coliseum, as the two teams finished the Bay Bridge Series with two wins each.

“They’re the rival team, and obviously it’s a fun and competitive series, and I think the guys feel that as well,” said A’s manager Mark Kotsay. “There are no better fans in baseball to play in front of than these fans when they come out and show their support.”

While the pregame was all about remembering the A’s past, strong performances from the team’s young players this weekend provided Oakland fans with a glimpse of what could be a bright future.

“It’s amazing to see them and try to build those relationships,” Allen said of his interactions with the hall of famers. “It’s truly once-in-a-lifetime stuff.”

Second-year catcher Shea Langeliers’ two-RBI single in the sixth inning gave the A’s a 7-6 lead. Rookie second baseman Zack Gelof went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

The A’s received a shot in the arm from light-hitting Allen, who was 9-for-58 in 21 games since being called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on July 4th, which was even more surprising given his splits and who he was facing.

Taking advantage of facing San Francisco right-hander Alex Cobb, the 24-year-old, who had hit just.133 against right-handers before Sunday, belted a two-run homer in the second inning, his second of the season.

“Sometimes it just comes in bunches,” Allen said, noting that his only other multi-homer game as a pro came in 2021 with the Double-A Midland RockHounds.

The A’s starter was 24-year-old rookie Luis Medina, who was making his 12th start of the season after allowing only seven earned runs in his previous four starts and going at least five innings in each of his previous six.

However, Medina resembled the pitcher who struggled early in the season after posting a 2.92 ERA over his last seven games. He gave up four runs in three and a third innings on five hits and five walks before being relieved by Sam Long.

The A’s also scored in the first inning, when Gelof doubled and was brought home by Seth Brown’s first triple of the season. Gelof has homered four times in his last eight games.

The A’s pulled within two runs in the fifth on Allen’s second home run, and the A’s cut the lead to one on a bases-loaded Tyler Soderstrom walk.

“He’s been exposed to the offspeed pitches early, and I think he’s made a decent adjustment as of late,” Kotsay said of Soderstrom’s two-walk day. “They exploited that weakness with the changeup yesterday, and today he made the adjustment and reached base.” That is unquestionably growth.”

Following Langeliers’ two-run single into left, Tony Kemp added an insurance run with a sac fly.

NOTES: Ryan Noda, who has been on the injured list with a broken jaw since July 20, could be on his way back. Noda, who is second on the team with 11 home runs, could join Triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday if cleared by a doctor, according to A’s manager Mark Kotsay.

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