Mariners beat A’s 9-5 to win finale of three-game series; Met’s and Chris Bassitt face A’s Friday night at Coliseum

Chris Bassitt pitcher of the New York Mets faces his old teammates the Oakland A’s Fri Sep 23, 2022 at the Oakland Coliseum for game one of a three game series. Here Bassitt pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sat Sep 17, 2022 at Citi Field in New York. (AP file photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Seattle Mariners salvaged the third game of the three-game series Thursday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum. The Oakland A’s pitching had kept the M’s offense in check on Tuesday and Wednesday. The M’s knew they needed to win. They jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.

The A’s plated five runs in the third to go ahead 5-3. The M’s refused to wilt. The M’s scored one in the fourth, three in the sixth, one in the seventh, and one in the eighth to win the game 9-5. Neither starter figured in the decision. The difference was the bullpen. The A’s bullpen gave up four runs, and the M’s bullpen stopped the A’s cold.

The Mariners, down in the dumps after losing the first two games of the three-game series, put together four hits, including two doubles and two walks, to grab an early 3-0 lead in the first inning.

The M’s Rookie of the Year candidate, Julio Rodriguez, doubled to get things going for Seattle. Mitch Haniger singled to drive in Rodriguez with the M’s first run. Martinez struck out Carlos Santana for the first out. Ty France singled, sending Haniger to second.

M’s catcher Cal Raleigh doubled to drive in Haniger, and Ty France stopped at third. Martinez walked Travis Kelenic to load the bases. France scored the M’s third run when Martinez walked Jessie Winker. The inning ended when Dylan Moore hit into a 5-4-3 double play. The M’s lead 3-0 midway through the first.

The A’s sent 11 men to the plate in the bottom of the third. They put together a rally that featured five runs, five hits, and three walks. Vimael Machin started the rally with a double. Sean Murphy singled, sending Machin to third.

Mariners’ starter, George Kirby, walked Seth Brown to load the bases. Stephen Vogt’s line drive went into the corner in right-field that cleared the bases. Kirby retired Jordan Diaz for the first out. Conner Capel walked.

Shea Langeliers followed with a double to drive in Vogt. Capel stopped at third. Nick Allen walked to load the bases. Tony Kemp singled to drive in Capel with the fifth run of the innings. The A’s led 5-3 after three.

The Mariners put their fourth game run on the board at the top of the fourth. M’s centerfielder, Jarred Kelenic, led off the inning with his fifth home run to make it a 5-4 game. 

In the top of the sixth, Seattle scored three times to retake the lead 7-5. Ty France started the rally with a triple. A’s manager Mark Kotsay replaced Martinez with lefty Kirby Snead. Jarred Kelenic doubled to drive in France with the tying run.

Kelenic went to third on a wild pitch. With two out, the A’s gave Dylan Moore an intentional walk. The strategy backfired as the left-handed hitting Dylan Moore doubled to drive in two runs to put the Mariners ahead 7-5. 

The M’s added another run in the seventh. Mitch Haniger singled and went to second on a wild pitch. Carlos Santana grounded out 4-2, and Haniger went to third on the play. Ty France plated Haniger with a sacrifice fly to left to increase the M’s lead to 8-5.

The M’s scored an unearned run in the eighth. With two out, Dylan Moore singled. Moore went to third on Shea Langaliers’ throwing error. Adam Frazier singled to drive in Moore. The M’s lead 9-5.

The A’s failed to score in the eighth and ninth. The M’s win 9-5.

Game Notes: With the loss, the A’s are now 55-95. Oakland has 12 games left to play. The M’s improved to 82-67.

The line score for Oakland was five runs, nine hits, and one error. Seattle’s line was nine runs, eleven hits, and no errors.

Mariners’ manager Scott Servais had to be pleased with the M’s bullpen. The M’s relievers kept the A’s off the scoreboard for the last six innings of the game.

A’s starter Adrian Martinez went five-plus innings. His line was five runs, six hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts. Martinez gave up the home run to Jarred Kelenic in the fourth.

The M’s Julio Rodriguez left the game in the bottom of the first with lower back tightness.

A’s veteran catcher Stephen Vogt announced his retirement at the end of the season.

The A’s will host the New York Mets for three games starting Friday night. Former A’s starter, Chris Bassitt, will be on the mound for New York. Bassitt is having a good year with a record of 14-8 and an ERA of 3.32. Bassitt would love nothing better than beating his old mates. The A’s will counter with lefty Cole Irvin. Irvin is 9-11 and has an ERA of 3.79. The game will start at 6:40 pm. 

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: The Tale of the Fire Sale–Chapman looks very close to leaving for Philadelphia or New York

Oakland A’s Matt Chapman (26) will not be forearm bashing anymore with former teammate Matt Olson (right) seen here Mar 5, 2021 against the Los Angeles Angels in spring training at Hohokam Park in Mesa. Olson now with the Atlanta Braves and Chapman on the trade block (AP News photo)

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary:

#1 Amaury, it comes as no surprise that once the lockout was lifted the Oakland A’s would have an early season fire sale and pitcher Chris Bassitt who left for the New York Mets was one of the first followed by A’s first baseman Matt Olson.

#2 And while it’s no surprise of their departure it’s still hard to grasp for anyone who follows the A’s that it’s a hard pill to swallow to have to say good bye to Bassitt, Olson and soon to be Matt Chapman.

#3 Olson led in many categories for the A’s at different times with on base percentage .371, 101 runs, 153 hits, 35 doubles, RBIs, home runs and walks with 88, 74 base hits, and four stolen bases.

#4 The in picking for players from the Atlanta Braves in the Olson deal two right handed pitchers Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes, catcher Shea Langeliers and outfielder Cristian Pache. Langeliers could be the key player in the deal a number one draft choice for the Braves. A’s team vice president Billy Beane might have some of that Money Ball magic going again and have himself a core of players in the works.

#5 Amaury talk about Matt Chapman being on the trade block bubble he’s the All Star third baseman the guy that A’s fans sought in their pack of baseball cards he’s very close to being no more and the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies are shopping Chapman hard core he might get a crazy Bryce Harper type contract.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzaelz at the mic for Oakland A’s Spanish radio beisbol all season long on flagship station 1010 KIQI LeGrande San Francisco and for News and Commentary podcasts Tuesdays at

Olson the latest to leave A’s in early season fire sale; Oakland picks up four players from Braves

Former A’s slugger Matt Olson is seen here getting into the swing of things against catcher Tom Murphy (left) and the Seattle Mariners on Sep 21, 2022 at the Oakland Coliseum. Olson was dealt to the Atlanta Braves on Mon Mar 14, 2022 in five player deal (AP photo file)

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–Some are calling it an early fire sale the Oakland A’s might call it a rebuild to going young and getting some value for their former veteran players such as former A’s pitcher Chris Bassitt who left Oakland for the New York Mets.

Household names are sliding off the A’s roster and the latest pitcher Matt Olson is going back to his native hometown Atlanta. The former first baseman is going to the Braves in exchange for two right handed pitchers Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes, catcher Shea Langeliers and outfielder Cristian Pache.

As the A’s get four players for Olson, Olson was selected to the American All Star team in 2021 and hit .271, 39 home runs, 111 RBIs, in 156 games. Olson offensively was part of the heart and soul of the A’s line up during his days under former A’s manager Bob Melvin.

Olson led with on base percentage .371, 101 runs, 153 hits, 35 doubles, RBIs, home runs and walks with 88, 74 base hits, and four stolen bases. While it might not make sense to the average A’s fan that players like Bassitt and Olson have gone to greener pastures of money the A’s have been here time and time again.

This is a rebuild on the part of A’s team vice president and minority owner Billy Beane. He’s back to Money Ball again building from scratch to see if he can get enough veteran and young talent to see if an unpredicted A’s team can break the glass ceiling again and surprise critics and oddsmakers by making the post season. Noted that post season will take awhile but Beane based on his past experience could have one of those unknowns in the works again.

With Cusick, Estes, Langeliers (a number draft choice for the Braves) and Pache you could be assured that Beane has done his scouting report homework and is either counting or assured that this foursome will somehow develop into what his fire sale players were in the past.

It won’t happen over night it took time for Olson, Bassitt, Marcus Seimen, and the soon to be delivered Matt Chapman were on rebuild status but in a season or two maybe the third season you might see one of the foursome of Cusick, Estes, Langeliers, or Pache make some headway.

Jerry Feitelberg is an Oakland A’s beat writer for

Oakland A’s podcast with Jeremiah Salmonson: Chris Bassitt makes miraculous return today against Mariners after horrific injury

Chris Bassitt talks with the media regarding his injury and his progress with the media on Aug 28, 2021 at the Oakland Coliseum. Bassitt makes his pitching debut today since his injury on Aug 17, 2021 (AP News photo)

On the A’s podcast with Jeremiah:

#1 It’s hard to believe that Oakland A’s pitcher Chris Bassitt returning today to his pitching duties the A’s number starter has recovered from not only being hit in the face by a traveling baseball at the speed of a bullet and under going cheek surgery and returning four weeks since the Aug 24th surgery.

#2 Bassitt said this week that he had a number of boxes that needed to be checked off in order for him to comeback and one of them was his balance, eyesight, and ability to function normally and that was one of the biggest boxes checked off for Bassitt.

#3 What’s additionally incredible is Bassitt was able to throw two and half weeks after having surgery. Bassitt who has thrown three bullpen sessions and two simulated innings against live hitting he impressed manager Bob Melvin to the point that Bassitt got scheduled for today’s game.

#4 The A’s have ten games left and are trailing in the AL Wild Card race by three games with Boston, Toronto and New York red hot ahead of the Athletics at this stage of the season a Wild Card birth looks like a long reach.

#5 Game four today at the Oakland Coliseum as the Mariners will start Yusei Kikuchi (7-9 ERA 4.32) and the A’s will go with Chris Bassitt (12-4 ERA 3.22) first pitch today 12:37 pm PDT

Mental mistakes, missing offense doom A’s to 4-2 loss to the Indians

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND–The A’s are talking about all the extra work they’re putting in to get their offense in gear.

That’s not a good sign.

Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Indians came with mental blunders, clutch pitching and little offense. That prompted another round of questions about the A’s offense afterwards.

“I feel good about it every day we go out there,” manager Bob Melvin said. “They get in good work in the cage. (Hitting coach Darren Bush) does well preparing them about how they’re going to be pitched to, we’re just in a rut right now. Every day we go out there, I feel like we’re going to break out of it.”

The A’s fell behind 1-0 on the game’s first pitch, hand delivered to the bleachers by Bradley Zimmer off Chris Bassitt. The A’s tied it in the second, then again in the fifth, 2-2, but that was it. Not many scoring opportunities, and those that surfaced didn’t amount to much.

The A’s have started the season’s second half like they finished the first–with issues offensively. Now that critical performers Mark Canha and Ramon Laureano have returned to the lineup, the belief was the team would start to perform again. But instead, Sunday’s loss was their 15th in their last 24 contests, enough losing to fall behind the Astros in the AL West, and feel the heat from a quartet of challengers for the league’s final wild card spot as well.

The biggest issue? The team batting average sunk to .208 over the last 18 games, it’s .233 over the entire season, and that’s just not cutting it in a year where the league average for teams is .241. Too many times, the A’s can’t produce runs, or run scoring opportunities. On Sunday, only one A’s batter, Matt Chapman, had an opportunity with a runner in scoring position. On a meager day offensively, that’s striking.

Two batters before Seth Brown’s solo shot got the A’s even in the fifth, Laureano tried to stretch a double into a stroll to third base when an errant throw got away from Jose Ramirez. But Laureano was tagged out in clear defiance of baseball’s rigid rule: don’t make the first out of an inning at third base.

“There’s nobody out, and when you aren’t scoring any runs, you try to make something happen,” Melvin said. “(The ball’s) out there in no-man’s land and (he) saw how far away the third baseman was and took a chance at getting there. Just didn’t work out.”

If Laureano stays put, Brown’s homer picks him up and gives the A’s a lead. Instead, little else happened. The A’s had trouble Sunday just mounting a threat.

Meanwhile, the locally raised group on the Indians took over. Outfielder Daniel Johnson from Vallejo homered to give the Indians a 3-2 lead, Zimmer, the former USF star, opened the scoring as previously mentioned, and Bryan Shaw from Livermore closed the door by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his second save.

Attendance for the game was 8,572, a second disappointing, weekend ending crowd in a row for the A’s who haven’t benefitted from being competitive in the standing, as much as they’ve suffered with rumors circulating that the team may be moving to Las Vegas. That, and the team’s offensive woes would seem to point to a trade deadline acquisition that could jumpstart the team, but no names are currently circulating in that regard.

Chris Bassitt took the loss, ending his 10-game win streak dating back to April. Bassitt allowed six hits and three runs, two of those hits home runs by Zimmer and Johnson.

Derby Prep: Olson goes deep twice in All-Star Break finale win over the Rangers

By Morris Phillips

Matt Olson got into the swing of things–Home Run Derby style–by homering twice in the A’s 4-1 win over the Rangers on Sunday. But Olson wasn’t the only one swinging for the fences.

Jed Lowrie and Sean Murphy homered back-to-back in the second inning.

With Chris Bassitt on a career-best roll, winning his 10th consecutive decision with seven innings of near flawless pitching, the A’s finished the first half of the season with a pair of wins after dropping 13 of their previous 19 contests.

Not surprisingly, Olson slumped as the team did: the slugging first baseman had just one homer in his previous 18 games coming into Sunday. Now he settles into his role as an All-Star and Home Run Derby participant with 23 bombs on the season.

“In the past we’ve been a home run-hitting team,” Olson said. “It was good to get back and see some leave the yard.”

The A’s have hit 115 home runs in their 92 games thus far, putting them well above the league average of 106, and among the top ten home run hitting clubs in MLB. Still, their offense has been spotty, surprisingly more so at home in the Coliseum, but the starting pitching has been exemplary, and the bullpen has been above average despite the absence of closer Trevor Rosenthal.

“Obviously we’d like to be in first place in the division and we’re not, but hopefully we come out and whatever that second half magic is we’ve had in the past, we keep it going,” Olson said.

The A’s trail the division-leading Astros by 3 1/2 games heading into the break after leading the division for 60 days, and now trailing the Astros for 20 days.

Bassitt improved to 10-2 on the season by pitching far better than he did in his start at Houston, in which he allowed six runs but somehow avoided a loss in a game the team lost 9-6. This time, Bassitt allowed an RBI double to Nick Solak and only four hits in total.

Rangers starter Koby Allard not only needs a break, he needs a break from the A’s specifically as he lost to Oakland for the third time in the last 18 days, and has dropped five, consecutive starts to the A’s. Allard allowed all four A’s home runs, and three of the four traveled over 400 feet.

The A’s open the second half at home against Cleveland and the Angels, but the homestand only spans five games before the team hits the road for a three-city, 10-game trip.

Home Run Happy: A’s stay hot in June with 6-3 win over the Royals

The Oakland A’s Matt Olson (28) gets a forearm bash from teammate Elvis Andrus (17) after hitting a fifth inning home run against the Kansas City Royals at the Oakland Coliseum Sun Jun 13, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND–The 2021 A’s don’t miss many opportunities. When an opponent comes in limping, the A’s make sure they don’t get medical attention.

The A’s improved to 9-2 in June by defeating the Royals 6-3 on Sunday at the Coliseum. The A’s got big afternoons from their biggest names–Matt Olson and Chris Bassitt–in drubbing Kansas City, losers of 8 of 9 and 24 of 38 after an exemplary 16-9 start to their season.

Olson homered twice to back Bassitt, who pitched into the sixth inning, allowing five hits and two runs to win his seventh, consecutive decision. Bassitt survived a scary moment when he was hit by a batted ball and found himself face down on the turf in pain. Trainer Nick Paparesta and manager Bob Melvin nervously approached Bassitt, but the A’s ace popped up slowly and didn’t need to leave the game.

“It hit me in the perfect spot. That may sound weird,” Bassitt said. “It didn’t affect me at all.”

The Royals didn’t affect Bassitt much either. Nicky Lopez, who delivered the batted ball to Bassitt’s side also had an infield hit for an RBI single. An inning later, in the third, Andrew Benintendi touched Bassitt for a solo shot to close the A’s lead to 3-2. But Bassitt cruised from their and departed in the sixth due to his elevated pitch count, which hit 104.

Kris Bubic surrendered both of Olson’s home runs and one to Matt Chapman. That had the lefty headed to the showers in the fifth, trailing 5-2. The former Stanford pitcher has allowed nine home runs in his last four starts, after not allowing any over his first six starts of the season.

The A’s improved to 40-27 on the season, and maintained their two-game lead on the second-place Astros in the AL West. Hot Anaheim visits the Coliseum starting Monday with six consecutive wins under their belts. The Angels reside in third place in the division, but have climbed above .500 for the first time this season at 33-32.

Dylan Bundy faces the A’s Sean Manaea in the series opener at 6:40pm on Monday. Bundy failed to win any of his first 10 starts of the season, falling to 0-6, before he won his most recent start at home against the Royals. Manaea has thrown 15 innings in June, winning both of his starts via shutout while allowing just six hits.

A’s survive two Twins comebacks, and win 7-6 at Target Field

By Morris Phillips

The A’s 7-6 win over the Twins Sunday wasn’t wild solely based on the game’s dramatic ebbs and flows, but also because numerous pitches were wild, and timely enough to decide the game’s outcome.

Oh yeah, and the umpiring was wild enough to have the A’s declare this a win against all odds.

“If you want to look at one game and say ‘what are the Oakland A’s made of?’ this was the game,” starting pitcher Chris Bassitt said. “I mean, every single thing went against us… and we still won.”

The A’s needed responses to a pair of Minnesota comebacks, the second of which concluded with Ramon Laureano scoring the winning run in the ninth on Taylor Rogers’ wild pitch. Matt Chapman actually struck out swinging on the pitch that crossed up catcher Mitch Garver, with the ball bounding all the way to the backstop, then up the first base line.

The setup for the dramatic, go-ahead run could have been an A’s hard-earned hit-and-run single, but it wasn’t. Instead, the Twins’ Josh Donaldson dropped Rogers throw off a come-backer that was tailor-made for an inning-ending double play. That set the A’s up with the go-ahead run at third with one out.

“Probably could have been better on my part,” Rogers said, not particularly enthusiastic about reliving a nightmare ninth inning. “Probably could have been caught on his part. I don’t know. It is what it is. No sense in looking at it, because it ain’t changing.”

The decisive ninth encompassed all of the weekend’s storylines: the Twins desperate to climb out of a dismal start to the season, and build on a dramatic, Saturday night win, couldn’t, while the far more fortunate, first-place A’s found a way to keep things rolling.

To wit, the Oakland offensive attack was quite unconventional for 2021: no homers, no run-scoring doubles, instead base hits, sac flies, advancing runners –and thanks to the home team–take full advantage of opponent’s mistakes. Incredibly, again given how teams attack these days, the A’s scored all seven runs one at a time with at least one base runner aboard each time.

Unconventional? Elvis Andrus found himself in a run down in between third and home, one out and the A’s trailing by a run in the fifth. Dead to rights, right? But the veteran Andrus took advantage of rookie Twins catcher Ben Rortvedt, by inducing a quick throw to third, then reversing ground to home, and slyly brushing Rortvedt, who wasn’t savvy enough to concede the baseline.

The call? Catcher’s interference, an Andrus scores to tie the game. Resourceful? You bet, leaving manager Bob Melvin to marvel at his team’s resolve.

“People keep asking me about how you respond from something like (Saturday’s loss). Guys keep doing it. A lot of heart on this team,” Melvin said.

Bassitt pitched five innings that were anything but smooth. In the second, he hit two batters, which conveniently set the table for Max Kepler’s three-run homer. The veteran pitcher then saw his pitch count explode through three innings, with 52 of his 61 pitches expended in the second and third.

But he continued to battle, somehow getting through five innings without exposing the Oakland bullpen early.

The A’s finish their brief trip to Boston and Minneapolis at 4-2 and now return to the Coliseum for Tuesday’s showdown with the second-place Astros.

A’s win streak hits eight, sweep the Tigers with 3-2 walk off job

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND–The A’s tried to give Sunday’s contest away, but it was the Tigers that actually booted it, on Jeimer Candelario’s fielding error in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Mitch Moreland’s sharply hit ground ball got under Candelario’s glove and body, allowing Matt Olson to score from second base, in the A’s 3-2 win at the Coliseum.

What appeared to be an unlikely mistake with the game on the line gained greater context in the recent history between the two clubs in which the A’s have dominated, winning 22 of 23 since June 2015. Simply, disaster strikes Detroit when facing the A’s, and the Tigers’ new manager A.J. Hinch is merely catching up to the facts.

“Everything that kind of could go wrong did go wrong in this four-game series,” Hinch said. “We didn’t hit and then ultimately we just couldn’t finish them all off.”

Before the game’s deciding play, the A’s did plenty to damage their hopes, especially in leaving a baserunner stranded at third base in the fourth and eighth innings, as five Oakland hitters failed to hit the ball past the infield, and three of the five struck out. Overall, the A’s were 0 for 7 with a runner in scoring position, along with Mark Canha getting picked off first base in the second, and Aramis Garcia hitting into a double play in the fifth.

But while the A’s shot themselves in the foot on the basepaths, starter Chris Bassitt was keeping the A’s afloat with his first exemplary outing of 2021.

Bassitt went six innings, striking out eight, and retiring 14 of 15 in one stretch. The 32-year old veteran relied heavily on his mid-90’s cutter throughout, and caused Detroit’ batters pause with occasional curves and changeups. After being uncharacteristically wild at Arizona, Bassitt controlled his space by starting 15 of 25 batters with strikes, and issuing just two free passes.

“I thought he threw great,” manager Bob Melvin said of Bassitt. “We just didn’t score enough, didn’t support him enough early on. But he only ends up giving up two runs and keeping us in the game.”

The sixth inning offered the Tigers an opportunity they couldn’t refuse or squander, that after an amazing streak of 23 scoreless innings dating back to the first inning on Friday. Candelario drew a leadoff walk, then Willi Castro singled. With two outs, and after both runners advanced, Harold Castro delivered a two-run single and the lead to the Tigers.

Castro’s master stroke effectively ended Bassitt’s afternoon as well, but it didn’t end Detroit’s misfortune at the Coliseum.

In the bottom of ninth with the game tied following Sean Murphy’s solo shot, the sun demanded it make an impactful, cameo appearance. Victor Reyes was cast as the victim, unable to locate Olson’s fly ball as it landed harmlessly 20 feet to his right. That set the A’s up with the potential game-winning run at second base 6with one out. After Matt Chapman struck out, and Murphy walked, Moreland entered as a pinch-hitter batting lefty against left-handed reliever Gregory Soto.

And Moreland made it work.

The A’s were hoping to continue their mastery of AL Central teams on Monday, but the Twins are dealing with COVID issues on multiple fronts and they were shutdown Saturday and Sunday against the Angels, then not cleared for Monday in Oakland. The hope is the Twins’ positive tests will cease and they can resume play with a Twins-A’s doubleheader on Tuesday.

The A’s hope so: they’ve won 69 of 89 since June 2017 against the Twins, Tigers, White Sox, Indians and Royals.

No Frustration When You Win: A’s slip past the Mariners 3-2 at T-Mobile Park

By Morris Phillips

The pandemic-truncated season doesn’t allow much time for teams to figure things out. But the A’s bought themselves a few extra measures with an unlikely, 3-2 win over the Mariners on Sunday.

The A’s are in mental quarantine, having hit just .175 over their last six games while scoring a measly 16 runs and enduring a three-game losing streak.

But they won the last two, they’re back over .500, and they just might get their full allotment of 51 more opportunities to look more like their true selves.

Ramon Laureano’s two-out, three-run homer in the fifth was all the offense the A’s could muster, but they made it stand up in a one-run win. The big moment was set up by two, subtle pieces of good fortune.

Former A’s starter Kendall Graveman was cruising for Seattle, but after two seasons removed from action due to Tommy John sugery, Graveman isn’t going to throw 25 plus pitches in the fifth inning of any start in 2020. Frustration had set in as well as that 25th pitch turned into a well-placed, infield single from Marcus Semien, the A’s struggling leadoff man hitting below .200 coming into the at-bat.

With runners at the corners, manager Scott Servais summoned reliever Anthony Misiewicz, a lefty facing the right-handed hitting Laureano with two outs. Why a lefty? Maybe Servais was focused on the possibility of lefthanded hitting Matt Olson coming up with the bases loaded, and wanted Misiewicz for the possibility of that task. Instead, the hot-hitting Laureano saw a second, consecutive off-speed sinker, this one in the middle of the plate, and he pounced without having to protect and speed up his bat. Laureano, Oakland’s one in-sync hitter, saw his swing produce a leisurely home run ball that exited at 98 mph.

“A hit would have been great, but a home run is a whole different ballgame,” A’s starter Chris Bassitt said of the support he received from Laureano. “It changed the whole complexion of the game. It was a big sigh of relief for everybody.”

Bassitt would depart after facing three batters in the sixth and after throwing 83 pitches. Leading 3-1 at that point, Bassitt earned the first win of the season for an A’s starter after the first eight starts resulted in an 0-4 record.

The A’s are one of six American League teams with a winning record, along with the Astros, Yankees, Twins, White Sox and the surprising Orioles at 5-3. Oakland maybe the least impressive of the six, but in a season where the top eight will qualify for postseason a winning record is where it’s at, all the style points can be inserted in October and early November. CBS’s Jon Heyman picked the A’s and Braves for an unlikely Fall Classic an he stood with the prediction over the weekend.

So now is not the time to fret over meager batting averages and faulty starters. The A’s have to just hang in there and remain positive.

“Now, we just gotta hit the ball on the barrel and find some holes,” Laureano said.

Frankie Montas faces Justus Sheffield in the finale of the four-game series on Monday.