Rockies Prevail over Athletics in 12, Snap Losing Streak

Austin Gomber of the Rockies celebrating the last out of the eighth inning against the Athletics
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Rockies 4, Athletics 3 (12 innings)

OAKLAND, Calif. (May 22) — A two-run home run by Ryan McMahon in the top of the 12th gave the Colorado Rockies a 5–4 victory over the Oakland Athletics Wednesday night before 3,617 at the Coliseum.

Rockies left-hander Austin Gomber gave them eight terrific innings, holding the Athletics to one run on five hits while walking none and striking out six. But his effort went for naught after the Athletics rallied off Jalen Beeks to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. Victor Vodnik and Nick Mears kept the Athletics off the scoreboard prior to the McMahon dinger. Mears recorded two more outs while allowing one run before Matt Koch finished the Athletics off.

“It was hard-fought,” manager Bud Black said. “Good win for us.”

Rockies – Athletics Game Summary

The Rockies repeated their first-inning formula from the previous night, taking the lead on a two-run homer. And in both cases, Charlie Blackmon was on first. This time, however, the blast came with two outs, and the hitter was catcher Elias Diaz. Rockies starting pitcher Austin Gomber carried the 2–0 lead into the top of the fourth. Athletics third baseman Abraham Toro led off with a rocket toward the hole on the left side, but a diving grab by Rockies shortstop Ezequiel Tovar robbed Toro of a hit. Any thoughts of Tovar’s snag preserving “something special” disappeared when center fielder JJ Bleday, up next, lifted a fly over the wall in right-center for a home run. Left fielder Brent Rooker followed with a double to left, putting the tying run on second, but Gomber struck out catcher Shea Langeliers and got first baseman J.D. Davis to ground to first, stranding Rooker.

Gomber lasted eight innings before Beeks came into the game in the bottom of the ninth. He struck out Bleday looking before Rooker dumped a bloop single to right. Esteury Ruiz came in to pinch-run. After Langeliers flied to right for the second out, Ruiz advanced to second on a walk by Davis, bringing up second baseman Zack Gelof. Gelof dug out a 1–1 changeup at the knees for a game-tying single to center.

Extra Innings

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The teams traded zeroes in the 10th and 11th innings. In the top of the 12th, third baseman Ryan McMahon crushed a line drive over the wall in right for a homer off Kyle Muller. It scored Jake Cave, who started the inning as the automatic runner. The Athletics got one run back in the bottom of the 12th, pushing across a run at the expense of a ground-ball double play by Zack Gelof. A walk by Tyler Nevin brought Matt Koch in to relieve Mears. Koch walked pinch-hitter Kyle McCann before retiring Max Schuemann for the final out on a fly to right.

What Went Right for the Rockies

Took Early Lead

The Rockies scored two runs in the first, giving Gomber a lead to work with before he even threw his first pitch. Additionally, it forced the Athletics to play from behind almost the entire game.

Gomber Terrific

Gomber spun a Quality Start, his fourth in a row and fifth of the season. “He was outstanding,” Black said. “What a mix of pitches. We talked before the game about his game (and) what he needs to do. What I like (is that) he’s to the point now in his career where he really knows how he gets his outs. And it can change a little bit from game to game, depending on what’s working for him. Tonight, good curveball. Located fastball. Mixed in some changes, not a lot of sliders.”

Black went on to praise his in-game awareness. He added that Gomber was “brilliant” in the way he changed speeds and pitched with confidence. Black also pointed out Gomber’s ball-strike ratio, calling it “off the charts” while also noting that Gomber issued no walks and pitched quick, efficient innings. He summed it up with, “Eight innings. You don’t see that a lot in today’s game. Well-pitched.”

Gomber said he used a “three-pitch mix” of a fastball, curveball, and changeup. “Felt like I did a good job commanding everything and keeping a steady mix,” he said. “And guys made plays behind me.”

Didn’t Panic

Games that see a team give up the tying run with two outs in the ninth are obviously frustrating. It can be easy for said team to be down mentally, often leading to an extra-inning loss. But the Rockies did not panic. McMahon said, “Just find a way to win. If you find ways to win, you can lean on that memory. Like, ‘Hey, we’ve done this before.’ So it always gives you hope, which is a lot better to have than no hope.”

What Went Wrong for the Rockies

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No Insurance Runs

The Rockies cracked seven hits after the first inning, but they failed to push any of those runners across. They left the bases loaded in the first and third innings, missing out on chances to blow the game open or, at minimum, score insurance runs. Additionally, they stranded a runner in scoring position in the fifth and sixth innings.

“You kind of feel bad,” McMahon said of the inability to get insurance runs for Gomber. “You know that guy’s going out there and competing his butt off. What did he throw, eight innings tonight? Just an incredible start. So as an offense, you want to do your part. It took us a little bit longer than we had liked, but we got it done.”

Ninth Inning

Jalen Beeks came in to protect the 2–1 lead in the bottom of the ninth but could not get it done. He gave up two hits, including the game-tying single, but also issued a two-out walk to put the tying run in scoring position.

A Homecoming, A Win

Nick Mears, who hails from Sacramento, had a large contingent in attendance to cheer him on. It contained family, extended family, and friends.

Mears grew up attending events at the Oakland Coliseum through the years, so for the Coliseum to be the site of his first win as a Rockie — in his first-ever major-league appearance in Oakland, no less — was extra special for him. “Whenever the A’s played a big team, we would always come into town,” he said. “I would go to Raiders games. I’d go to Supercross races here. I kind of grew up in this stadium, as far as big-league parks go. So to finally be able to pitch here and have some success here is really awesome.”


“Gomber has been really good at identifying what a team’s hole is. Today, he used the changeup and the curveball a lot. Other games, he’s really leaned on the heater, so I think he’s doing a great job seeing what they’re trying to do and then figuring out a way to get them out.” — Ryan McMahon on the variety of strategies Austin Gomber has used in his starts

Quick Hits

With the win, the Rockies are now 22–21 all-time against the Athletics.

Gomber’s outing knocked his ERA on the season down to 2.76. He is the sixth Rockies pitcher to ever have a sub-3.00 ERA through his first ten starts of the season. The others are Ubaldo Jimenez (0.88 in 2010), Mike Hampton (2.65 in 2001), Tyler Chatwood (twice, 2.69 in 2016 and 2.75 in 2013), Roger Bailey (2.87 in 1997), and Marvin Freeman (2.93 in 1994).

Diaz (3-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, R) is 6-for-9 through the first two games of the series. This is the third time in his career that he collected three hits in back-to-back games. The last time he did so was on May 18–19, 2019, both against the San Diego Padres. Diaz is batting .322 on the season, the second-highest average for a catcher in the NL and third-highest in the majors. He trails Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals (.337) and William Contreras of the Milwaukee Brewers (.322).

McMahon has now homered in three straight games. Additionally, he has reached base in 15 straight games, the longest streak for a Rockie in 2024.

Brenton Doyle walked twice, extending his on-base streak to 12 games. It is the longest such streak of his career.

Brent Rooker (2-for-4, 2B) has hit safely in each of his five career games against the Rockies.

Looking Ahead for the Rockies and Athletics

Mears (1–3) earned the win, while Muller (0–1) took the loss, both in relief. Koch notched his first save of the season.

The Rockies (16–32) and Athletics (20–31) will conclude their three-game series Wednesday afternoon, each team going for the series win in what will likely be the last time they ever face each other in Oakland. It will be a battle of right-handers, Ryan Feltner (1–4, 5.69 ERA) for the Rockies and Joey Estes (1–1, 9.38 ERA) for the Athletics. First pitch will be at 12:37 pm Pacific/1:37 pm Mountain.

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

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