Former Orange County, Calif., prep pitching rivals Michael Lorenzen of the Los Angeles Angels and Cole Irvin of the Oakland Athletics duel as starters for the first time in their major league career when the American League West teams continue a three-game series Tuesday night.
The clubs, both eliminated from the playoff chase, needed 10 innings to decide the series opener, with Oakland overcoming a strong effort by Angels starter pitcher Patrick Sandoval to rally from a four-run deficit into a 5-4 victory.
Seth Brown had three RBIs in the comeback, which saw Oakland (58-102) score all its runs in the final three innings. Pinch hitter Tony Kemp was the hero with a walk-off single in the 10th.
Even in the team’s miserable season, the moment was a special one for Kemp, a pending free agent who has played the past three seasons with Oakland.
“I’m not going to lie to you. I was kinda sad to know it was going to end in the next 48 hours,” Kemp said of his mood before the game. “To be able to come up in a situation like that was big. Being an Oakland A is who I am.”
Lorenzen, 30, pitched at Fullerton Union High until 2010, and Irvin, 28, at Servite High in Anaheim until 2012, schools separated by just 3 1/2 miles.
They have pitched in the same major league game once before, when both were relievers on Sept. 4, 2019. Lorenzen was with the Cincinnati Reds and Irvin with the Philadelphia Phillies, and Lorenzen got the win.
Both started games last week when the A’s visited the Angels, but they did so a day apart.
Unbeaten in his last four starts, Lorenzen (8-6, 4.52 ERA) was the winning pitcher last Wednesday in a 4-1 victory, allowing just one unearned run and three hits in five innings. He is 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA against the A’s this season, having allowed just one earned run in 18 innings.
The right-hander has a 3-0 record and 0.45 ERA in four career appearances, including this year’s three starts, against Oakland.
Irvin (9-13, 4.11 ERA) needs a win in his last scheduled start of the season to match his career high, set last year with the A’s when he went 10-15. He lost his past two starts against the New York Mets and the Angels, allowing a combined 11 runs (10 earned) and 20 hits in 8 2/3 innings.
The left-hander will be making his fifth start against the Angels this season, still seeking his first win. He has gone 0-4, allowing 10 runs (nine earned) in 24 innings, to fall to 2-6 with a 3.11 ERA in his career against Los Angeles in nine starts.
Irvin hasn’t had much luck in his career against Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani, with Trout having gone 3-for-4 with two doubles and two walks, while Ohtani is 8-for-25 (.320) with three doubles and two home runs.
The A’s shackled Trout with an 0-for-5 in the series opener. Ohtani had an RBI double and scored a run as the Angels (73-87), seeking an eighth straight victory, were opening an early 4-0 lead.
Coincidentally, Trout was playing Monday night for the first time since breaking former A’s star Reggie Jackson’s record for most career home runs against the Texas Rangers. His 44th homer Sunday against the Texas-era Rangers broke a tie with Jackson.
“It means you’re doing something good,” he said of bettering Jackson. “I didn’t know it, so that’s good to know.”
–Field Level Media