Photo credit: @Athletics
By: Lewis Rubman
Milwaukee: 3-7-0 (10 LOB)
Oakland: 5-6-0 (6 LOB)
OAKLAND — The A’s sent Homer Bailey, who was 2-1, 8.59 ERA for them since being traded to the team from Kansas City on July 14, to the mound this afternoon. In his three Oakland starts, Bailey has been somewhat like the little girl with the little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When he was good, he threw six innings of two-run, seven-hit ball against Seattle and 6 2/3 innings of three-run, seven-hit ball against Texas. One of those runs was charged to him after Ryan Buchter allowed a runner who had tripled off Bailey to score on a double. In between those starts, Bailey surrendered nine runs on eight hits in two horrendous innings against Houston. All of the runs he allowed in that game were earned.
Opposing him for the Brewers in today’s blearly eyed contest was Chase Anderson (5-2, 3.89 ERA), a 6’1″, 200 pound right handed hurler in his sixth year in the majors and whose current ERA exactly matches his lifetime figure. This was his 17th start of the season, which he has supplemented with five relief appearances. He features a four-seam fastball in the low to mid 90s and so far this campaign has managed to achieve an average of 8.69 strikeouts and 2.93 walks per nine innings. He throws some sort of fastball about half the time, although this figure has been decreasing steadily over his career.
Bailey threw nothing but strikes to the first two hitters he faced, and he retired both of them. But then he walked Keston Hiura on a 3-1 count, and cleanup hitter Mike Moustakas dropped a perfect bunt to third against the shift for a single that put Hiura in scoring position at second, from which he scored on Ryan Braun’s single to center. For the second straight game, Oakland was down a run before coming to bat.
Bailey pitched out of a jam in the third. With one down in the frame, Jurickson Profar committed a throwing error that enabled Christian Yellich to reach first safely. He advanced to third on Hiura’s single to center, Hiura taking second on the throw. The A’s starter rose to the occasion by getting Moustakas to pop out to Chapman and striking out Braun.
Chad Pinder led off the bottom half of the inning with a resounding round tripper off a 93 miles per hour four seam fast ball from Anderson.
The score remained tied for a very short time. A single by Eric Thames led off the fourth. That hit was followed by a walk to Travis Shaw. Orlando Arcia’s liner, knocked down by Bailey and thrown to Olson, retired the batter but moved the runners up to second and third. Trent Greshman, playing in his first major league game, got his first RBI with a sacrifice fly to Grossman in left center, unknotting the score.
Bailey left the game after thowing 101 pitches, 61 of them strikes, over six innings. He surrendered two runs, both earned, on five hits and three walks, while notching five strikeouts. He was good, although not very, very good.
Yellich extended his consecutive game hitting streak to 19 with a double off Bailey’s replacement, Jake Diekman, with a runner on first and no outs in the top of the seventh. The blast hit the right field scoreboard and tied Yellich for longest streak in the league. It was a weird inning for Diekman. He hit Hiura with a pitch to load the bases after Yellich’s two bagger had sent Grandal to third. Moustakas grounded sharply to Olson, who threw home for the force out. It took Diekman only three pitches to strike Ryan Braun out swinging on a wild pitch that enabled Yellich to sore from third, upping the Brewers’ advantage to 3-1. Diekman then needed only three more pitches to log another swinging K, this one against Thames to close out the inning.
Like Bailey, Anderson was lifted after six innings. He allowed one run, earned, on two hits, three walks, and a hit batter. He threw 92 pitches. 52 of them were strikes.
Anderson’s replacement in the home seventh, Junior Guerra, was as erratic as Diekman hd been. He let the A’s close the gap to one run by giving up a lead-off single to Canha, who moved up a base on a walk to Nick Martini, hitting for Pinder, after Profar had flown out at the center field fence. Beau Taylor’s ground out, first to the pitcher covering, moved each runner up a base, and Guerra’s wild pitch to Semien had the same effect, this time scoring Franklin Barreto, who was pinch running for Pinder and remained in the game at second, Profar moving to the outfield. Milwaukee now was up, 3-2.
Blake Treinen continued his comeback by setting down Milwaukee with one hit in the top of the eighth in relief of Diekman.
Josh Hader replaced the unfortunate Guerra, whose line was one each for innings pitched, runs, earned runs, walks, and hit batters. His pitch count was 25.
Josh Hader came in to pitch the eighth, his third relief apearance in as many days. The Brewers’ closer walked Grossman, the first man he faced. Then Chapman’s bat came alive as the A’s stellar third sacker rocketed a two run homer to straight away center field to give Oakland a 4-3 lead. Hader was pulled after Olson grounded out to first, unassisted. The reader won’t need any assistance from me to figure out Hader’s pitching line. He threw 16 pitches to earn it.
The resurgent Khris Davis greeted Hader’s replacement, Jay Jackson, with a single to center. Canha advanced the A’s DH to third with a line single to right. Canha then stole his second base of the game and advanced to third while Davis scored on Profar’s sacrifice fly to right.
Melvin called on Liam Hendricks to defend the A’s new found two run lead and in the process earn his tenth save of the season, which he had been unable to do Tuesday night. Today, he set down the side in order, striking out Yellich and Hiura and getting Moustakas to fly out to center for the game ending out.
Treinen got the win; he’s now 6-3. Hader was the losing pitcher; he’s now 1-5.
The A’s have a rare Friday off and will return to the Coliseum at 6:07 pm Saturday evening to face the Cardinals in another interleague battle. The scheduled starters are Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.54 ERA) for Oakland and the geographically named Dakota Hudson (10-5, 3.88 ERA) for St. Louis.
When the game ended at 3:50 pm, the A’s trailed Houston by 7 1/2 games for the division lead. They’re in a dead heat with Tampa Bay for the second wild card berth, both teams 2 1/2 games behind Cleveland.