OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Vogt wore a special new pair of cleats that he let his kids colour all over. He greeted all his old Oakland friends in the stands and behind the scenes at the ballpark where he is still very much beloved, then received the warmest of welcomes wearing the other team's uniform.
Then San Francisco's designated hitter for the day turned around a quiet outing at the plate with one emphatic swing. On Sunday, he will catch against his former club as Buster Posey rests.
Vogt hit a three-run homer to highlight an eight-run eighth and broke it open, Kevin Pillar had a tiebreaking, two-run double in San Francisco's biggest inning of 2019, and the Giants beat the surging Athletics 10-5 on Saturday night.
There was huge applause for the ex-A's catcher and fan favourite.
"It was really special for me. Just the fans, I was very moved by them cheering and just the way I was received the first time back," Vogt said. "It really meant a lot to me. Obviously it's a special place for me and for my family, so to come back and have the fans kind of say thank you or hi, or whatever you want to call it, it was a very neat moment for me."
"We miss you!" one fan yelled as he stepped into the batter's box in the first as DH for the Giants.
"I believe in Stephen Vogt!" another hollered, reciting the phrase they all used to cheer.
Vogt flied out four times before his eighth homer.
Brandon Crawford homered in the fifth and hit an RBI single in the eighth, when San Francisco tied it on a wild pitch by A.J. Puk, before Pillar's double to right. Evan Longoria had RBI singles in the sixth and eighth off loser Yusmeiro Petit (3-3).
Sam Coonrod (3-0) recorded two outs for the win.
Marcus Semien and Matt Olson had RBI singles in the seventh to give the A's a lead, but the bullpen couldn't hold it this time — a rarity for this reliable pitching staff.
Mark Canha homered and Matt Chapman added an RBI double off Madison Bumgarner as the A's worked the lefty ace early. Oakland had its four-game winning streak snapped and lost for just the second time in nine games following a three-game sweep of the Yankees and three victories in four against first-place Houston.
"We've been playing pretty well up to this point. We basically just had a bad inning today," manager Bob Melvin said.
Jurickson Profar started the eighth with a double against Jandel Gustave, then advanced on Josh Phegley's sacrifice bunt before Semien's base hit.
Bumgarner allowed two runs on four hits in five innings, struck out five and walked one.
BAY BRIDGE GOODBYES
San Francisco's Bruce Bochy knew he would be a bit nostalgic about his final trip to Oakland as a manager.
"The enthusiasm and fans in this Bay Series, yeah, it's pretty cool. It's a lot of fun to watch," Bochy said. "The Giant fans and Oakland fans going at it, that's what I'll miss probably as much as anything. Of course the two teams. We've had some good battles over the years. It's a big rivalry with the closeness of the two clubs and history of two teams, that's always fun to be a part of."
The A's made a thoughtful gesture with manager Bob Melvin presenting Bochy with a bottle of red wine from Francis Ford Coppola Winery during a pregame ceremony at home plate.
Bochy tipped his cap several times.
"I'll take in these two games, I'll enjoy it," Bochy said.
Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. He became emotional at the idea he may never play again for Bochy.
Unless they can work out a way for him to get one more at-bat.
"He's like my dad, he always wants the best for me and he always cares about me. If he wants me to go out there and play I'll take one more at-bat for him," Sandoval said.
The procedure is likely Sept. 3 or 4 in Los Angeles and will be done by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who evaluated the 2012 World Series MVP on Wednesday and determined he needed the procedure on his ulnar collateral ligament.
MT. DAVIS SEATS OPEN
The outfield upper-deck seats known as Mt. Davis were utilized for the two-game weekend series — reminiscent of the old Oakland days. Late Raiders owner Al Davis had the section built, though it was criticized for blocking picturesque views of the Oakland Hills.
Saturday's game drew an announced crowd of 53,367.
Giants: San Francisco activated RHP Shaun Anderson from the injured list and he pitched the eighth.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea, out all season after shoulder surgery last September, struck out 12 over seven scoreless innings in his latest rehab start for Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday and Melvin could see a chance for Manaea to join the A's rotation during an upcoming stretch of 16 straight games. ... CF Ramon Laureano (stress reaction in lower right leg) did his second running session on the field, only straight for now without rounding bases. That came a day after he hit a pair of home runs during live batting practice against RHP Daniel Gossett in Stockton. It was Gossett's first time facing hitters since Tommy John surgery last August.
RHP Logan Webb (1-0, 1.80 ERA) makes his second career start for San Francisco after winning his debut with seven strikeouts last Saturday at Arizona.
LHP Brett Anderson (10-9, 4.06) pitches for the A's having gone 1-4 with a 5.02 ERA over his last five starts.
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