Photo credit: @Athletics
By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Thursday, August 29, 2019
Jurickson Profar homered and drove in three runs, leading a potent offensive charge on getaway day as Oakland held off Kansas City 9-8 Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.
Everyone in the A’s starting lineup had a hit or drove in a run. Oakland, which took three of the four games in Kansas City, remains in the second American League Wild Card berth, leading Tampa Bay by one game – up two in the loss column.
Neither starting pitcher lasted past the fifth inning. A’s starter Chris Bassitt worked 4 2/3 innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits. Whit Merrifield led off with a hit off Bassitt in the first, preceding a Jorge Soler home run, his 37th of the season.
Royals starter Glenn Sparkman (3-10) allowed seven runs on nine hits and a walk, plus two batters hit-by-pitch. One of those hit batters – Profar – drove in Oakland’s first run of the game.
Yusmeiro Petit (4-3) picked up the win in relief after Oakland relievers Jake Diekman and Liam Hendriks surrendered back-to-back run-scoring singles by Nick Dini and Nicky Lopez in the eighth inning, then Hendriks gave up a two-out RBI single to Ryan O’Hearn in the ninth.
Hendriks then struck out Bubba Starling and collected his 17th save.
Profar’s home run and an RBI single from Josh Phegley sparked Oakland’s three-run fourth inning. The A’s added three more runs in the fifth off Sparkman, taking a 7-2 lead.
Bassitt struggled with the big lead, hitting a batter, giving up a hit, and walking the bases loaded. Cheslor Cuthbert followed with a two-run double, pulling the Royals within 7-5.
Oakland took an 8-6 lead in the eighth before Kansas City closed the gap to 8-7 in the bottom of the eighth.
The A’s added what became the winning run in the top of the ninth when, with runners on second and third, Corban Joseph fouled out to third baseman Cuthbert, who made the catch while falling into the third base dugout. By rule, both runners are allowed to advance one base in that situation, allowing Seth Brown to score from third.
Off the field, the A’s called up infielder Sheldon Neuse from Triple-A Las Vegas. He replaces Khris Davis, who is on paternity leave. Also, Matt Chapman, who took a pitch off his helmet on Wednesday, was not in the starting lineup, but served as a defensive replacement in the ninth.
Oakland’s road trip continues Friday, when the A’s visit the New York Yankees for a three-game series. On Friday, Brett Anderson (10-9, 4.08 ERA) is on the hill for the A’s, while the Bronx Bombers counter with CC Sabathia (5-8, 4.99 ERA).