Preview: A’s host Tony Russa and White Sox Tuesday; A’s need all the wins they can get to stay in race

Former Oakland A’s manager Tony LaRussa returns to the Oakland Coliseum on Tue Sep 7, 2021 to face his former team for the first of a three game series (file photo from Redbird Rants)

By Jerry Feitelberg

Well, here we are. The Oakland A’s (74-63) meet the Chicago White Sox (79-58) for three games starting Tuesday night. The A’s returned home after finishing a road trip with a 2-4 record. Things did not go well for the Green and Gold on the trip. Yes, the A’s hitting was much better.

They took two out of three from Detroit. That was the good news. The Tigers hit nine home runs in the series, and they scored 17 runs. The A’s went to Toronto for a three game series against the Blue Jays. They scored 18 runs in the series and lost all three games. The A’s starters and bullpen were pounded by the relentless Blue Jay offensive juggernaut. The A’s lost by scores of 11-10, 10-8, and 8-0. A’s manager, Bob Melvin, must be wondering what happened to his pitchers.

The A’s chances of making the playoffs are getting slimmer by the day. They remain five and 1/2 games behind the Houston Astros. The Seattle Mariners have slipped past the A’s into second place in the AL West. The A’s are now four games behind the Boston Red Sox for the second Wild Card spot.

The Mariners trail Boston by three games. The schedule does not look favorable for Oakland as they head down the homestretch. The A’s play the Chicago White Sox for three games starting Tuesday night. The White Sox won three of the four games played in Chicago.

The White Sox will be in the playoffs as they will be the AL Central division champs. After the White Sox leave, the A’s face the pesky Texas Rangers. The Rangers own the worst record in the AL West. The A’s are 9-7 against them. The Rangers have not rolled over for Oakland. The A’s go on the road to play the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Angels before the final 13 games of the year.

If the A’s will make the playoffs, the schedule has allowed them to go after the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros. The A’s have seven left with Seattle and six with Houston. It won’t be easy. The Mariners are playing well and have improved in the second half of the season.

The Astros are 9-4 against Oakland and have had their way against the Green and Gold all season long. To this observer, it is highly doubtful the A’s will catch either team. The A’s have not played well since the All-Star break. They had a stretch when their hitting was suspect.

The front office helped by acquiring Starling Marte, Yan Gomes, and Josh Harrison. Matt Chapman’s power returned, and he is doing better. The injury to the A’s ace, Chris Bassitt, puy a monkey wrench in the A’s rotation. Frankie Montas is pitching well in the second half of the year. The same cannot be said for Sean Manaea, Cole Irvin, James Kaprielian, and Paul Blackburn.

So, the A’s have twenty-five games to right the ship. They face the powerful Chicago White Sox. Their lineup includes Tim Anderson, MVP Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert. A very tough lineup. The A’s will face lefty Dallas Keuchel on Wednesday and Reynaldo Lopez on Thursday.

The Sox have not announced their starter for the Tuesday opener. The A’s pitchers will be Kaprielian on Tuesday, Montas on Wednesday, and Manaea on Thursday. The A’s hope that the bullpen gets back on track after the shellacking they took on the road trip. Oakland needs to get hot. Let’s hope they can do it.

A’s hang on to beat Tigers 8-6; Attempted Detroit rally in 7th fails

Oakland A’s Jed Lowrie goes deep for a three run homer in the top of the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica in Detroit on Thu Sep 2, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s scored early and often as they raced out to an early 8-0 lead over the Detroit Tigers. Their ace, Frankie Montas, pitched well until the seventh inning. The Tigers, down 8-1, sent nine men to the plate in the seventh and put five runs on the board to close the gap to 8-6. Andrew Chafin and Sergio Romo were able to shut down the Tiger offense to secure the win.

Here’s how the A’s won the game. The Tigers sent Matt Manning to face the A’s. The young man from the Sacramento area had his hands full as the A’s put four on the board in the first inning. With one out Manning walked Starling Marte.

He retired Matt Olson for the second out. Matt Chapman worked manning for a walk to put men on at first and second. the next hitter, A’s DH Jed Lowrie, one of the best hitters in baseball with runners in scoring position, hammered Manning’s pitch over the wall in left-center-field to put the A’s ahead 3-0. It was Lowrie’s 14th homer of the year. The next hitter, Mark Canha, blasted his 14th dinger of the year into the seats in right-field. The A’s led 4-0. 

 In the top of the second inning, with two out and a man on first, Starling Marte doubled off the wall in left field to make it a 5-0 game. The A’s offense was relentless. In the top of the third, with two out, Manning walked Canha. Tony Kemp followed with a single to center.

A’s catcher Yan Gomes long fly to left-center-field went over Robbie Grossman’s glove for a double. Canha and Kemp scored on the play to the A’s in the driver’s seat 7-0 after three complete. 

In the fourth inning, singles by Matt Olson and Matt Chapman put a runner in scoring position again with two out. The A’s sent Khris Davis to the plate to pinch-hit for Jed Lowrie. Davis was making his first appearance since being recalled from Las Vegas. Davis sent the ball into the left-field corner for a double to drive in Olson with the A’s eighth run of the game.

The A’s starter, Frankie Montas, was masterful for the first four innings of the game. He held the Tigers scoreless and allowed one hit. Things began to change in the fifth. Tigers’ third baseman Harold Castro, who had three hits, including a home run Tuesday night, led off the bottom of the fifth with his third home run of the year. The A’s still had a commanding lead 8-1.

Then came the fateful seventh inning. The Tigers sent nine men to the plate as they scored five runs on five hits, including two home runs. Tiger shortstop Niko Goodrum worked Montas for a walk to get the rally going. Second baseman Willi Castro hit into a fielder’s choice for the first out.

Montas retired Victor Reyes on a fly ball to Marte in center-field. The next hitter Montas faced was Akil Baddoo. Baddoo also homered Tuesday night. Baddoo ended Montas’ game when he hammered his twelfth homer of the year to make it 8-3.

A’s manager brought in Deolis Guerra to pitch. Guerra, who has been very good all season, could not get the job done. He pitched to four hitters and could not get an out. He gave up singles to Jonathan Schoop and Robbie Grossman.

Jeimer Candelario then homered to make it an 8-6 contest. Melvin let Guerra face one more hitter, Eric Hasse. Hasse singled. Melvin brought in lefty Andrew Chafin to put out the fire. Chafin retired Harold Castro for the final out.

Chafin allowed a hit in the eight but escaped unscathed. Bob Melvin called upon Sergio Romo to close out the ninth. The veteran reliever gave up a walk but was able to get the needed three outs to secure the win for Oakland by a final score of 8-6.

Game Notes and Stats: The A’s picked up 1/2 game on the idle Houston Astros. They now trail the Astros by four and 1/2 games for the A: West division crown. They can pick up a game on the Red Sox if Boston should lose to Tampa Bay later today. If Boston wins, the A’s will remain two games behind in the Wild Card race.

The A’s had 12 hits in Wednesday’s game. It was the third game in a row with more than ten plus hits. They had two more home runs on Wednesday and seven for the series. Their line was eight runs, twelve hits, and no errors. Khris Davis had a double and a single in his first game back as an Oakland Athletic. Yan Gomes and Elvis Andrus each had two hits.

Frankie Montas won his 11th game of the season. He is now 11-9. Sergio Romo picked up his second save.

The Tigers’ hitting stars were Jeimer Candelario, Victor Reyes, and Harold Castro. In the seventh, Candelario’s hit a three-run homer to help Detroit close the gap to 8-6. Reyes had three hits in the game. Reyes tripled in the third. He was thrown out attempting to score on a grounder to shortstop Elvis Andrus. Andrus’ throw him was on the mark, and Reyes was out. Manning was the losing pitcher, and his record is now 3-6.

The A’s are on their way to Toronto to play three games against the Blue Jays. Sean Manaea will go for Oakland, and Toronto will counter with Alek Manoah. The game will start at 4:07 pm.

Tigers clobber three home runs in come back beat A’s 8-6 at Comerica

The Detroit Tigers Miguel Cabrera watches the flight of his 502nd career home run in the bottom of the fourth inning at Comerica Park in Detroit against the Oakland A’s on Wed Sep 2, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

There was good and bad news in Wednesday night’s game between the Oakland A’s and the Detroit Tigers (63-71). The good news was the As’ offense produced ten hits and six runs. The bad news was the Tigers pounded out ten hits, including three home runs, to beat the A’s 8-6.

The Tigers’ starter Wily Peralta lasted four innings. The A’s scored an unearned run in the first inning and two more in the fourth to chase Peralta.

Starling Marte led off the fourth with his tenth dinger of the year. Matt Olson walked and scored on Jed Lowrie’s double to give the A’s the lead 3-1 midway through the fourth. The A’s starter James Kapielian went four-plus innings.

The Tigers tied the game 3-3 when they put two on the board in the third. Kaprielian walked Ronnie Grossman leading off in the bottom of the fourth. Kaprielian had to face future Hall of Fame player Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera showed the A’s his greatness when he sent a hanging changeup into the seats into the left-field seats to tie the game. It was Cabrera’s 502nd career home run and 2962nd hit.

The A’s regained the lead in the top of the fifth. Josh Harrison and Starling Marte singled to put two men on with no out. Matt Olson doubled to deep center-field to drive in both. Matt Chapman was retired for the first out.

A’s DH Jed Lowrie, one of the best hitters in baseball with men in scoring position, doubled to drive in Olson with the A’s third run of the inning. The A’s led 6-3.

The Tigers got one back in their half of the fifth. The Tigers’ left-fielder, Akil Baddoo, sent one of Kaprielian’s pitches into the right-field seats to make it 6-4. A’s manager, Bob Melvin, brought in Yusmeiro Petit to pitch. Petit retired the next three Tiger hitters. The A’s led 6-4 after five complete. 

The Tiger bullpen held the A’s to one hit and no runs over the last four innings of the game. The A’s bullpen could not hold the Tigers down. They scored one in the sixth, two in the seventh, and one more in the eighth. The Tigers win 8-6.

Game Notes and stats: The A’s are now 73-60 for the year. They remain five games behind the Houston Astros in the race for first place in the American League West. The Seattle Mariners beat Houston 1-0. The A’s now trail the Boston Red Sox by two games for the second Wild Card in the American League. The Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Wednesday.

The hitting stars for Oakland were Josh Harrison, Starling Marte, Jed Lowrie, and Matt Olson. Harrison had a double and two singles. He has six hits in the first two games of the series. Starling Marte had a home run and a single. Jed Lowries had two doubles and two RBIs. A’s reliever A.J. Puk was the losing pitcher. 

The hitting stars for Detroit were Akil Baddoo, Miguel Cabrera, and Harold Castro. Baddoo was two for four with a home run and a single. Cabrera, as mentioned above, had two hits. Cabrera hit his 502nd of his illustrious career to go along with a single.

He has 2963 hits and needs 37 to reach the 3000 for his career. Cabrera is 28th on the all-time home run list. He needs three to pass Eddie Murray. Tigers’ reliever Joe Jimenez received credit for the win. He is 5-1 for the year. Tiger closer Gregory Soto earned his 17th save when he set the A’s down in order in the ninth.

The teams will play the rubber game Thursday. The game will start at 10:10 am. The A’s will send Frankie Montas (10-9, 3.66 ERA) to the hill as Detroit will counter with Matt Manning (3-5, 5.46 ERA).

Chapman’s two home runs help propel A’s 9-3 win over Tigers at Comerica Park

Oakland A’s Matt Chapman hits a top of the third inning home run against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit in the first of a three game series on Tue Aug 31, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s (73-59) started a six-game road trip beating the Detroit Tigers (62-71) at Comerica Park in Detroit 9-3. The A’s swept the Tigers four straight when they met in Oakland in April. The Tigers started the season 8-19. A.J.Hinch, who won a World Series title in 2017 with Houston, helped turn the Tigers’ ship around.

The Tigers, entering Tuesday night’s game, were 54-51 since the slow start. The A’s knew the Tigers would love nothing better than upsetting the A’s applecart. 

The A’s won their last two games against the Yankees over the weekend. The offense was still in the doldrums, but they were able to eke out two wins. They beat the Yanks 3-2 on Saturday and 3-1 on Sunday.

Oakland’s skipper Bob Melvin was hoping the offense would come to life against Detroit. He got his wish as the A’s offense produce nine runs and 12 hits. Three of the hits were home runs.

The Tigers took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Robbie Grossman, who was with Oakland the previous two seasons, slammed his 20th big fly of the year to give the Tigers the advantage. Grossman set a career-high with the blast. 

The A’s put three runs on the board in the top of the third. With one out, Starling Marte doubled to right field. Matt Olson followed with a double to drive in Marte with Oakland’s first run. Tiger starter, Tarik Skubal, retired Yan Gomes for the second out.

A’s third baseman Matt Chapman sent Skubal’s pitch over the fence in left field to give the A’s a 3-1 lead. It was Chappie’s 22nd homer of the year.

In the fifth, the A’s put three more on the board. Singles by Marte and Olson put men on at first and third with no out. Yan Gomes drove in Marte with Oakland’s fourth run on a sacrifice fly. Mark Canha hit an opposite-field dinger to put the A’s in the driver’s seat 6-1.

Cole Irvin ran into difficulty in the bottom of the fifth. Tigers’ catcher, Dustin Garneau, another former Athletic, led off the frame with his first homer of the season. Cole retired shortstop Zack Short for the first out. Tiger centerfielder Derek Hill homered to make it 6-3.

Cole retired Jonathan Schoop for the second out. Cole gave up a single to Grossman and walked Miguel Cabrera. Bob Melvin had seen enough. He brought in Deolis Guerra to pitch. Guerra retired Jeimer Candelario for the third out. 

The A’s added two more in the eighth. Chad Pinder started the frame with a single. Elvis Andrus’ double sent Pinder to third. Josh Harrison’s third hit of the night plated both of them. In the ninth, Matt Chapman sent Tigers’ reliever Derek Holland’s pitch over the wall in centerfield with two out. The A’s led 9-3.

The A’s bullpen of Guerra, Yusmeiro Petit, Andrew Chafin, and A.J. Puk gave up four hits and no runs to secure the win for Oakland.

Game Notes and stats: The A’s are now 73-59 for the year with the win. They picked a game on the Boston Red Sox as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Sox 8-5. The A’s are now one game behind Boston in the race for the second American League Wild Card slot. The Tigers are 62-71 for 2021.

The hitting stars for Oakland were Josh Harrison with a double, two singles, and two RBIs. Starling Marte had a double and a single. Matt Olson also had a double, single, and an RBI. Matt Chapman had two hits, both home runs. He drove in three with the two bombs. Chappie has 23 for the year. Mark Canha hit his 13th of the year and drove in two.

Cole Irvin went four and 2/3rds innings. He gave up seven hits and three runs. The Tigers hit three solo homers. Cole did not go the necessary five innings to get the win. Deolis Guerra was the winning pitcher. He went one and innings.

Derek Hill led the Tiger attack with three hits. He was three-for-five with a home run, double, and single. Former A’s players Robbie Grossman and Dustin Garneau each homered to torment their former mates. 

The A’s brought up Skye Bolt from Las Vegas to replace Mitch Moreland on the roster. Moreland is out with a sore wrist.

The second game of the series will start at 4:10 pm. The A’s will send righty, James Kaprielian, to the hill. Wily Peralta will pitch for Detroit.

Preview: Oakland A’s vs. Detroit Tigers three game series starts Tuesday night

Oakland A’s pitcher Cole Irvin is seen here on Aug 19, 2021 at Guarantee Rate Field Chicago throwing against the White Sox. Irvin will get the start on Tue Aug 31, 2021 at Comerica Park in Detroit against the Detroit Tigers in the first of a three games series. (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s are heading to Detroit to start a three-game series with the Tigers (62-69) starting Tuesday night. The A’s had a must-win game Sunday afternoon against the red-hot New York Yankees. After losing the first two games of the series, the A’s, behind terrific performances by Frankie Montas, Paul Blackburn, and the bullpen, won the final two games by scores of 3-2 and 3-1.

The A’s are now 72-59 for the season. They trail Houston by five and 1/2games in the AL West. The A’s picked up a game on Boston and are now two and 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the second AL Wild Card quest. The Detroit Tigers, under manager A.J.Hinch, are at 62-69 for the year.

The Tigers are playing a makeup game Monday night against the Minnesota Twins. The Tigers got off to a slow start this year. They are playing better now and have a goal of finishing the season with a mark of .500 or better. The A’s beat the Tigers four straight in April during their 13-game win streak.

The A’s would love nothing better than sweeping the three-game set. The road to the playoffs doesn’t get any easier as the A’s meet the Blue Jays in Toronto for three games this weekend. The A’s split the four-game series with Toronto in Oakland.

The Blue Jays have a powerful lineup featuring Vladamir Guerrero, Jr., George Springer, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Guriel, Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, and former former former Oakland A’s shortstop Marcus Semien. The A’s return home to face the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox took three out of four from Oakland. If the A’s are to make the playoffs, how they do in the next nine games could make or break the season for the A’s.

The Detroit series’s pitching matchups will see Cole Irvin (9-12, 3.68 ERA) going for the A’s. The Tigers will counter with lefty Tarik Skubal, who is from the Bay Area. The A’s beat Skubal earlier this year. James Kaprielian pitches on Wednesday, and Willy Peralta will be on the Hill for Detroit. On Thursday, the A’s will send Sean Manaea to the hill, and his opponent will be Matt Manning.

Some of the key players for Detroit are first baseman/ Designated hitter Miguel Cabrera, first baseman/second baseman Jonathan Schoop, third baseman Jeimer Candelario, outfielders Robbie Grossman and Akil Baddoo. Miguel Cabrera, who is now 38 years old, is on his way to baseball’s Hall of Fame. Cabrera, this year, is hitting .251 with 14 homers and 58 RBIs.

For his career, Cabrera is a lifetime .311 hitter. He is the last player to win baseball’s Triple Crown. He has 501 home runs, 1787 RBIs, and 2961 hits in his illustrious career. He won a World Series championship with the Florid Marlins in 2003. He helped the Tigers win two American League pennants in 2006 and 2012. Jonathan Schoop has found a home with the Tigers.

Schoop is hitting .284 and has 18 dingers and 70 RBIs. Robbie Grossman, who played with the A’s for a couple of seasons, has hit 19 big flys and has 57 RBIs for the Tigers. Candelario is at .275 with ten dingers and has driven in 48. Baddoo’s numbers are .258, ten homers, and 45 ribbies.

Lefty Gregory Soto is the closer for the Tigers. He has recorded 16 saves this season. Other bullpen members that will see action in the series include former starter Michael Fulmer, Jose Cisneros, Kyle Funkhouser, Joe Jimenez, former SF Giant Derek Holland, Alex Lange, and Miguel del Pozo.

The A’s are in the homestretch. How they do in the next two weeks will determine their season. They need to get the offense going. A’s manager Bob Melvin can add two more players to the roster after September 1st. They will not be available for the playoffs.

The A’s are considering bringing back Khris Davis to Oakland. Currently, at Triple-A Las Vegas, Davis has hit nine home runs with the Aviators. The A’s need his bat in the lineup. They are hoping that there is still life in his bat. It should be interesting to see what happens.

Preview New York Yankees vs. Oakland A’s four game series starts Thursday night

Oakland A’s pitcher Paul Blackburn will get the start on Thursday night at the Oakland Coliseum against the New York Yankees to open a four game series ( file photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s have an off-day on Wednesday. The A’s need the day off to regroup, and their manager, Bob Melvin, has to find a way to get his team back on the winning track. The A’s are 2-8 in their last ten games.

They are in second place in the AL West four and 1/2 games behind the first-place Houston Astros. The Seattle Mariners are in third place, one game behind the A’s. If the season were to end today, the A’s would not be in the playoffs.

They are two and 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox for the second Wild Card spot in the American League. Their chances to make the playoffs took a severe hit when they lost their ace, Chris Bassitt, for the remainder of the season. The A’s bullpen, so good for most of the season, blew leads in three consecutive games during the last ten played.

The A’s offense is in a slump. They are hitting .199 as a team in the last ten games. They have had men in scoring position but have failed to get the clutch hits needed. The three players they acquired at the trade deadline have played well since joining the team.

If they hope to make the playoffs, the A’s will have to find a way to stop the rampaging New York Yankees, who will be in town for a four-game series starting Thursday night. The Yankees have won 11 straight games. They have catapulted into the first Wild Card spot and have a two and 1/2 game lead over the Red Sox.

The Yankees have overcome injuries to their pitching staff as well as position players. They made two trades at the trade deadline that stunned the baseball world. They acquired two outstanding sluggers. They traded for Cubs’ first baseman, Anthony Rizzo.

The acquisition solved the problem at first base. Rizzo, a left-handed power hitter, has 17 homers and 49 RBIs. The other lefty power-hitter acquired was Joey Gallo. Gallo, hitting .206, has homered 29 times and driven in 63.
Along with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and catcher Gary Sanchez, New York has a lineup that can pulverize their opponent’s pitchers.

The Yankees infield will feature DJ Le Mahieu or Rougned Odor at second base. Shortstop Glyber Torres and third baseman Gio Urshela are both on the 10-day IL. Urshela may be back for the series with the A’s. Andrew Velazquez will probably be the shortstop in the interim.

The Yankees use several players in the outfield. Aaron Judge, hitting .285 with 27 homers and 65 RBIs, probably will be in right field. The Yankees will use him in center if needed. Joey Gallo can play all three outfield positions. Brett Gardner will probably see time in centerfield. Their designated hitter, Giancarlo Stanton, has hit 22 homers and driven in 65.

Here are the pitching matchups for the series. Thursday’s game will feature Jameson Taillon (8-4, 3.94 ERA) going for New York Against the A’s James Kaprielian (7-4, 3.25 ERA). On Friday, the ace of the Yankee staff and one of the best pitchers in baseball, Gerrit Cole, will pitch for the Yanks.

Cole is 12-6 and has an ERA of 2.92. Lefty Sean Manaea will go for Oakland Manaea has been struggling in his last three or four starts. The A’s need him to get back in the groove and be able to shut down the powerful Yankee lineup. Manaea is 8-8 with a 3.77 ERA. On Saturday, Nestor Cortes, Jr (2-1, 2.56 ERA) will be squaring off against the A’s Frankie Montas. Montas pitched well in his last start but did not get a decision. Montas is 9-9 with a 3.84 ERA.

Thursday’s pitching match ups: Lefty Jordan Montgomery (5-5, 3.69 ERA) goes for the Yankees on Sunday. The A’s will counter with Paul Blackburn. Blackburn is 0-1 and has a 4.09 ERA.

The A’s have to right the ship. They have to start hitting. They cannot continue to leave men in scoring position. They must cash in when they have the chance. The A’s have about five or six weeks left to play. They have to overcome adversity if they hope to be a championship team.

Late August and early September is the time of the year when good teams make their move to advance to the playoffs. Right now, the A’s are floundering. Let’s hope the A’s can figure out a solution to their current woes and get back on the winning track.

A’s get much-needed win beat White Sox 5-4; Avoid four game sweep

Oakland A’s starter Cole Irvin throws against the Chicago White Sox in the first inning of action in the fourth game of the four game series on Thu Aug 19, 2021 at Guarantee Rate Field in Chicago (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s ended their ten-game road trip with a much-needed win over the Chicago White Sox. The A’s had lost four in a row and five of the last six before Thursday’s game at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. Thursday’s game with the White Sox.

The Sox had won the first three. Also, the A’s had lost their ace pitcher, Chris Bassitt, for the season when he was injured Tuesday night. The A’s are being tested in their journey to the 2021 playoffs. They had to find a way to keep Chicago’s big bats quiet and hope the A’s could get their offense going to produce a win. The A’s won the game 5-4 to end the road trip with a 5-5 record. The A’s remain two and 1/2 games behind the Houston Astros.

Lefty Cole Irvin started the game for Oakland. The White Sox put a run on the board in the bottom of the first. With one out, Chisox centerfielder, Luis Robert, singled to get things going for the Sox. Irvin walked the ever-dangerous Jose Abreu to put men on at first and second.

The next hitter, Eloy Jimenez, stroked a double to left to drive in Robert with the game’s first run. Cole walked Andrew Vaughnto load the bases. Irvin worked his way out of the jam by retiring Yoan Moncado and Brian Goodwin. 1-0 Chicago after one complete.

In the top of the third, A’s catcher Sean Murphy homered to tie the game at one apiece. It was Murphy’s 14th big fly of the season.

In the top of the fourth, the A’s plated a run to take the lead 2-1. With one out, singles by Mitch Moreland and Matt Chapman got the rally going. Chicago starter Dylan Cease walked Murphy to load the bases. Cease walked Tony Kemp to force in the run.

The White Sox regained the lead in their half of the fifth. With two out, Irvin walked Jimenez. In his rookie season, Andrew Vaughn slammed his a6th dinger of the year to put the Sox in the driver’s seat 3-2.

In the top of the sixth, A’s third baseman, Matt Chapman, continued his hot hitting by blasting his 19th home run of the year into the left-field seats. HIs hit tied the game 3-3.

The A’s plated two more in the seventh. Elvis Andrus reached on an infield single. Chicago’s flame-throwing reliever, Michael Kopech, was now pitching. Kopech retired Mark Canha and Starlin Marte. Kopech had to face the A’s slugger, Matt Olson. Olson untied the game with a blast deep into the seat in right field. The A’s led 5-3.

The A’s bullpen was tasked with shutting down the powerful White Sox lineup. Yusmeiro Petit retired the Side in order in the seventh. Lefty Andrew Chafin walked Vaughn to start the eight. Chafin retired the next three Sox hitters.

A’s closer, Lou Trivino, gave up a single to Sox catcher Zack Collins in the ninth. He struck out Cesar Hernandez for the first out. Luis Robert hit a ball to deep centerfield. Starling Marte had room and caught the ball for the second out.

On the next play, Jose Abreu hit a flyball to shallow centerfield. As Starling Marte was about to catch the ball, shortstop Elvis Andrus collided with Marte. The ball fell to the ground. Collins scored to make it 5-4. Andrus dropped to the ground and appeared to be injured.

Andrus was hit in the neck. After a few moments, he appeared to be okay and stayed in the game. He was charged with an error for running into Marte. Abreu was in scoring position with the dangerous Eloy Jimenez at the plate. Lou Trivino had to find a way to retire Jimenez to preserve the win for Oakland. Trivino got Jimenez to fly out to Marte in center to end the game. The A’s win 5-4.

Game Notes and Stats: With the win, the A’s improve to 69-53. The A’s now lead the Boston Red Sox by 1/2 game for the second Wild Card slot in the American League. Chicago’s record is now 71-51.

The A’s return home to face the San Francisco Giants for three games over the weekend. The A’s then play the Seattle Mariners for three and three more with the red-hot New York Yankees.

Cole Irvin received credit for his ninth win of the year. Lou Trivino recorded his 20th save. Irvin went six innings and allowed seven hits. He stuck out one and walked four. 

Chicago’s Dylan Cease line was six innings, three runs, and four hits. Cease struck out four and walked five. Michael Kopech took the loss for Chicago.

The A’s hit three home runs in Thursday’s game. Before Olson’s two-run shot in seventh, the A’s had hit 14 consecutive solo blasts.

The A’s host the San Francisco Giants for three games this weekend. The Giants own the best record in baseball. They are in first place in the tough NL Western Division. They took two out of three from the A’s earlier when they played at Oracle Park in San Francisco. The A’s will send James Kaprielian(6-4, ERA 3.33) to face the Giants Friday Night. The Giants will counter with lefty Alex Wood (10-3, 4.14 ERA).

The game will start at 6:40 pm.

Chris Bassitt’s injury overshadows A’s loss to White Sox 9-0

Oakland A’s pitcher Chris Bassitt follows through on his first inning delivery against the Chicago White Sox on Tue Aug 17, 2021 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. Bassitt later would be hit in the head by a line drive by Brian Goodwin. The latest word is Bassitt is conscious and x-rays performed will determined if there were fractures from the line drive. (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s had their ace, Chris Bassitt, on the mound as they tried to even the series with the White Sox at one apiece Tuesday night in Chicago. Bassitt, leading the American League in wins, ran into a little bit of a jam in the second inning.

He gave up singles to the first two batters he faced. The third hitter, Brian Goodwin, sent Bassitt’s pitch right back at him. The ball was traveling at 100 miles per hour. Bassitt tried to defend himself, but the ball hit him in the face. He dropped to the ground in obvious pain. The team trainer ran out and gave him a towel to stop the bleeding.

Bassitt was placed on a cart and taken to the hospital. The A’s announced that Bassitt was conscious and aware. The most important thing on everyone’s mind is his health. Former A’s manager and current White Sox skipper, Tony La Russa, said, “I hope he caught a break and is OK.” A’s manager Bob Melvin in a very brief press conference, said this: “we don’t think the eye is the problem. We will know about potential fractures tomorrow.”

In all the years that this writer has been following baseball, I have witnessed three other pitchers being hit in the head by a line drive. In 1957, lefty Herb Score was hit by a line drive off the bat of Gil McDougald. Score recovered but was never returned to the pitcher he was.

The A’s Brandon McCarthy was hit in the 2012 season. McCarthy suffered a skull fracture, and the injury was life-threatening. Fortunately, McCarthy recovered and resumed his career. In the 2012 World Series, Detroit Tigers pitcher Doug Fister was hit by a line drive. Fister stayed in the game and was lucky not to have had a serious injury.

The A’s still had to play a baseball game. Everyone knew their hearts were with Bassitt. It’s very hard to concentrate on playing a game when your teammate has suffered such a serious injury.

The summary of the game will be brief. The Sox scored five times in the second. Former A’s third baseman, Jake Lamb, hit a three-run blast off Burch Smith, who took over from Bassitt. The Sox led 5-0 after two. Jose Abreu hit a three-run homer in the fourth to make it 8-0. The Sox added a run in the sixth to finish with a 9-0 run.

Wednesday night A’s will battle the White Sox in game three of this four game series with the A’s starting Cole Irvin (8-11 ERA 3.52) for the Sox Lance Lynn (10-3 ERA 2.26) first pitch 5:10 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.

There will be no game notes or stats. The staff of Sports Radio Service and all of baseball are hoping and praying for Chris.

White Sox win first game of four-game set with A’s 5-2

Former Oakland A’s and now Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendricks gets into the double fist pump mode after closing the door on his former team on Mon Aug 16, 2021 in Chicago (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s met the Chicago White Sox for the first time this season Monday at Guaranteed Rate Field on the Southside of Chicago. The teams entered the game with identical records of 68-50. The A’s sent Frankie Montas to the hill Monday night.

Montas had pitched well in his last several starts. The White Sox countered with the veteran lefty, Dallas Keuchel. Montas had to be on the top of his game as the White Sox lineup is loaded with tough outs. Two outstanding Chicago players returned to action after missing most of the season with injuries. Eloy Jiminez was back in the lineup, hitting behind last year’s MVP Jose Abreu. Luis Robert returned to his spot in center field after being on the 60-day IL.

The A’s knew they had to put runs on the board to beat Keuchel. Oakland put two on the board in the top of the second. Matt Chapman, with one out, blasted his 18th home run of the year. The home run was Chappie’s fourth blast in the last three games. Keuchel then hit Josh Harrison with a pitch.

He walked Stephen Piscotty and Vimael Machin to load the bases. Mark Canha singled to drive in Harrison with the A’s second run. Keuchel settled down and retired the next two A’s hitters to end the threat. The A’s didn’t know it at the time that they were done for the night.

Chicago added single runs in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Montas left the game after the fifth inning, trailing 3-2. Frankie gave up three runs and allowed eight hits, all singles. He threw 99 pitches in his five innings of work. The White Sox added another run in the bottom of the eighth. Luis Robert led off the frame with his third home run of the year. 

The White Sox bullpen held the A’s offense at bay after Keuchel left after five innings of work. The A’s only hit after the fourth inning came in the eight when Jed Lowrie doubled. Former A’s closer Liam Hendriks struck out the side in the ninth to record his 27th save of the year. Chicago wins 5-2.

Game Notes and Stats: With the loss, the A’s record stands at 68-51. The A’s trail the Houston Astros by two and 1/2 games in the race for first place in the AL West. The A’s drop 1/2 game behind the Boston Red Sox to be the number one Wild Card. The New Yankees downed the LA Angels to move with one and 1/2 games behind the second AL Wild card.

The line for Oakland was two runs, six hits, and one error. The A’s had two extra-base hits. Matt Chapman’s homer and Jed Lowrie’s double.

The line for the White Sox was five runs, ten hits, and no error. Luis Robert paced the Sox’ attack with three hits, two singles, and a home run. Chisox manager Tony LaRussa played small ball in the bottom of the sixth. Robert led off the inning with a single.

Robert then stole second. He was called out on the throw from Yan Gomes to Machin. The Sox won the challenge, and Robert was credited with a stolen base. Robert went to third on Brian Goodwin’s ground out. Sox catcher Zeby Zavala, who had two singles earlier in the game, laid down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to drive in Robert with Chicago’s fourth run of the night.

Chris Bassitt will pitch for the A’s Tuesday night. Bassitt is 12-3, and his ERA is 3.06. Chicago will counter with Reynaldo Lopez. Lopez is 1-0, and his era is 1.35

A’s rout Indians 17-0; Moreland belts two homers

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.