Key hits propel A’s past Giants in series opener 

click to enlarge A's third baseman Josh Donaldson is congratulated after his home run in the fourth inning put the A's in front. - KELLY L. COX/USA TODAY SPORTS
  • Kelly L. Cox/USA Today Sports
  • A's third baseman Josh Donaldson is congratulated after his home run in the fourth inning put the A's in front.

The A’s took the opening round of the latest Bay Bridge Series as they rode a dominant start by Dan Straily to a 4-1 victory over the Giants at the Oakland Coliseum on Monday.

Giants starter Madison Bumgarner kept pace with Straily for the first three innings before A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson smacked a two-run homer in the fourth inning for the team’s first hit of the game. Yoenis Cespedes added a two-run double in the seventh to give Oakland more insurance than it needed.

“In games like this, against that club, you know it’s going to be close.” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “And you are typically going to get good pitching performances and it’s going to be key hits. It’s going to be good defense and key hits, and we got two key hits today.”

Straily finished six innings, allowing one run on four hits and one walk, while striking out one. It was his second solid start in his third stint with Oakland in between trips to Triple-A. He pitched seven shutout innings in a 1-0 win in Texas on May 21.

“You can see in the early innings, you can see he’s got a lot more confidence the way he’s carrying himself,” Melvin said. “He’s throwing a lot of strikes, which is key for him to get ahead and set up his slider and his changeup. But his fastball’s been really good. You see a lot of late swings on his fastball, and that all starts with getting ahead.”

Gregor Blanco scored the only run for the Giants after drawing a leadoff walk in the sixth inning and coming in three batters later on a groundout by Buster Posey. San Francisco managed just four hits in the game, two of which came from left fielder Andres Torres. Posey saw the end of his 10-game hitting streak with an 0-for-3 day at the plate.

In the end, Donaldson’s offense was all the A’s needed to get their interleague schedule started off on a winning note.

“[Bumgarner] just got behind me 2-0 in that count and had thrown a few balls in a row there,” Donaldson said. “So I guess he wanted to challenge me and try to get a double play, but I was fortunate enough to put a good piece of the wood on it there and hit it out.”

The series continues Tuesday in Oakland before moving to AT&T Park for two more games Wednesday and Thursday.

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