The Oakland Athletics won their fifth consecutive game on Saturday night in Texas as they downed the Rangers 8-6. The victory keeps the A’s in sole possession of the AL Wild Card Slot #1 by 1/2 game over the Tampa Bay Rays. The other Wild Card contender — the Cleveland Indians — have dropped back 2.5-games in the standings.
The A’s will go for the sweep in Arlington on Sunday.
It may have been a costly win
Mike Fiers started the game for Oakland Saturday night. Fiers set the Rangers down in order in the bottom of the first inning, but things changed in the bottom of the second inning.
Nomar Mazara led off for Texas by flying out to center fielder Mark Canha. Danny Santana then singled to left-center field. Fiers committed a balk that moved Santana to second base.
Fiers then threw a wild pitch to Odor and Santana advanced to third base. Odor then hit a two-run home run to center field. Fiers then issued a walk to Delino DeShields.
Bob Melvin and the medical staff came out to check on Fiers and removed him from the game.
After the game, Fiers explained that he felt a shot of numbness and pain in pitching hand after throwing a “cutter” to Odor. He went on to explain that he was trying to avoid feeling that again, but he did not want to alter his pitching motion.
Fiers went on to say that he will undergo more medical examinations on Monday in the Bay Area.
The loss of Fiers for any time as the A’s are in this stretch run would be devastating
Oakland used six pitchers in the game
Paul Blackburn relieved Fiers working 2.0-innings and gave up two runs off four hits. Ryan Buchter worked 1.1-innings giving up no runs on two hits. Buchter earned the win.
Lou Trivino, Yusmeiro Petit, Jake Diekman, and Liam Hendriks also pitched for the A’s. Hendriks was credited with his 22nd save of the season.
The A’s used their power again on Saturday night
Matt Chapman hit his 33rd home run of the season — a three-run shot — in the third inning off Mike Minor. Chapman’s 33 home runs are a franchise record for third basemen.
Josh Phegley hit his 12th round-tripper off Minor the fourth inning. Mark Canha put his 24th HR over the wall in the fifth inning — again off Minor. Matt Olson hit his 34th home run of the year in the sixth inning — a solo shot — but this time it was off reliever Luke Farrell.
Minor took the loss
Mike Minor was a trade target for many contending clubs at the trade deadline, but the Rangers decided to hold on to their star pitcher. He was charged with the loss on Saturday night, and his record is now 13-9 for 2019. His ERA stands at 3.33.
The A’s will send LHP Sean Manaea to the mound for the third time this season on Sunday afternoon. Manaea is 1-0 with 0.75 ERA and is coming off a win over the Tigers on September 8th.
The Rangers will start RHP Jonathan Hernandez (1-0, 1.93 ERA). Hernandez will be “the opener” in what will be a “bullpen game” for the Rangers.
OAKLAND — The A’s literally snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory on Saturday night as they watched a 4-2 lead going into the top of the eighth inning be wiped out when the San Francisco exploded for eight runs on seven hits off five Oakland pitchers. It was simply a stunning rally that the A’s did not see coming.
For the Giants, it felt like they had pent up emotion and energy that just had to be released. Madison Bumgarner did his best to keep his team in the game to give them the chance to win. When the A’s pitching staff gave the Giants the slightest of openings, the men from across the Bay took the opportunity and did the most with it.
The Giants took game one (game 3 of 4 total) of the Bay Bridge Series in Oakland 10-5 on Saturday night before 56,367 fans who were treated their money’s worth for coming out to the ballpark. The Giants scored 10 runs off 13 hits and left six men on base. For the A’s, they put five runs up on the board on 10 hits while leaving 10 men on base and committing one error. The game took three hours and 50 minutes to complete.
The Giants record for the season improved to 64-65 with the victory while the A’s fell to 74-54 on the year. San Francisco is now 5.0 games out the second Wild Card spot in the National League. The A’s are 0.5 games behind the Rays for the second Wild Card slot in the American League.
In this type of game where 14 pitchers were used, determining the winning and losing pitcher is almost “voodoo” science. Sam Coonrod (3-0) gets credit for the win while Yusmeiro Petit(3-3) was tagged with the loss.
Neither starter figured into the final decision
Chris Bassitt pitched 5.2 innings for the A’s on Saturday night. The right-hander ran into some trouble as he started through the Giants order for the third time. He gave up a home run to Brandon Crawford on 0-1 pitch with two out in the top of the fifth inning. In the top of the sixth inning, Evan Longoria drove in Alex Dickerson from second base to tie the game at 2-2. That would be all for Bassitt as he was replaced on the mound by Jake Diekman.
Bassitt gave up two runs (both earned) off four hits (1 HR). He struck out five Giants and walked none. Bassitt threw 92 pitches (64 strikes).
Madison Bumgarner worked 5.0 innings for San Francisco in the contest. He also gave up two runs. The first run came off a leadoff home run by Mark Canha in the home half of the second inning that easily cleared the left-field fence. The A’s touched “Mad Bum” for another run in the bottom of the third inning.
Jurickson Profar walked to lead off the third for Oakland. Josh Phegley then singled to left field which moved Profar to second base. With one out, Matt Chapman hit a double to left that drove Profar in from second base to score the A’s second run of the game. The A’s took a temporary 2-0 at that point.
Bumgarner also gave up two runs (both earned) on two hits (1 HR). He struck five A’s and walked one. Bumgarner threw 97 pitches (64 strikes).
Did I just see a sacrifice?
Jurickson Profar was the leadoff hitter for the A’s in the bottom of the seventh, and he hit a double to right field. Catcher Josh Phegley then laid down a sacrifice bunt on the third-base side of the infield that moved Profar to third base (yes, everyone including the Giants was surprised). Marcus Semien followed up with an RBI single to left field. Matt Chapman singled to center sending Semien to third base. That would all for Giants reliever Jandel Gustave who would be replaced by Fernando Abad.
Matt Olson was the first Athletic to face Abad, and he hit a single to right that drove Semien home to score the fourth run of the game for Oakland. That would end the scoring for the A’s in the seventh inning and gave them a 4-2 lead, which proved to be not enough.
Focus on the A’s
Mark Canha hit his 20th home run of the year off Bumgarner in the second inning of the game. He also extended his hitting streak to eight games.
The A’s now have five players with 20-plus home runs on the season: Canha (20), Chapman (29), Laureano (21), Olson (26), and Semien (22).
Oakland has a record of 22-11 versus left-handed starters in 2019.
Spotlight on the Giants
Brandon Crawford hit his 10th home run of the season in the win on Saturday night and his first home since July 15 at Colorado.
Kevin Pillar has hit safely in 13 of his last 16 games and is hitting .397 over that stretch.
Evan Longoria went 2-for-4 in the game, was hit-by-pitch and posted two RBI. He is hitting .347 since June 30.
The Bay Bridge Series concludes on Sunday afternoon at 1:07 PM at the Coliseum. The Giants will send rookie RHP Logan Webb (1-0, 1.80 era) to the hill to make his second start of the season. He made his major league debut last Saturday in Arizona picked up the win. Expect quite a few fans in the stands rooting for Webb who grew up in Rocklin just east of Sacramento.
The A’s will counter with LHP Brett Anderson (10-9, 4.06 era). Anderson has been having a rough go of things as he is 1-4 with a 5.02 ERA in his last five starts. Run support has been a big issue for Anderson. The A’s have provided three runs or fewer in 14 of his last 17 starts. Anderson was the losing pitcher in the game with the Giants in San Francisco on August 13.
Player’s Weekend Uni’s
The black and white themed uniforms created an interesting effect on the field Saturday night. It was really a throwback feel. In fact, I felt like I was watching the movie “Eight Men Out” at times.
I really liked the all-black uniforms the Giants wore as the visiting team. They were as the guy says in the SUV commercial — “sharp!”. The all-white worn by the A’s were had a very clean look, but the lettering and numerals were washed out. If they had outlined the lettering and numbers in black, the home uniforms would have been “sharp”.
The A’s pitchers did wear black hats because it was determined that the hitters were having trouble picking the baseball up against the all-white caps.
Oakland — A’s starting pitcher Chris Bassitt had to throw 31 pitches to get out of the top of the first against the Houston Astros on Saturday afternoon. That usually means two things:
The chances of that starting pitcher being in the game after the fifth inning is almost nil. In fact, a starter who throws that many pitches in the first inning almost never lasts past the fourth inning.
The other fact you can take the bank is that a pitcher who starts a game by throwing that many pitches will finish the game with a no-decision.
Someone forgot to tell Chris Bassitt that he needed to conform to the standards of baseball on Saturday. After that rough first inning, the A’s starter pulled things together in the second inning.
Bassitt was back in hot water in the top the third inning as the Astros scored two runs on three hits. When the inning ended, there were two Houston runners on base which means the inning could have been much worse.
Bassitt’s team members really picked him up in the home half of the third inning. The Athletics put five runs up on the scoreboard to stake their pitcher to a three-run lead. The amazing part of the third inning rally was the fact that the A’s scored those runs without hitting a home run.
Bassitt pitched a scoreless fourth inning and gave up one run to Houston in the fifth inning to make it a 5-3 game in favor of Oakland. The consensus in the press box was that we had seen the last of Bassitt for the day.
The Astros sent their starting pitcher – Rogelio Armenteros – to the showers and sent Chris Denvenski to the mound to face the A’s in the bottom of the fifth inning. Oakland took advantage of a walk, hit-by-pitch, two singles, and a sacrifice fly to put three more runs up on the board. That cleared the way for Bassitt to come back out for the sixth inning.
The first hitter to face Bassitt in the sixth inning was Yuli Gurriel who singled to left field and everyone thought that was going to be all for Bassitt, but Bob Melvin left the right-hander in the game. The next batter – catcher Martin Maldonado – hit a ball on the ground to shortstop Marcus Semien who fielded it and threw to Corban Joseph at second to erase Gurriel. Joseph turned and threw to first to get Maldonado for the double play. Bassitt was able to get Jake Marisnick to pop out to Joseph at second to end the inning.
Bassitt finished his six innings throwing a career-high 116 pitches. In his postgame comments, mangers Bob Melvin said that Bassitt had told him he was ready to go to 120 pitches to get the job done. That is just plain grit and determination.
With the help of his team on offense, the A’s won the game 8-4 and the winning pitcher was Chris Bassitt who now has a record of 9-5 for the season with a 3.61 ERA.
Focus on the A’s (71-52)
Chris Bassitt has posted a 2.36 ERA (11 earned runs over 42.0 innings) since the All-Star Break. The win on Saturday was his first victory over the Astros since July 11, 2018.
The Astros cannot keep Matt Chapman off base. Chapman went 3-for-3 at the plate in the game and two of the hits were doubles (31). He also walked once and he reached base after being hit by a pitch. Chapman also recorded his 70th RBI when he walked with the bases loaded in the third inning.
Matt Olson had a 2-for-4 game with a walk and two RBI (60). The A’s are 56-31 since Olson came off the injury list on May 7.
Catcher Josh Phegley made his return to the field by having a 2-for-4 game for his team. He went on the injured list on July 31. Phegley is batting .329 in 31-day games and .205 in 52-night games.
Take note of this factoid: this was only the third Oakland victory of the season in which they did not hit a home run. Bob Melvin said after the game that it is important for his team to know they can win without hitting a long ball.
Checking on the Astros (78-46)
Houston’s designated hitter – 6-foot-5, 242 pound – Yordan Alvarez pounded two more home runs on Saturday. He now has 19 home runs and 55 RBI in his first 52 major league games. That is really scary given the rest of the Astros lineup.
Michael Brantley (every team wants a hitter like him) extended his hitting streak to 11 games by going 2-for-4 in the game. He has four consecutive multi-hit games and 50 for the season – the most in the American League.
Alex Bregman put his 80th RBI of the year in the book today. He joins Devers, Bogaerts, Kepler, and Rosario as players in the American League with 80-plus RBI.
Without trying to jinx the A’s, they will go for the four-game sweep of the Astros on Sunday 1:07 PM at the Coliseum in what should be an excellent pitching matchup. The Astros will send RHP Zack Greinke to the mound. Greinke is 12-4 on the season with a 2.91 ERA. He was a winner in his last start in Chicago versus the White Sox when he worked 6.0 innings and allowed only two runs in a Houston 6-2 victory.
The A’s will counter with LHP Brett Anderson who is 10-8 with a 3.95 ERA. This will be his 21st start of the season. Anderson was tagged with the loss in his last start on Tuesday in San Francisco against the Giants. He pitched 6.0 innings allowing two runs (earned) off six hits. He walked none and struck out four.
Major League Baseball teams are totally unequipped to play doubleheaders in this new century. The doubleheader used to be a mainstay of the annual baseball schedule. My late father and I would deliberately plan to attend Cincinnati Reds games when doubleheaders were on the schedule. You bought one ticket and got to watch two games.
Then a few years ago, some bean counter in a Major League team’s front office figured out that his/her team was losing money by allowing fans to see two games for the price of one, and the traditional doubleheader died a sudden death. The era of the day-night doubleheader was born in order to squeeze every dime out the fans that can be had by every team in both leagues.
On Saturday, the A’s and Texas Rangers played a day-night doubleheader. The teams were rained out on April 13 and had a game to make up, so Saturday became the day the teams would play two games. It was the first doubleheader to be played in Arlington, Texas since September 30, 2012.
If you are the A’s, you hope for a sweep, will settle for a split and fear a being swept. Unfortunately for the Athletics, their worst fears came true on Saturday.
LHP Joe Palumbo made his Major League debut in the first game of the doubleheader. The A’s sent RHP Paul Blackburn to the hill for his first start of the 2019 season.
The Rangers jumped on Blackburn in the bottom of the first scoring three runs and taking a lead they would never give up. Texas put two more runs up on the board in the third inning to take a 5-0 lead over the A’s.
Oakland mounted a comeback in the fourth inning when Matt Olson hit his eighth home run of the season with Khris Davis on base. Later, Josh Phegley hit a double to drive in Chad Pinder and Ramon Laureano. The score was 5-4 with Texas leading as the game went the bottom of the fourth.
Texas put up another run on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning when Elvis Andrus hit his 12th double of the year driving Shin-Soo Chin home to score to give the Rangers a 6-4 lead.
The Rangers added four more runs in the home half of the fifth inning. The big blow came when Tim Federowicz hit a three-run home run that made the score 10-4 in favor of Texas.
Oakland would score one more time when Josh Phegley hit his eighth home run of the season over the left field wall. The score at that point was Texas 10, Oakland 5 which would ultimately be the final score.
Jeffery Springs (4-1) who came on in the fifth inning to relieve Palumbo was credited with the win. He pitched 3.0-innings giving up one run (earned) off two hits. Blackburn (0-1) took the loss for Oakland.
If you hung around for game two, you are a true fan. The twin bill took over 10 hours to complete because the stadium had to be emptied before the ticket holders for game two were allowed to reenter. They did have a nice crowd of 39,514 on hand as the Rangers retired Adrian Beltre’s number 29 before the game began.
The A’s drew first blood in the game when Mark Canha hit his 10th homer of the season off Adrian Sampson into left-center field in the top of the fourth inning. It would be the only run the A’s would score in the contest.
Texas put their first runs in the scorebook in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jeff Mathis hit a single to left that sent Danny Santana home and Ronald Guzman to second. Delino DeShields then hit a sacrifice fly to right field that allowed Ronald Guzman to score. After five complete innings, Texas held a 2-1 lead.
The Rangers would score again in the bottom of the sixth inning. Danny Santana hit his second triple of the year driving Rougned Odor home to score the third and final run of the game for Texas. That was all the scoring the Rangers would need as they would win the game 3-1.
Adrian Sampson (5-3) was the winning pitcher as he won his first complete game in his major league career. Sampson gave up one run (earned) off four hits. He struck out seven while issuing only one walk.
Chris Bassitt (3-2) was hung with the loss. Bassitt gave up three runs (all earned) on five hits. He struck out five Rangers and walked two.
The four-game series wraps up on Sunday at 12:05 PM PDT. The A’s will send Frankie Montas (7-2, 2.83) to the mound to stop the two-game losing streak. The Rangers will counter with Drew Smyly (1-4, 7.93). On paper, it would the advantage would go to the A’s.
photo from sfgate.com: Oakland Athletics’ Matt Chapman, right, is congratulated by Robbie Grossman (8) after hitting a two-run home run off Seattle Mariners pitcher Mike Leake in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 26, 2019, in Oakland, Calif.
On the A’s podcast with Charlie O:
#1 How annoying in the A’s win streak was that game that was canceled on the count of no rain in Detroit two Sundays ago that very well could have been win number 4 and the A’s could have 11 straight on Monday?
#2 During the Mariners series in Oakland, there was little doubt that the struggle they had with them in Seattle to start the road trip last week was on their minds.
#3 The A’s got off to a shaky start after opening up their season in Tokyo. To go from a regular season line up with a 15-hour time difference and then revert to the preseason. Was that all part of their rough start?
#4 Charlie O, you said this was going to be a good A’s team at sometime this season with all the talent they have here with Canha, Semien, Chapman, Olson, Profar, Laureano, and Phegley, that they were eventually were go to break out the bats.
#5 Mariners manager Scott Servais got tossed for arguing a challenge call in the bottom of the seventh inning that saw Canha slide into second that he felt was an out. Later, the A’s got two runs on M’s shortstop Roenis Elias’ error and Profar later hit a groundout RBI. A’s manager Bob Melvin said he would have argued the umpiring crew waited to long to make a decision on the play.
photo from yahoosports.com: Seattle Mariners closing pitcher Roenis Elias reacts as stadium lights flash after the team’s baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Seattle. Elias earned the save as the Mariners won 4-3.
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Oakland A’s road woes continued as they fell to the Seattle Mariners 4-3 in Seattle Tuesday night. The A’s, who were 1-8 on their last nine-game road trip, started this road trip 0-2. The A’s are off on Wednesday and will start a four-game set with the Tigers in Detroit before finishing the trip with three games with the Cleveland Indians.
Brett Anderson was on the mound for Oakland Tuesday night. Anderson gave the A’s six innings, and he allowed six hits and four runs. He was the losing pitcher, and his record dropped to 4-3. Mike Leake started for Seattle, and he picked up his third win of the year. Leake went 6 2/3 innings and allowed five hits and three runs (one earned).
The M’s put two on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Anderson gave up solo homers to Daniel Vogelbach and Tim Beckham.
The A’s tied the game in the top of the fifth. Leake walked Ramon Laureano and gave up a single to Robbie Grossman. Both runners advanced when Josh Phegley flew out to deep center field. Marcus Semien reached on Beckham’s throwing error, and that allowed Laureano and Grossman to score.
The game didn’t stay tied for long. With one out, Anderson walked J.P. Crawford. M’s centerfielder, Mitch Haniger, who loves to play against Oakland, hit his second home of the series to give the Mariners the lead 4-2.
The A’s scored a run in the top of the seventh. Stephen Piscotty led off with a double. Robbie Grossman singled to drive in Piscotty. The A’s trail 4-3.
The M’s brought in Roenis Elias to pitch with two-out in the seventh. Elias responded by getting the final seven outs of the game to preserve the win for Seattle.
The A’s drop to 19-24 while the M’s improve to 21-23.
Time of game was two hours and 37 minutes. 11,355 fans were in attendance.
Up Next: The A’s will have the day off on Wednesday before heading to Detroit and Comerica Park. Starting for the A’s on Thursday night Chris Bassitt (1-1, 2.55 ERA). The Tigers starter is yet to be determined.
The Oakland Athletics boast one of the most fearsome hitters in Khris Davis, so it’d be no surprise to see an nine RBI game for an A’s player. What is surprising is that it was journeyman catcher Josh Phegley, who did it Friday night at PNC Park in a 14-1 A’s win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, not Davis.
The A’s knocked in 11 runs between the second and fourth innings, including scoring seven off Bucs starter and losing pitcher Joe Musgrove (1-3, 2.63 ERA). Phegley went 4-for-5, knocking in an obvious career high in eight runs, including a solo homer in the ninth inning. Matt Chapman also homered in a pair in the seventh for the A’s runs after their early game rally. Brett Anderson (4-2, 3.89 ERA) got the win after going six innings allowing four hits and the one run on a Josh Bell RBI ground out in the bottom of the first.
Khris Davis started the second inning rally, reaching base on a throwing error from Jung Ho Kang, the Stephen Piscotty doubled. Kendrys Morales knocked in Davis with an RBI single to tie the game. Jurickson Profar was hit by a pitch to load the bags for Phegley, who cleaned them with a double for a 4-1 lead. Marcus Semien knocked in Phegley later in the inning on a grounder to first and a 5-1 lead.
Davis led off the next inning and advanced to 2nd on Morales’ single, but the A’s were looking at two outs and coming up empty after Profar flew out. Phegley knocked in Davis for a 6-1 edge and later in the inning Semien walked with the bases loaded for a 7-1 edge. Semien, along with Chapman and Phegley were the only A’s with multiple RBI.
Profar singled in a run off Nick Kingham in the top of the third and Phegley hit another bases-loaded two-bagger to knock in three and give the A’s an 11-1 advantage. They wouldn’t need more, but they’d get more with the two long balls in the late innings.
The A’s hope they have more runs in their bats Saturday when they continue their interleague trip to Pittsburgh. Chris Bassitt takes the mound after a sterling season debut in his last outing, while Trevor Williams takes the hill for the Pirates.
OAKLAND –The Oakland Athletics (2-3) recorded their second win of the 2019 season as they defeated the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 on Saturday night. The keys to the win were the strong starting pitching of Brett Anderson and the timely hitting of the A’s batters.
Brett Anderson did not pitch perfect in his first three innings of work. He walked the Angels leadoff batter in the top of the first, but escaped without that man scoring. Anderson issued another walk and gave up a single in the second inning without it costing him a run. In the third inning, the lefty gave up a double to Mike Trout without it producing a run. Things were going Anderson’s way.
The A’s started slow The Angels starter — Felix Pena — no-hit the A’s through the first 2.2-innings. It appeared that the A’s hitters were going to be in for a very long night.
In the bottom of the third inning with two out and the bases empty, A’s catcher Josh Phegley singled to left-center field. Robbie Grossman then singled through the hole between first and second moving Phegley up to second base. Pena then hit Matt Chapman with a pitch to load the bases.
Stephen Piscotty stepped into the batter’s box and hit a 3-1 pitch up the middle that brought Phegley and Grossman home to score. The A’s took a 2-0 lead into the top of the fourth inning.
There is power in the East Bay It did not take the A’s long to pad their lead. The newest member of the team — Kendrys Morales — walked to leadoff the home half of the fourth inning. With two out and Morales still at first, Mark Canha hit a 2-1 pitch from Pena over the wall into the left field seats for a two-run home run which he punctuated with “controlled” bat flip to celebrate the big hit as he exited the batter’s box. It was his first home of the season and his RBI’s of the campaign.
The home run was the end of Felix Pena’s night as he was replaced by Noe Ramirez. It would not be the end of Pena’s pain as he would be tagged with the loss.
The Angles mounted a rally The A’s brought J.B. Wendelken in to relieve Anderson in the seventh inning. He continued pitching in the eighth, and things got tough quickly.
David Fletcher reached base for the Angels on a throwing error. Zack Cozart then doubled to left moving Fletcher up to third. Mike Trout then hit a fly ball to deep right field that was caught by Piscotty, but Fletcher was able to score from third while Cozart went from second to third.
Andrelton Simmons then singled through the hole on the left side of the infield that sent Cozart across the plate for the second Angels run of the inning. That would signal the end of the night for Wendelken. Blake Treinen was summoned from the bullpen.
A passed ball allowed Simmons to move up 90-feet to second base. Albert Pujols then singled to left sending Simmons to third base with just one out. A pinch runner was placed on first for Puljos. Treinen then struck out Justin Bour on a called third strike (Bour did not agree with the call) and Jonathon Lucroy ended the inning by popping out the second baseman.
As the game moved to the bottom of the eighth, the A’s still had a 4-2 lead, which would ultimately become the final score.
Key facts and figures For Oakland, they scored four runs off seven hits and committed one error. The A’s left six men on base and went 1-for-3 with RISP.
The win goes to Brett Anderson (1-0) his first of the season. Blake Treinen gets credit for his first save of 2019.
The Angels (1-2) put up two runs off six hits and did not commit any errors. The Halos left seven runners on base and went 2-for-11 with Runners In Scoring Position (ouch).
Felix Pena (0-1) is the losing pitcher.
Post Game Notes A’s
Brett Anderson made it three consecutive starting pitchers for Oakland to work six or more scoreless innings. That is the first time that has happened since August 24-26, 2005 when was done by Saarloos, Zito, and Blanton.
Brett Anderson now has a 34.1-inning scoreless streak at home in the Coliseum. That is the longest scoreless streak by an A’s pitcher since the team moved to Oakland in 1968.
After going 0-for-7 to start the season, Josh Phegley picked up his first hit of the season in this game.
Marcus Semien extended his hitting streak to five games after hitting a single in the sixth inning.
Felix Pena does not like pitching in Oakland. In four career games, he is now 0-2 with an 8.97 ERA.
Mike Trout had a 1-for-3 game on Saturday night. He hit a double and a sacrifice fly. For his career, Trout is now batting .312 (149-for-477) with 30 home runs and 75 RBIs versus the A’s.
Albert Puljos recorded two hits in the game and now needs just five hits to tie Ichiro Suzuki for 22nd on the all-time hits list.
Up Next The A’s and Angels wrap up their four-game series on Sunday at 1:07 PM. Los Angeles will send LHP Tyler Skaggs to the hill to make his first start of the season. Making his first start of the year for Oakland, it will be RHP Frankie Montas.
OAKLAND — The Oakland Athletics beat the Houston Astros 7-1 at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday afternoon and are now tied for first place in the American League West. Fans were in disbelief that the A’s (74-49) were in contention for the Wild Card in the AL, but now, the Green and Gold are fighting to win their division. Virtually none of those fans thought that was a possibility before the season began.
Strong starting pitching and power hitting was the key to the A’s win on Saturday.
Trevor Cahill (5-2) started the game for Oakland. He has been pitching the lights out in the Coliseum with an ERA under one at home. Cahill continued his mastery of opponents in his home stadium as pitched seven innings of shutout baseball, allowing the Astros just one hit. The right-hander struck out seven batters and walked just one. Cahill threw 100 (62 strikes).
The A’s also went on another power surge on Saturday as they hit eight doubles which tied an Oakland single-game record, but you were not allowed to hit just one double – you had to hit two. All of the extra base hits were recorded by four A’s hitters. Khris Davis (24), Stephen Piscotty (33), Matt Olson (26) and Josh Phegley (6) hit all of the “two-baggers” for Oakland versus Houston. The A’s posted a total of 11 hits in the contest.
The A’s were trailing the Astros by 12 games back on June 18. Today they are tied for first place.
Oakland’s 74-69 (.602) record is tied for third best in the majors. It is tied for fourth place in A’s history after 123 games.
Khris Davis’ double in the first inning snapped a 0-13 hitless streak.
Matt Olson’s two doubles extended his hitting streak to six games.
Matt Chapman’s 14 game hitting streak and 30 game on-base streak came to an end on Saturday when he went 0-for-4 in the game.
Add on Trevor Cahill: he retired 20 of the 22 batters he faced in the game. The A’s have won Cahill’s last seven starts.
The A’s scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning which means the Astros opponents have now outscored them 56-55 in the first inning.
Alex Bregman’s road on-base streak continues as he picked up a base-on-balls on Saturday. His streak currently stands at 38 games.
The ‘Stros recorded just two hits in their loss on Saturday. It was just the third time this season they posted two or fewer hits in a game.
Dallas Keuchel (9-10)–who was charged with the loss–saw his four-game road winning streak come to an end.
The A’s and Astros wrap up the three game series on Sunday at 1:05 pm PDT on Sunday.
The Astros will send RHP Justin Verlander (11-8, 2.52) to the mound in an attempt to salvage one win in the series. The A’s will go with their ace LHP Sean Manaea (11-8, 3.44). Manaea won his last start on Monday in Oakland over the Mariners 7-6. He is 1-1 in three starts versus the Astros this season.
OAKLAND, Calif. — The well-traveled veteran pitcher Edwin Jackson made his second start for the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, and he worked 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on two hits, while walking none to come away with his first victory in a Green and Gold uniform. Jackson’s teammates rewarded his efforts by coming from back from a 2-0 deficit to score seven runs off just eight hit to win their sixth consecutive game.
Neither starting pitcher allowed a hit or baserunner in the first three innings of the game. The Indians were the first to strike when they hit two home runs off Jackson in the top of the fourth inning. Francisco Lindor hit his 20th homer of the season into the right-field seats on a 1-1 count to lead off the inning. With one out, Jose Ramirez stepped up to the plate to face Jackson and jacked a 2-2 pitch over the center-field wall for his 24th round-tripper of 2018. Things were not looking good for Jackson at that moment.
Jackson settled down in the top of the fifth and he did not allow another baserunner in the remaining 1.2 innings he would pitch.
The A’s struck back in the home half of the sixth inning. Franklin Barreto led off with a double. Josh Phegley then hit his second home run of the year into the left field seats to tie the game at 2-2. Dustin Fowler followed up with a single through the hole at second. Mark Canha hit a line drive to left that hit at the top of the wall for a double that allowed the speedy Fowler to race home from first to score the A’s third run and give them the lead. Canha was thrown out trying to advance to third. Oakland took a lead 3-2 and would never trail in the game again.
Oakland would score four more times in the eighth inning to make the final score 7-2.
Edwin Jackson (1-0) gets credit for the win. The Indians’ starter Adam Plutko (4-2) is tagged with the loss. A’s reliever Lou Trivino picked up his third save of the season.
Oakland’s record improves to 46-38, and they are now 8.5 games behind the Astros in the AL West. The Indians fall to 44-37, but maintain an 8.0 game lead over the second-place Twins.
Dustin Fowler snapped an 0-for-9 hitless streak with his single in the bottom of the sixth inning. Hitting his fifth home run of the year in the bottom of the eighth was just icing of the cake. Fowler was the only A’s player to have multiple hits in the game.
Matt Olson hit his 18th home run in the home half of the eighth inning as the A’s kept adding insurance runs to their lead. He has now hit 15 of his 18 home runs off right-handed pitching.
Mark Canha extended his hitting streak to nine games, which is the longest streak of his career. He has also reached base safely in his last 10 games.
Khris Davis hit a sacrifice fly to up his RBI total to 55 for the season.
The A’s went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left just three runners on base.
Francisco Lindor is on fire. In his last 19 games, he is batting .306 (23-for-75) with six home runs, five doubles, 11 RBI and 20 runs scored.
Since the start of the 2017 season, Jose Ramirez leads the major leagues with 136 extra base hits. He entered the game on Saturday tied for fourth in the MLB with his teammate Francisco Lindor with 44 extra base hits so far this season.
Jason Kipnis has now reached base safely in each of his last 13 games. In those 13 games, he is batting .312 with three homers and eight runs scored.
On the Hill
Edwin Jackson still has not walked a batter since joining the A’s. He worked 6.2 innings giving up two runs (earned) off two hits (both HRs). He struck out six Cleveland hitters. Jackson threw 86 pitches (52 strikes).
The A’s used four relief pitchers to close out the game. Ryan Butcher, Emilio Pagan, Yusmeiro Petit and Lou Trivino worked the final 2.1 innings.
The plan was to have Petit close it out, but he looked a bit rusty when got up on the mound. Manager Bob Melvin said that was on him for not getting him into some games earlier in the week.
Indians starter Adam Plutko looked brilliant in the opening three innings but the wheels came off in the sixth inning. He pitched 5.2 innings allowing three runs (earned) on five hits. He walked one and struck out three.
The Indians used five pitchers in the contest.
Dan Otero and Josh Tomlin really struggled in the eighth inning when the A’s sealed the game by scoring four runs on just three hits. Two walks and two home runs were the fatal flaws for the relievers.
A familiar face to Bay Area baseball fans came into the game to shut down the A’s in the eighth inning, former Giant George Kontos was brought in to do the job.
The A’s will try to complete their second consecutive series sweep on Sunday when they will close out this three-game series with the Indians. The Indians will start RHP Mike Clevinger (6-3, 3.03). The A’s will counter with RHP Frankie Montas (4-1, 3.68). First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM PDT.