Oakland A’s Mike Moreland gets congratulations from teammates in the A’s dugout after belting a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Guardians on Thu Aug 12, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
The A’s completed a three-game sweep over the Cleveland Indians as they routed the Tribe 17-0. The A’s did not have to have late-inning rallies to win on Thursday as the Indians’ pitchers had trouble throwing strikes. Five Cleveland pitchers walked ten A’s hitters and hit three batters. Eight of the players that walked scored.
The A’s got the laugher going when they scored three runs in the second inning on just one hit. Indians’ starter, Eli Morgan, hit Mitch Moreland with a pitch. The next hitter, Josh Harrison, walked. A’s catcher Sean Murphy doubled to drive in Moreland And Harrison to take an early 2-0 lead.
Morgan walked Matt Chapman to put two men on with no out. Morgan then retired Seth Brown and Elvis Andrus. Morgan got Mark Canha to hit a ground ball to the shortstop Amed Rosario. Chapman, running on the pitch, beat Rosario’s throw to second to load the bases. Morgan hit Starling Marte with a pitch to force in Murphy with the A’s third run of the inning.
The A’s scored two more in the fourth. Morgan walked Chapman for the second time to start the fourth. With one out, Andrus single sent Chappie to third. Mark Canha’s ground out plated Chappie with the A’s fourth run of the game. Andrus was safe at second. He scored on Starling Marte’s double to left. The A’s lead 5-0 after four.
The onslaught continued in the fifth. Mitch Moreland led off the fifth with a solo blast into the seats in right field. The A’s put four more on the board to take a commanding 10-0 lead. Justin Garza was now pitching for the Indians. Garza faced three batters and walked all three. Indians skipper, DeMArlo, Hale, had seen enough. He brought in lefty Francisco Perez to pitch.
Perez was making his Major League debut. He retired Seth Brown for the first out. Perez walked Andrus to force in Tony Kemp with the A’s seventh run. Mark Canha’s fly ball to right was not deep enough to allow Murphy to tag and score. Starling Marte singled to drive in Chapman. Matt Olson singled to plate two more.
The A’s onslaught continued in the sixth as they scored twice. In the eighth, four hits produced four more runs. Mark Canha’s double scored two, and Stephen Piscotty’s single added two more. The final run of the game came in the ninth on Moreland’s second dinger of the game. The A’s win 17-0.
Game Notes and Stats: The A’s line was 17 runs, 14 hits, and one error. The A’s pitchers held the Indians to three hits and no runs. Chris Bassitt was the winning pitcher. He is now 12-3 for the year, and his ERA dropped to 3.06. He threw 81 pitches. A.J. Puk, Adolis Guerra, and Jake Diekman each pitched a scoreless inning for Oakland. Eli Morgan was the losing pitcher. He went four innings, allowed three hits and five runs.
Matt Chapman tied an Oakland record with five walks. Matt scored three times. Mark Canha hit one hit and three RBIs. Starling Marte had a single and double. He, too, had three ribbies. Mitch Moreland blasted two bombs, and he scored three times.
It was the fifteenth time in Moreland’s career with two or more homers in a game. Tony Kemp, who entered the game in the second inning, had three hits, two RBIs, and scored three times. Seam Murphy’s day included two hits, two RBIs, and three runs. It was quite a day for the Oakland offense.
It was the eleventh shutout of the year for the A’s pitching staff. It was the largest shutout ever in the A’s history.
The A’s are going to Arlington Texas, to face the Rangers for three games. Friday night’s pitching matchups will see Cole Irvin (8-10, 3.45 ERA) going for Oakland and Dane Dunning. (5-7,4.07 ERA) pitching for Texas. The game will start at 5:10 pm.