A’s Win, Late Drama Included For Free: Miscues late almost ruin 3-2 win over the Angels

By Morris Phillips

Yeah, yeah, the A’s bullpen… but here’s a twist: this time Lou Trivino was the hero with a warm, Southern California breeze sprinkled in.

Trivino came on to record the final five outs of the game–without allowing a hit or a walk–after the Angels scored a pair of ninth inning runs to break up a shutout authored by starter Frankie Montas and Jake Diekman, who combined to put the home team asleep for eight innings, allowing just one hit.

The A’s secured a 3-2 win in Anaheim to sweep the series–and keep their playoff hopes alive–when Mark Canha singled, and Jed Lowrie followed with a sacrifice fly to score placed runner Matt Olson in the top of the 10th.

Winners of five straight, the A’s still face daunting odds to pass the Yankees (who lost Sunday) and either the Red Sox or Blue Jays (both who won) to secure one of the two wild card spots. Among the biggest of the A’s challenges: they’re in the midst of a 16-games in 16-days stretch that won’t digest any easier after Sunday’s heart stopper.

But before all of what come’s next, the A’s have to be proud of themselves for what was accomplished in Anaheim. Not only did they complete a road sweep, they finished 15-4 in the season series against the Angels, a domination of a division rival that’s almost a prerequisite to gaining a playoff berth these days. But not only that, the A’s stood up to Shohei Ohtani, who was terrific, firing darts across the plate for eight innings.

Ohtani struck out ten, utilizing his splitter on more than half of his 108 pitches across eight innings. He was energized, showing great life on his fastball late in the game when he struck out the side in the seventh, and fanned Matt Chapman in the eighth with a couple of the pitches hitting 98 mph. But Ohtani failed to keep Yan Gomes in the ballpark in the third, and Chapman from circling bases in the fourth. The two solo shots were the difference–until the late drama–as Ohtani allowed three other hits and no walks in his the third longest outing of his career.

But Montas was just as good.

The A’s ace in the absence of the miraculously healing Chris Bassitt took full advantage of an Anaheim lineup that was absent of the normal big names with the exception of Ohtani, who he smartly walked twice. Beyond that, Montas struck out seven, walked two others for a total of four, and allowed a double to Brandon Marsh in the third inning with two outs. Montas then shut that down, by issuing a pass to Ohtani, and striking out Phil Gosselin to end the inning.

“When you go up against Ohtani, you know you have to be really good, and he was,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He matched him all the way until both were out of the game and out-pitched him really.”

But as so many baseball games go, the pitching gems didn’t decide it, instead the follies almost did.

Romo, hardly an ideal closer given the lack of velocity on his pitches, was called upon in the ninth, a role he’s assumed following Trivino’s well-chronicled struggles. Almost immediately, Romo fell into straights allowing a double to Gosselin, and an infield single to Jared Walsh after throwing just six pitches. After Luis Rengifo grounded out, but advanced the runners, Jose Rojas delivered a single to left that plated Gosselin. But Seth Brown’s throw to the plate–with Walsh held at third–sailed over Gomes at the plate and to the backstop. That pinned an error on Brown, freed up Walsh, and allowed the Angels to tie the game.

Just that quick–after 10 pitches–Romo was done, and Trivino was summoned. On six pitches, Trivino struck out Max Stassi and Jack Mayfield (both looking) to keep the Angels from grabbing a lead.

“It’s demoralizing to give up the lead,” Melvin said. “You have to go back out there and work for it again and they did. It doesn’t surprise me.”

In the tenth with the lead, Trivino did it again. He got David Fletcher to ground out, Brandon Marsh to ground into a fielder’s choice, wiping out Mayfield, the runner placed at second to start the inning. Then he got Kean Wong to fly out to end it, all done with eight pitches.

In five outings ending September 4, Trivino allowed runs in each appearance, all in games that the A’s ended up losing. That cost Trivino his closer’s role. But this week, he’s been better: despite allowing five hits combined in appearances Wednesday and Friday, he posted two holds and a win.

“Huge for him kind of getting back to what he’s been doing here for the better part of the season,” Melvin said. “Great for us, great for his confidence and obviously the timeliness of it was huge.”

The A’s open up a four-game set with Seattle at the Coliseum on Monday night. Sean Manaea will be opposed by the Mariners’ Tyler Anderson, who’s allowed three home runs and five walks in his two most recent starts and has a 6-9 record on the season.

A’s shut down by the Angels for the second straight day in a 4-2 loss

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND– Well, the A’s could use a couple of improvements.

Replace a broken glass panel on the club level. Get a few more less socially-distanced bodies in the stands. And maybe an extra productive bat or two for the struggling lineup.

Yeah, an extra bat or two.

One day after being shut out by the Angels, the A’s were stymied again unable to bust up a two-run deficit in any of the final six innings of a frustrating 4-2 loss in Sunday’s series finale.

Possibly the low point stretching across all nine frames: the A’s failed to register a knockout blow on Jose Quintana, the Angels starter who entered with no wins and a bloated ERA, but escaped a 37-pitch, third inning and two bases-loaded situations without allowing a hit. Unbeknownst to the A’s, Quintana pitched the inning with a shoulder injury that would force him to depart early.

“Going into the eighth we only had two hits,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Offensively, it’s not enough. The last couple of games we had some opportunities. Just didn’t come through as much as we’d like to.”

The A’s tallied three hits Saturday and four on Sunday. A pair of doubles prevented the club from suffering the rarity of three, consecutive games without an extra-base hit, last done in 1980. For a club that has 70 home runs in 55 games, and regularly comes up with the big hit, the last two games veered too far from the game plan.

Since their captivating 13-game win streak, the A’s are a middling 15-15. If not for the tepid pace of the AL West race thus far, they’d be looking up at the competition. Instead, a 31-24 record still has them in first place, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Astros. A road trip to Seattle and Denver to see the NL Rockies doesn’t seem like a bad idea right now. The A’s home-heavy schedule thus far hasn’t paid dividends; they’re 17-17 at home.

“We feel like we have a couple more wins maybe that we should have at this point,” Melvin said. “It seems like we get to right at a chance to go 10 games over .500, and we’ve been up against that a couple of times and lost.”

Of course, one team’s rough afternoon can be another team’s gem. For the Angels, desperate to survive Mike Trout’s absence, seeing the best of Quintana’s nine starts as an Angel was part of their good news. His injury situation is a concern, but reliever Jose Suarez picked Quintana up with three, flawless innings of relief to secure the win. That gave the Angels a split of the four-game set, critical for a club that has recently underperformed in relation to their lesser paid rivals in the Bay.

“Kind of a nicely intense game, intense series. I loved it,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “We have to know we can win here.”

Three relievers followed Suarez, and they also were effective, combining to strike out four, issue no walks, and scatter–if you will–a pair of hits. The A’s fans–over 10,000 in number for the first time in 2021–fidgeted in the absence of excitement. That, and flinched when Juan Legares’ foul ball took out a chunk of a window panel on the second level restaurant area.

Workers were forced to quickly knock out all the remaining glass when it continued to fall and cause a hazard. Another fable for the encyclopedia of the Coliseum, now 47 seasons and counting, and a bargaining chip for the club, still publicly seeking a new home in Oakland or elsewhere.

Cole Irvin went six innings as the starter for the A’s. Most of that was damage control, and he was effective in that role, departing with the A’s still in reach, down two runs. But the second inning was his downfall, as the Angels took what he offered, a couple of off-speed pitches were hit pretty good, starting with his 74 mph curveball that Jared Walsh deposited over the right field wall, and his 77 mph curve that Phil Gosselin got a hold of for a RBI single.

In between those two, David Fletcher doubled home a pair of runs on a 82 mph slider. Not surprisingly, those three pitches were among the four slowest Irvin threw in the inning.

“I just need to get on my fastball a little bit sooner,” Irvin said. “Sean (Murphy) and I talked in between innings and we got back on the fastball. It’s just stuff that is maybe a learning experience.”

The A’s start a three-game series in Seattle on Memorial Day with James Kaprelian trying to make it three straight in a matchup with Logan Gilbert at 1:10pm.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Jed Lowrie Takes His Show to the Big Apple

Photo credit: @MetsAvenue

By: Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

The last time Jed Lowrie played in New York was October 3, 2018 when the A’s visited the Yankees and got eliminated by a score of 7-2 in the AL Wild Card Game. Lowrie signed a 2-year, $20 million deal with the other New York team, the Mets. The Mets picked up a versatile, switch-hitting veteran who came out of his best year in home runs with 23, playing second base for the A’s. He can play all over the infield, but during his last two very productive years with the A’s, he was basically a second-baseman. In 2018, he was selected to his first MLB All-Star Game.

Lowrie peaked last year and now he is going to play in one of the toughest markets in the country. However, he is going to a team that recently also traded for the 8-time All Star Robinson Cano, who still remains as one of the best all-around second-baseman in the game.

During his last two years, Lowire has elevated the ball consistently and also hitting it harder. That are some of the reasons he has enjoyed his success at ages 33 and 34. He A’S also got younger at second base with the acquisition of Jurickson Profar, who will make the young A’s infield even better this coming season.

In 2017, Lowrie showed solid defense when he made 132 starts at second base, and in 2018, when he made 133 starts. He also played shortstop and briefly third base last season when A’s manager Bob Melvin asked him to take over for the injured Matt Chapman. I remember Melvin praised Lowrie for his dedication and professionalism and taking over the third base responsibilities without a problem, always ready to help the team anyway he could. A’s fan thanked Jed Lowrie for the great job he did during his tenure at the Coliseum, establishing a new record for doubles by an A’s second baseman and one of the most steady players in the young A’s in recent years.

The A’s win for the 97th time, downing the Angels 5-2

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Liam Hendriks was the “opener” on Saturday night Photo: @NBCS

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics know what they will be doing next Wednesday night. They will be in the Bronx, New York at Yankee Stadium fighting for their very “baseball lives” in the 2018 American League Wild Card Game. The problem for the A’s is they have to finish the regular season in Anaheim before heading to the East Coast.

The Athletics have two goals for those final games on Saturday and Sunday at the “Big A”:

  1. Don’t get hurt and
  2. DON’T GET HURT!

Oakland has been a team that has been besieged by injuries this season and they cannot afford to lose any member of this team before heading into the playoffs. Of course, these proud athletes want to win, but staying healthy is more important than winning at this point in the season.

Fortunately, the A’s were able to win and stay healthy on Saturday night. Oakland set the tone of the game in the first inning in a very familiar way. With two out and Matt Chapman on at first base, Khris Davis hit a pitch from Tyler Skaggs over the right field wall for his 48th home run of the season to give the A’s a 2-0 lead. The two RBIs upped Davis’ total to 123 for the season.

The A’s decided to go with the “bullpenning” pitching philosophy in game two of this final series of the regular season. As usual, Liam Hendriks opened the game on the mound working the first for Oakland. Trevor Cahill became the “featured pitcher” taking over in the bottom of the second inning.

Oakland added another run in the top of the third inning when Jed Lowrie hit a sacrifice fly to right field that allowed Ramon Laureano to score from third. Laureano hit a double to lead off the inning.

The Angels took advantage of an A’s fielding error, added a stolen base and well-timed RBI single to score their first run of the game in bottom of the fifth inning.

Jim Johnson–yes, that Johnson who pitched for Oakland back in 2014–took over the pitching duties for the Angels. Jed Lowrie stepped in the batter’s box and hit his 23rd homer of the season off Mr. Johnson to up the A’s lead to 4-1.

Fernando Rodney took the ball for the A’s in the bottom of the seventh and he struggled. With the bases loaded and two out, Rodney walked in the Angels second run of the contest. He then had to face Mike Trout with bases loaded. Rodney was able to get Trout to fly out to right field and the A’s were still leading 4-2 after seven full innings.

In the top of the eighth inning, the A’s loaded up the bases with one out. Stephen Piscotty hit a fly ball to right field that was caught by Kole Calhoun. Ramon Laureano tagged up at third and scored the A’s fifth run of the game.

That would be it for scoring in the game and Oakland recorded their 97th win of 2018 with the 5-2 victory.

LAA 5-2
Graphic: @Angels

The “Bullpenning” A’s
Oakland used six pitchers in their win on Saturday night. Hendriks opened while Trevor Cahill filled the role of the featured pitcher going 4.0 innings giving up one run (earned) on one hit. He walked one and struck out one batter.

Shawn Kelley worked one inning walking one and striking out two. Fernando Rodney had very shaky outing as he wound up facing seven batters and giving up an earned run in the seventh inning.

Familia came in to set things up in the eighth inning and Blake Treinen closed it out in the ninth.

Cahill (7-4) was awarded the win while Treinen picked up his 38th save of the year.

Angels’ hurlers
LA starter Tyler Skaggs (8-10) took the loss after giving up the two-run home run to Davis in the first inning. The Angels used six pitchers who did not do a bad job. The gave up five runs off eight hits. They walked four A’s and struck out nine. It was the two home runs that really did the Angels in on Saturday night.

A’s at the plate

LAA Davis
Two guys who love the game Photo: @Athletics

  • Ramon Laureano continues to be amazing. He went 2-for-5 in this game scoring two runs. Yes, he scored each time he reached base.
  • Jed Lowrie does it again with a home run, sacrifice fly, two RBI and a run scored.
  • Khris Davis (yes, they must sign him to a long-term contract) had just another day at the office with a home run, two RBIs and a run scored.
  • Chad Pinder went 2-for-4 in the game.

LA Stars

  • Only four Angels managed to get a hit in the game–Jose Fernandez, Andrelton Simmons, Taylor Ward and Kaleb Cowart.
  • Five LA batters did reach base by way of a walk.
  • Ouch! The Angels left nine men on base.

Up next
Game 162 of the 2018 season will get underway at 12:07 pm PT on Sunday. All MLB games on Sunday will begin in the noon hour in their respective time zones. Brett Anderson (4-5, 4.42) will start for the A’s while Matt Shoemaker (2-2, 4.82) will take the mound for the Halos.

A’s outlast the Rangers 8-6 in a slugfest on Saturday at the Coliseum

 

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By Charlie O. Mallonee

OAKLAND — The Oakland Athletics’ 61-0 winning streak when they held a lead after seven innings was on the line Saturday versus the Texas Rangers. The A’s had a 6-4 lead after seven innings, but Texas veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre had other ideas about Oakland continuing that winning streak.

Beltre came to bat in the top of the eighth inning with teammate Nomar Mazara at first and his team trailing by two runs. With the count at 0-2, Beltre hit a Fernando Rodney pitch down the left-field line into the seats for a two-run home run to tie the game at 6-6. It was home run No. 11 of the season for Beltre and his second of the game (his first multiple home run game of the season). The crowd of 20,504 became very concerned.

The Rangers brought RHP Chris Martin into the game from the bullpen. The first batter he had to face was Matt Olson who entered the game in the seventh inning for Mark Canha. Olson hit the 0-1 pitch from Martin over the fence in left field for his 25th home run of the year to give the A’s a 7-5 lead. After Chad Pinder flied out, Jonathan Lucroy singled. Ramon Laureano struck out for the second out of the inning. Matt Chapman, who leads the majors in doubles since the All-Star Break, hit an RBI-double to right field that allowed Lucroy to score the A’s eighth run of the game to give them an 8-6 lead.

The A’s went to the top of the ninth with an 8-6 lead which meant it was “Treinen Time.” Treinen took the mound and struck out the first two hitters he faced. Shin-Soo Choo then stepped into the batter’s box and hit a soft line drive to Marcus Semien for the final out of the game.

The A’s won the game 8-6 and upped their record for the season to 86-57. They have now won three consecutive games and have guaranteed that they will win this series with the Rangers. The A’s are now 11-0-2 in their previous 13 home series which is the longest single-season home series unbeaten streak in Oakland history.

Ryan Buchter (4-0) received credit for the victory and Blake Treinen of the A’s picked up his 37th save. Chris Martin (1-4) of the Rangers was hung with the loss.

The Astros beat the Red Sox on Saturday 5-3 in Boston so the A’s will stay 3.5 games back of Houston. The Mariners host the Yankees on Saturday night.

Bob Melvin analyzes the game

Performances worth remembering

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  • Khris Davis hit his 41st home run of the season in the home half of the first inning. He now has 10 round-trippers off Rangers pitching.
  • Jed Lowrie hit his 36th double of the year in this contest, which ties him with Nick Swisher for third most for switch hitters in A’s history.
  • Stephen Piscotty doubled in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.
  • Matt Olson’s 25 home runs lead the American League for most HR’s by a first baseman.
  • Chad Pinder hit his 11th home run of 2018 in the sixth inning – a solo shot.
  • The Rangers Shin-Soo Choo has reached base in 15 out of 17 games versus the A’s this year.
  • Jurickson Profar hit his 16th home run of the season in the fourth inning off Jackson.

Pitching was a group effort in this game

A’s

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  • Starter Edwin Jackson was credited for just 3.0 innings and was dinged for four runs (all earned) off five hits. He struck out five and walked just one but gave up two home runs.
  • Shawn Kelley was back after his kitchen accident and pitched a perfect inning with two K’s.
  • Lou Trivino worked a perfect inning of relief.
  • Fernando Rodney was charged with blown save for giving up the two-run shot to Beltre.
  • The A’s used eight pitchers.
  • Oakland pitching gave up six runs (all earned) off six hits. They walked just one batter. A’s pitchers struck out 12 Texas hitters. They did give up three home runs.

Rangers

  • The Rangers used five pitchers in the game.
  • All but one of those hurlers gave up at least one earned one. Ouch!
  • Eddie Butler was the only reliever not to give up a run.
  • Texas pitchers gave up eight runs (all earned) on nine hits. They struck out seven and walked six. The Rangers also issued three home runs to A’s hitters.

Up next

The series wraps tomorrow at 1:05 PM when the Rangers send RHP Ariel Jurado (2-4, 6.00) to the mound to face the A’s RHP Trevor Cahill (6-3, 3.60).

On Your Heels: A’s nip Angels 8-7, creep closer to Astros at the top of the AL West

By Morris Phillips

Like today’s starting pitcher, Blake Treinen is a singular force of momentum as a closer.

Treinen stepped on the mound for the bottom of the ninth on Sunday knowing this: only one of the 13 pitchers that preceded him escaped without allowing at least one walk or a hit in a game that resembled batting practice as much as a major league affair can. With the A’s clinging to an 8-7 lead–narrowed from 8-3 by the Angels over the previous four innings–Treinen was entrusted with the task of getting the final three outs.

Challenging task and circumstances? Sure, how else could you explain Treinen needing 11 pitches–not nine–to finish the afternoon with three, consecutive strikeouts?

Well, for the bullpen-rich A’s, Trienen is the closer of closers. Consider the 30-year old fireballer the crescendo of crescendos. Following trade acquisitions Jeurys Familia and Fernando Rodney–both closers for their former teams–not to mention premiere setup man, Lou Trivino, Treinen was one more power arm than the Angels could withstand on Sunday.

While the offenses piled up the runs on Sunday, the bullpens dictated the outcome. The Angels’ bullpen, beset by injuries, had a rag tag, patched together look while the A’s relievers, as a unit, resembled an out-making machine. Afterwards, Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia admitted his guys weren’t exactly a seamless organization.

“We’re looking at whoever is available to give us innings,” said Scioscia, who went without a starter on Sunday, as bullpen guy Taylor Cole took the ball to start, and was followed by six more relievers. “We tried to line them up as best we can, but it’s just not as efficient as it is if you have at least the functionality of having starters that are getting to a certain point of the game.”

Trevor Cahill, looking for his fourth win in as many starts, achieved just once previously in his decade-long, big league career, didn’t exactly deliver the A’s to their bullpen. Not the dominant force on the road as he’s been at the Coliseum, Cahill blew an early 3-0 A’s lead in two, swift acts. Then after he steadied in the third and fourth innings, Cahill fell into trouble in the fifth, and was lifted despite the A’s leading 7-4 at that point.

Jed Lowrie’s two-run homer in the fourth off ex-Athletic Jim Johnson appeared to give the A’s a comfortable lead, but then Cahill gave a run back in the bottom of the frame. Yusmeiro Petit was touched for a run in the sixth, and Familia allowed two runs in the eighth, setting the stage for the narrowed finish.

Treinen picked up his 30th save in 34 chances, lowered his ERA to 0.92, and boosted his strikeouts per nine innings to 12.

Lowrie’s double and homer were the 1,000th and 1,001st hits of his career.

With the A’s winning while the Mariners finished off a four-game sweep off the Astros, the A’s climbed within 2 1/2 games of the AL West division lead. That’s as close as the A’s have been to first place since April 3, and seamlessly sets up their next six games–three against the Mariners, then three against the Astros–all at the Coliseum.

Sean Manaea faces Marco Gonzalez in the series opener with both lefties looking to improve on their double-digit win totals.

Late rally lifts the A’s past the Indians 6-3 in 11 innings

 

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Graphic:@Athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Athletics (49-40) won on Saturday afternoon in Cleveland, but they could not do it the easy way. It took them 11 innings and two late scoring barrages to down the Indians 6-3 in game two of the three-game series. The series is now tied at one game apiece as the teams prepare to finish the series on Sunday.

The A’s knew they were going to have an uphill battle on Saturday as they had to face “the ace” of Cleveland staff — Corey Kluber. Kluber — who has won two Cy Young Awards — started the game with a record of 12-4 and an ERA of 2.49. His WHIP was 0.88. None of those stats give an opponent hope of getting healthy versus a starter like Kluber.

The A’s did counter with their own starter who has become quite a headliner in his own right — Edwin Jackson. Jackson who is now pitching in 16th Major League campaign has become the big story for the Athletics. As he started the game, Jackson had not walked a batter in his two previous starts.

Neither Kluber or Jackson figured into the final decision of the game. Kluber left the game after pitching seven innings of shutout baseball. Jackson left the game after 5.2 innings having given up three runs (two earned).

CleSat
Progressive Field was almost full on Saturday Photo: @Indians

Great starts need great bullpens to keep them intact

Cleveland manager Terry Francona tapped Neil Ramirez to take over the pitching duties in the top the eighth inning for Kluber.

Ramirez started off strong getting Dustin Fowler to strike out for the first out of the inning. Mark Canha came to bat next and singled to left field.

Jed Lowrie was the third hitter of the inning. Ramirez and Lowrie had a seven-pitch battle. Lowrie hit the 2-2 pitch over into the right field seats for a two-run home — his 15th of the season.

With the score now 3-2, Khris Davis was next to face Ramirez. Krush hit a 1-1 fastball 431 feet into the center field seats to tie the game at 3-3. The near-sellout crowd in the “Rock ‘n Roll City” became as quiet as a church. You may have been able to hear the fans in Northern California screaming as their team made their comeback.

Extra Innings are always interesting if not fun

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Graphic @Athletics

Neither team mounted a serious scoring threat in the ninth or 10th innings.

By the top of the 11th inning, everyone was starting to get really nervous. The A’s had already used closer Blake Treinen in the bottom of the 10th inning. The Indians had lost their designated hitter because of moves with pinch hitters. The longer these games go, the more convoluted the managing moves become.

Josh Tomlin took over the pitching duties for Cleveland (49-38) in the top of the 11th. Matt Olson led off with a single to right field.

With no outs and Olson at first, Stephen Piscotty came to the plate to face Tomlin. Piscotty battled Tomlin to a 3-2 count. Piscotty hit the seventh pitch over the left-center field wall for a two-run home run to give the A’s a 5-3 lead.

Matt Chapman was the next to bat and he hit a line drive double to left field. Marcus Semien then grounded out to third. Chapman had to hold at second.

Jonathan Lucroy was the next hitter. While Lucroy was at the plate, Chapman was able to steal third base. Lucroy reached first on a fielding error by Lindor and Chapman was able to score the Athletics third run.

When the top the 11th inning was over, the A’s held a 6-3 lead.

The Indians went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 11th inning and Oakland won the game 6-3.

Pitching

The win went to Blake Treinen who is now 5-1 on the season. He came back and pitched the bottom of the 11th as well for Oakland.

Lou Trivino gets special mention for pitching two strong innings of scoreless baseball as does Ryan Buchter for throwing 1.1 innings without allowing a run.

Josh Tomlin (0-5) was charged with the loss.

Hitting

The long ball was the A’s best friend on Saturday. Lowrie hit his 15th, Davis his 21st and Piscotty launched his eighth homer of the season. Chapman powered up two doubles.

Matt Chapman has a perfect day at the plate going 4-for-4 on Saturday.

The RBI just keep on coming. Jed Lowrie added two more to up his total to 61 for the season. Khris Davis (58), Piscotty 2 (38) and Lucroy (25) all had RBI in the game.

Lindor and Brantley continued to tear it up for the Indians. Lindor is now batting .301 and Brantley is hitting .310 for Cleveland.

Up next

The series concludes Sunday morning at 10:10 AM PDT when Brett Anderson (0-2, 7.63) takes the hill for Oakland to face the Indians Shane Bieber (4-0, 2.97).CleOakSatScore

 

 

 

Angels crush A’s 8-4 in game one of weekend series

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Kinsler crosses the plate after hitting a home run the fourth inning Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Where did the “Big Mo” go? You remember “Big Mo” – a.k.a momentum. Right now, it feels like the Oakland Athletics have lost all of the momentum that they had been building up earlier in the season.

The A’s are 5-8 in the month of June which is not good, but what makes that record even more devastating is the fact that six of those eight losses have come at the hands of American League West teams. The A’s cannot be losing that many games inside the division and hold on to any hopes of making the playoffs even as a Wild Card team.

What hurts, even more, is the Angels came into the game riding a five-game losing streak of their own. They are a team that had great expectations for 2018 and have now been beset by injuries.

The Angels are the team that the A’s must pass first if they are going to move up in the Western Division and make a run at the Mariners and Astros.

This game did not start well
Chris Bassitt was back on the mound making his second start in a week for Trevor Cahill, who is now on the 10-day disabled list due to a strained right achilles. Bassitt pitched well last Saturday against the Royals, despite taking the loss. Things did not go well Friday night.

After inducing Angels leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler to ground out, Bassitt gave up a single to Mike Trout. He then issued a walk to Justin Upton. Albert Pujols reached base safely when Bassitt fielded a ground ball and his throw to first base sailed into foul territory. Trout and Upton were able to scramble home to score while Pujols ended up at second. When the top of the first was over, the Angels lead 2-0 with both runs being unearned.

Bassitt no mystery
Bassitt was no mystery to the Angels batters Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

The third inning brought more bad news for Bassitt and the A’s. Trout singled to open the inning. Upton followed immediately with a single of his own. With Trout at second and Upton at first, Pujols reached first on Chad Pinder’s throwing error that allowed Trout to score and Upton to advance to third.

The Angels went on to score two more runs in the top of the third inning and held a 5-0 lead as the A’s prepared to come to bat in the bottom of the third.

Los Angeles went scored again in the fourth inning — which would be the final inning of work for starting pitcher Chris Bassitt. The Angels would go on to score two more runs off Oakland reliever Carlos Ramiez in the top of the fifth.

The A’s finally put runs up on the board in the home half of the fifth inning. Mark Canha led off the inning and reached base on a throwing error charged to the LA shortstop. Piscotty and Smolinski both struck out. Catcher Josh Phegley hit an RBI double to center field that drove Canha home to score. Marcus Semien then hit an RBI double of his own that allowed Phegley to score the second run of the game for the A’s. After five full innings, the Angels held an 8-2 lead.

The A’s added one more run in the bottom of the eighth when Chad Pinder ran home from third on a wild pitch by Angels reliever Cam Bedrosian to make it an 8-3 game.

The A’s never quit trying. In the ninth inning, Stephen Piscotty picked up a one-out single off LA reliever Justin Anderson. Pinch-hitter Dustin Fowler hit a hard grounder to second that Kinsler had trouble fielding and he legged it out for a single while Piscotty advanced to third. With Semien at-bat, Fowler moved up to second on defensive indifference. Semien walked to load the bases.

Anderson threw a wild pitch to Chad Pinder and Piscotty was able to score from third base to make it an 8-4 contest. Pinder struck out to end the game.

The Angels beat the A’s 8-4 in game one of the three-game series.

Tyler Scaggs picked up the win for the Angels and upped his record to 6-4, 2.81 ERA. The A’s Chris Bassitt is hung with the loss as his record drops to 0-2, 2.45 ERA. There was no save awarded for the game.

Major postgame news
In his postgame news conference, manager Bob Melvin confirmed that Matt Chapman will be going on the disabled list beginning Saturday due to a hand injury. Franklin Barreto was lifted from the Nashville Sounds game in El Paso before its conclusion so he could travel to Oakland for Saturday.

Chad Pinder will most likely be the primary replacement at third base but do not be surprised to see Lowrie spend time at the “hot corner” while Barreto fills in at second base.

Melvin’s postgame comments

In the batter’s box
Angels (38-32, 3rd place AL West)

  • Mike Trout (the best player in baseball? If not, tell me who is better!) collected three hits in the game. That was hit his 21st multi-hit game of the season.
  • Ian Kinsler hit his ninth home run of the year in the fourth inning off of Bassitt. He is batting (21-for-66) with five doubles, seven home runs, and 12 RBI in his last 16 games.
  • Catcher Jose Briceno broke an 0-for-8 hittless streak with a 3-for-4 game at the plate on Friday night.

A’s (34-36, 4th place AL West)

  • Jed Lowrie got back on track by ending an 0-for-8 hitless streak by picking up three hits in four trips to the plate on Friday night.
  • Josh Phegley had his first multi-hit game of season. One of those hits was an RBI-double.
  • Marcus Semien is being very productive with runners in scoring position. He is batting .359 when he has runners on base with a chance to score.

On the hill
Los Angeles of Anaheim

  • This was Tyler Skaggs third consecutive win, which is the longest winning streak of his career.
  • Skaggs struck out eight A’s batters, walked only one and allowed seven hits. He gave up two runs (none earned).
  • The three Angels pitchers allowed a combinded 10 hits while they struck out 11 Oakland batters.

Oakland

  • Starter Chris Bassitt is still looking for his first win since August 4, 2015. Of course, Bassitt missed almost two full seasons due to Tommy John surgery. He is actually 0-8 since his last win in 2015.
  • The A’s used five pitchers in game on Friday night.
  • A’s pitchers gave up eight runs off just nine hits in the game.

Up next

Coming on Saturday, the Angels and A’s will meet again at 1:05 pm PDT at the Coliseum. Los Angeles will start RHP Nick Tropeano (3-4, 4.83 ERA). The A’s will send LHP Sean Manaea (5-6, 3.49 ERA) to the hill.

Royals shutout A’s 2-0 on Saturday for their first win of the series

Bassitt welcomed to dugout
Bassitt congratulated after 7.0-innings of great pitching Photo: SportsRadioService.com

By Charlie O. Mallonee

OAKLAND — The Kansas City Royals snapped a six-game losing streak on Saturday when they shutout the Oakland Athletics 2-0 to win their first game of the four-game series between the two clubs. The A’s beat the Royals on Thursday and Friday.

This game was all about pitching. For the Royals, their starter — LHP Danny Duffy — pitched well above his record for the season on Saturday. Duffy came into the contest with a record of 2-6 with a 5.81 ERA in 13 starts. He was coming off a loss on Monday to the Angels in Los Angeles where he lasted only 5.0 innings.

On Saturday versus Oakland, Duffy pitched 7.0 innings, giving up no runs off just three hits. Duffy walked three and while striking out 10 batters. The 10 strikeouts were his most in a game since May 18, 2017.

Even though Oakland lost the game, they had quite a pitching story of their own. RHP Chris Bassitt made the start for the Athletics which was his first major league start since May 6, 2016. Bassitt had to undergo the dreaded UCL reconstruction surgery — better known as “Tommy John Surgery.” The rehabilitation from that procedure is long and arduous. Bassitt surprised everyone by pitching seven strong innings today against the Royals even though he was saddled with the loss.

On the Hill

Kansas City (22-33)

Duffy fially faces some pressure
Duffy finally faced some pressure from the A’s in the seventh inning Photo: SRS

  • Danny Duffy picked up the win and is now 3-6 for the year. He lowered his ERA from 5.81 to 5.28 in his shutout victory.
  • Duffy threw 98 pitches — 63 strikes
  • Kevin McCarthy worked the eighth inning for the Royals. It was a perfect three up – three down inning with one strikeout.
  • Kelvin Herrera came in to close out the game in the ninth. He did allow one base hit but retired the side and picked up his 14th save of the season. Herrera has appeared in 18 of the Royals’ 22 wins this year.

Oakland (33-32)

Chris Bassitt
Bassitt pitched seven strong innings in his return to the majors Photo: Charlie O Mallonee

  • Chris Bassitt threw 93 pitches (63 strikes) in his seven innings on the hill. He posted six strikeouts and walked just one batter. The only run he gave up was earned. Bassitt’s record stands at 0-1.
  • Danny Coulombe pitched the eighth inning for Oakland. It was a 1, 2, 3 inning that included a strikeout for the reliever.
  • Yusmeiro Petit was tapped to work the ninth inning for the Athletics. With one out, Alex Gordon hit a home run to right field to give the Royals a 2-0 cushion. Petit walked the next batter but then induced the following two hitters to fly out to end the inning.

In the Batter’s Box

Royals (5th place AL Central)

  • Alex Gordon’s ninth-inning home run snapped 14-game homerless streak dating back to May 22 versus St. Louis.
  • Call Hunter Dozier “the Road King”. He has reached base in each of his last nine road games. On Saturday, he did it via a base-on-balls.
  • Paul Orlando hit a single in the second inning which ended 0-for-14 hitless streak for him.
  • Mike Moustakas became the 13th player to play 900 career games with the Royals with his appearance on Saturday.

Athletics (4th place AL West)

Chapman singles
Chapman singled to left in the seventh inning Photo: SportsRadioService.com

  • Matt Chapman had a three-hit game which was his third of the season and sixth of his career.
  • Jed Lowrie is now 0-for-13 after going 0-for-4 on Saturday.
  • Oakland was shutout for the sixth time this year which matches their total from last season.
  • The A’s were 0-for-7 with Runners In Scoring Position.
  • The Athletics left seven runners on base.

Hits vs Strikeouts watch

KC

On Saturday, the Royals collected four hits and struck out seven times.

Oakland

Your A’s also posted four hits while striking out a total of 13 times.

Up Next

The four-game series and the season-series between the Royals and the A’s will come to an end on Sunday at 1:05 P.M. at the Oakland Coliseum. The Royals will send RHP Brad Keller (1-2, 2.12 ERA) to mound to face the A’s LHP Sean Manaea (5-6, 3.59). Keller lost his last outing in Los Angeles to the Angels on Tuesday night 1-0. Manaea had a no-decision in his last start in Texas on Tuesday night. The A’s eventually lost that game 7-4.

A’s beat O’s 2-0 in 12 innings on Khris Davis two-run walk-off home run

Davis winning HR
Khris Davis hits the game-winning walk-off HR in the 12th inning Photo: @Athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Oakland – Both teams deserved to win this game. That line is overused by sports reporters around the world, but on Saturday night at the Coliseum, it was the truth. The Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics put on game-winning performances in their 12-inning affair but in baseball, there are no ties. The A’s won the game 2-0.

The Athletics left the field with their 17th victory of the season after designated hitter Khris Davis hit a Pedro Araujo 3-1 pitch halfway up into the seats in left field with Jed Lowrie on at first with no outs in the bottom of the 12th inning. Unbelievably, the A’s never had a runner in scoring position during the entire contest. It is not often a team is going to escape with a win and never had advanced a runner to second base, but there was nothing usual about this game.

Old Fashion Pitchers Dual

Cahill working
Trevor Cahill recorded 12 strikeouts in a no-decision Saturday Photo: @Athletics

Trevor Cahill started the game for Oakland. Cahill set the tone for the game in the top of the first inning when he struck out the first three Orioles he faced. He struck five of the first six hitters to come bat against him. Cahill looked unbeatable on the mound.

Cahill would go on to work 6.0-innings and record 12 strikeouts while walking just one Baltimore batter. That tied Cahill for the second most strikeouts in six or fewer innings in Oakland history.

Cahill did not give up a run and allowed just four hits. He threw 98 pitches (58 strikes). Manager Bob Melvin indicated the plan was for Cahill to work seven innings but he did not want the righty to exceed 100 pitches.

Gausman
Kevin Gausman threw nine innings of two-hit baseball Photo: @Orioles

The other phenomenal story was Baltimore starting pitcher Kevin Gausman who entered the game with a record of 2-2. Gausman pitched a career-high nine innings and threw 113 pitches (66 strikes). He began the game throwing 89 mph and his last pitch of the contest registered at 98 mph on the radar gun.

Gausman threw nine shutout innings allowing just two hits while striking out six Oakland batters and walking two. It was a pitching performance that would normally have resulted in a victory.

The real irony for both of these starting pitchers who performed so well was they both recorded a no-decision for the game.

Relievers were key in this game

Oakland

  • Yusmeiro Petit came on in relief of Cahill in the top of seventh. Petit really struggled on Friday night but Melvin said had no hesitancy about sending Petit back to the hill. Petit threw 2.0-innings giving up no runs and allowing just one hit. He struck out four and walked three.
  • Santiago Casilla worked innings nine and 10. He pitched two shutout innings allowing just one hit and one hit batter.
  • Danny Coulombe pitched 1.1-innings striking out four Orioles and allowing one hit.
  • Chris Hatcher replaced Coulombe in the top of the 12th with one out. He walked the first man he faced – Trey Mancini. Craig Gentry was brought in as a pinch-runner for Mancini. With Adam Jones at bat, Gentry attempted to steal second base but was thrown out on a strong throw from catcher Bruce Maxwell to second baseman Jed Lowrie. It was the second caught stealing executed by Maxwell in the game. Hatcher induced Jones to ground out third to first for the final out of the game. Hatcher (3-0) picked up the win as he was the pitcher of record when Davis hit the game-winning home run.

Baltimore

  • Mychal Givens worked two great innings of relief of the O’s. He struck out five of the six Oakland hitters he faced and allowed no baserunners. It was simply a perfect relief effort.
  • Pedro Araujo worked the fateful 12th inning giving up the game-winning two-run home run to Davis. He is hung with the loss and is now 1-3 for the season.

Cahill K
Counting them up for Cahill Photo: @Athletics

Vital Stats

Oakland (17-16) 2 runs, 4 hits, no errors

Baltimore (8-25) 0 runs, 7 hits, no errors

Time of the game: 3:32

Attendance: 24612

Up Next

The Orioles will send RHP Alex Cobb (0-3, 9.68) to the hill to faceoff against the Athletics RHP Andrew Triggs (2-1, 5.20). This will be Cobb’s fifth start of the season. His last start versus the Angels was his longest outing of the year when he pitched 6.0-innings. Cobb has allowed 10 hits in three of his starts and allows just over five runs per appearance.

Triggs will make his seventh start of the season for Oakland. He made the start last Tuesday on the road in Seattle. Triggs pitched 4.2-innings in that game giving up four runs (all earned) off six hits. He struck out four hitters and walked three while throwing 89 pitches (49 strikes). The A’s went on to lose that game 6-3.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM.