OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Batting ninth in an AL ballpark, Zach McKinstry realizes if he simply gets on base Mookie Betts and a bunch of other big hitters are right behind him.
McKinstry and Corey Seager each drove in three runs, Will Smith homered off the left-field foul pole and the Los Angeles Dodgers pounded the winless Oakland Athletics 10-3 on Monday night.
Justin Turner also went deep as the defending World Series champions provided plenty of support for starter Dustin May (1-0). Seager hit a three-run double, and McKinstry had two RBI singles and a sacrifice fly.
“The superstars are right behind me. I don’t really have to do too much,” McKinstry said. “(Betts) is behind me. Honestly, if I get out there he’s probably going to hit a double to the gap. That’s how I think — try not to put too much pressure on myself.”
May, who was 3-1 in 10 starts and two relief outings during the shortened 2020 season, struck out eight and walked two over six scoreless innings. He allowed only two hits.
With Dodger Blue making up most of the 6,653 fans in attendance, it sure sounded like a Los Angeles home game.
The reigning AL West champion A’s dropped to 0-5 for the third time in franchise history and first since 1987. Oakland also lost its initial five games in 1979 — then both that year and in ’87 the club won its sixth game.
“It seems like everything that could go wrong has at this point,” manager Bob Melvin said.
Oakland was outscored 35-9 by the rival Astros in a season-opening four-game sweep, then got thumped by another impressive slugging opponent.
“Well, we’re facing the world champions here, so it’s not like it gets any easier,” Melvin noted before the game.
Oakland’s three runs in the eighth came too late. Mark Canha homered and Matt Chapman and Ka’ai Tom added run-scoring singles — Tom for his first major league hit.
A’s right-hander Frankie Montas (0-1) was done after 2 2/3 innings, having allowed seven runs and seven hits in his first 2021 start. He was slowed the past week after leaving his final spring training outing March 25 with a ripped cuticle on his right middle finger.
“We’ve lost five games in a row so we’re a little down,” Montas said. “But we’re a good team.”
Oakland recalled left-hander A.J. Puk from its Stockton alternate site and he made his first appearance since 2019, throwing 3 1/3 scoreless innings with one hit, four strikeouts and three walks. He missed last season with a shoulder injury that required surgery.
“It was great,” Puk said. “A lot of hard work went into it and I was happy to be back out there.”
Dodgers: 2B Chris Taylor was hit by a pitch on the left elbow and an X-ray was negative. “Certainly some soreness and some swelling,” manager Dave Roberts said. … CF Cody Bellinger got cleated in the calf beating out a reviewed infield single in the ninth. … Roberts went with usual 1B Max Muncy at designated hitter to give him a break, and second baseman Gavin Lux was rested before entering to pinch-run in the ninth. “He’s one of two guys that played all four games in Colorado, so to get him off his feet to DH, get Eddie (Edwin Ríos), I think it’s a good thing, and just giving Gavin a day off,” Roberts said.
Athletics: INF/OF Chad Pinder was placed on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left knee. … CF Ramón Laureano was out of the lineup for a third straight game after jamming his left wrist diving into first base Friday night. Melvin expected Laureano to return soon, saying: “I really don’t know. Hopefully it’s tomorrow — we have a lefty going tomorrow.” … Oakland closer Trevor Rosenthal, sidelined by inflammation in his pitching shoulder, was scheduled to be examined by a doctor Monday and Melvin expected to know more about Rosenthal’s status after that. … RF Stephen Piscotty is slated to be in the lineup Tuesday vs. a lefty starter. … RHP Mike Fiers (lower back strain) pitched at Stockton and will make two more appearances with a target return of late April.
Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (0-1, 7.94 ERA) faces Oakland RHP Chris Bassitt (0-1, 5.06).
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