Daniel Mengden pitched into the eighth inning for his first major league win, backed by Marcus Semien’s three-run homer and four RBIs, and the Oakland Athletics beat the San Francisco Giants 8-3 on Monday night to open the Bay Bridge Series.
Semien connected in the decisive second and Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis added RBI doubles against Jeff Samardzija (8-5) in that five-run inning, then Semien added a run-scoring double in the sixth. Davis hit an RBI single in the seventh.
Mengden (1-3) retired the first 13 batters in order before Angel Pagan’s one-out single in the fifth. Mengden’s start ended after loading the bases in the eighth and losing his shutout bid.
The right-hander had pitched well enough to win during his initial three major league starts but received only four runs of support combined. He had more than that when he took the ball to start the bottom of the second, leading 5-0.
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With his handlebar mustache resembling Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers’ famous facial hair, Mengden allowed two runs and four hits in 7 2-3 innings, struck out five and walked three. He threw 10 of 14 first-pitch strikes to start the game.
Right fielder Billy Burns had a leaping catch on Denard Span’s hard fly ball to start the fourth, while Mengden made a great play fielding Gregor Blanco’s sharp liner for the final out of the second.
Oakland won for the fourth time in five games as manager Bob Melvin called for his streaky club to keep some momentum and build some consistency. The A’s earned just their third win in eight interleague games while handing the Giants just their third defeat in 16 games and fourth in 17 at AT&T Park.
Samardzija, who spent the second half of the 2014 season with Oakland after a trade from the Cubs, allowed six earned runs for the third time in his last five starts. He gave up eight hits in six innings, struck out two and walked two. The right-hander – signed to a $90 million, five-year deal during the offseason – is 1-3 over his last five starts after winning three consecutive outings.
In his previous start against Oakland last season with the White Sox, Samardzija surrendered a career-high 10 runs in three innings on Sept. 15.
The A’s lead the all-time series against the Giants 55-52 since interleague began in 1997.