PHILADELPHIA ( Associated Press) — Mark Coates had a game ball on his table and an Oakland Athletics uniform that looked like beer in hampers. To win his first game as a big league manager, Kotse needed to be converted into shorts after his players spit on him.
In what could be a long season in Oakland, which is again in rebuilding mode, Kotse will celebrate when he arrives.
“I haven’t had one of those since my rookie year,” he said of the alcohol bath.
Billy McKinney homeridden and Dalton Jefferies and four relievers combined on a three-hitter to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 on Sunday to avert a three-game sweep.
AK catcher Austin Allen delivers the Celebrity Game ball to Kotse.
“Coats is awesome. He’s like another player out there,” Allen said. “He’s just leading the ship. His energy and everything is amazing. We all couldn’t be happier for him to be our manager and for him to get his first win.”
Cotsey, 46, was promoted from third base coach to manager and replaced by Bob Melvin.
The A closed a Phillies offense that scored 13 runs in the first two games of the series. Only two hits in The Phillies’ first five innings came from backup Garrett Stubbs and Johann Camargo.
Jean Segura hit his second homer out of the season for the Phillies in ninth, off a ball from Lou Trivino.
Jefferies (1-0) bowled two hit balls in five scoreless innings before issuing a leadoff walk in the sixth. Sam Moll, Domingo Acevedo and Kirby Snead bowled three innings of shutout.
A’s pitcher threw eight or fewer pitches in four innings.
“I really didn’t have a problem with it because I thought we hit too many balls hard,” said Phillips manager Joe Girardi.
Tony Kemp’s two-RBI single in the ninth made it 4-0, sending most of the 33,507 fans out to the ballpark on a chilly, windy day.
Elvis Andrus hit a double each on Bailey Falter (0–1) and scored on Seth Brown’s bloop single in sixth place to give Oakland their first lead of the season.
McKinney, who on Friday became the 1,000th player in Oakland A’s history, hit a single shot off Falter in the seventh. The 1,000-player milestone marks major history for the A in Oakland—even more so than Philadelphia. After playing 54 years in Philadelphia from 1901–1954 (A spent 13 years in Kansas City), Oakland is in his 55th season.
Phillies starter Zack Eflin, who was acquired from the Dodgers in a Jimmy Rollins trade in 2014, made his first start since July 16 against Miami. He was scratched from his next scheduled start because of what the Phillies said was tendinitis in his right knee. The injury to the right arm turned out to be worse than expected: Eflin had surgery to repair a tear in his right patellar tendon in September.
“It’s just one of those scenarios where I just have to remind myself what I’ve been through this off-season,” Eflin said. “It’s nice to take the training wheels off and get out there with no limits.”
Eflin still needed time to build arm strength and return to form but was solid on 68 pitches and four shutout innings. He survived his only jam in the third innings when he loaded the bases without an outsider. Andrus put Eflin into a back line which he caught and circled from second to double for Christian Pache. He retired Shaun Murphy over a popup to keep the game scoreless.
so fresh so Clean
“I took a bath for you guys.” – Kotse told the media after the delay for his postgame news conference.
Girardi and the Phillies could get a little help from above this season.
Well, at least from Girardi’s top shelf inside the manager’s office, where a sister Jeanne Bobblehead keeps an eye out. Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt has become the face of Loyola Chicago during the NCAA Tournament, and her idol is part of Girardi’s collection as an inside joke.
Girardi played at Northwestern and was close to his catching coach, Bob Behrens, who didn’t pick Loyola at all to win it all.
“Bobby didn’t believe in the power of Sister Jean,” said Girardi, laughing.
Behrens told him, “Come on, there are other Catholic and Christian schools playing in this.”
Girardi replies, “It took Sister Jean a hundred years on them.”
Girardi turned to an inside source to have fun at Behrons’ expense. Girardi asked his old coach’s son, Loyola’s sports information director Bill Behrens, for two bobbleheads—one for Girardi and his office and the other to “just rub it in” and send the former catching coach.
The A’s head to Tampa Bay for the next four games of the 10-game road trip. They will send RHP Paul Blackburn (1-4, 5.87 ERA in 2011) to the mound against Rays RHP Luis Patino (5-3, 4.31 in 2021) on Monday.
The Phillies welcome a more traditional opponent and open a three-game set against the New York Mets. The Phillies send LHP Ranger Suarez (8-5, 1.36 ERA in 2021) to the mound against New York RHP Taijuan Walkers (7-11, 4.47 ERA in 2021).
More Associated Press MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports