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Pence ties game in 9th inning after controversial double into Giants bullpen


OAKLAND – Oakland A’s fans were ready to celebrate a historic night on Saturday. In front of the largest-ever baseball crowd of 56,310 people at the Oakland Coliseum, and the largest of the 2018 MLB season, the A’s led the Giants 3-2 in the top of the ninth inning. The result was all but sealed until second baseman Alen Hanson reached first base on a wild-pitch strikeout to give the Giants life again.

The next batter was a red-hot Hunter Pence, who’d already recorded a pair of singles in the game. On a first-pitch sinker, Pence ripped a ball down the first-base line and into the open Giants bullpen against the right-field wall. A’s right fielder Stephen Piscotty sprinted to recover the ball after it ricocheted off a wood barrier in the bullpen.

On his way there, Piscotty ran into a chair held by Giants’ reliever Mark Melancon, who appeared to be trying to move out of Piscotty’s way. Piscotty recovered the ball, but had no chance of catching Hanson from first after a poor throw to the plate.

A’s manager Bob Melvin challenged the call on the field, arguing that Piscotty was impeded by Melancon and Hanson’s run should not count. After reviewing the play, the umpires upheld the original call, giving the Giants a 3-3 lead.