Called up from Triple-A last week, A's OF breaks up Lewis' no-hitter with double in ninth
By Mark Chiarelli
OAKLAND -- Max Muncy hasn't had many opportunities at the Major League level, but his ninth-inning double in Thursday's 5-1 loss to the Rangers helped the A's avoid being on the wrong side of history.
After Yonder Alonso's two-out walk in the eighth broke up Colby Lewis' perfect game, Muncy ended the no-hitter by hitting a 2-2 fastball to the right-field wall for a leadoff double. Nomar Mazara nearly corralled it, but he couldn't hang on as he crashed into the green padding and the ball fell to his feet.
Muncy also ended Lewis' shutout two batters later, scoring on a Coco Crisp double.
"Your first thought is, 'Thank God,'" Muncy said. "No one wants to get no-hit. That was the first thing going through my head, like, 'All right, we just broke it up, let's get some runs.'"
The A's didn't work a single three-ball count between the third and seventh innings, and Lewis needed only 14 pitches combined to get through the sixth and seventh.
Muncy even tried to bunt his way on base in the sixth inning after he saw Adrian Beltre playing off the third-base line.
"At that point, it's a 0-0 game and I'm trying to get on base," Muncy said. "Unfortunately he threw me a curveball that I bunted right back to him, and he made the play. If I just get it a couple feet away from him, I'm safe there, and there's a runner on base, and maybe that game turns out differently."
Instead, the Rangers scored twice off Daniel Mengden in the seventh, which was plenty for Lewis to work with. Oakland didn't muster solid contact against the right-hander until Muncy's double in the ninth.
Max Muncy's double was hit 94 MPH with a 33 degree launch angle... Similar batted balls have a .185 BA. pic.twitter.com/QCU2jygny4
Muncy said Lewis' command was superb, saying "he was throwing what he wanted whenever he wanted to."
Lewis threw a two-hit shutout last September against the A's.
"I've faced him enough to know he's a serious thorn in our side," A's manager Bob Melvin said.
Muncy, who is hitting .231, was the most notable thorn in Lewis' side Thursday, making hard contact in two at-bats and forcing the righty to field the bunt off the mound. He's made three starts since being recalled from Triple-A last Friday and is getting an opportunity in right field, even though it's not his natural position -- which he said he's "comfortable with moving forward" as he tries to establish himself in Oakland.
On Thursday, he was simply relieved to break up Lewis' no-hit bid.
"I think it's important to any team," he said. "No one wants to go out there and get no-hit. We've been swinging the bats pretty well the last couple games, so it's pretty frustrating to go out there and have this happen today."
Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com based in Oakland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.