#1 Was the decision to designate Kendrys Morales for assignment the right thing to do. Morales joined the A’s after Matt Olson broke a bone in his right hand, Morales but ended up hitting .204, one homer and seven RBIs.
#2 Pitcher Edwin Jackson has been on 14 different major league teams, and this week, the Oakland A’s dealt him to that 14th team, the Toronto Blue Jays. Jackson is expected to get a start this week and he’ll join the Jays in San Francisco as Toronto is in San Francisco for a two game series. Jackson is 6-3, 3.33 ERA.
#3 Ironically, Mark Canha has come full circle after Morales replaced him on the roster. Canha now replaces Morales. Canha homered in his first game with the A’s on Monday night and Charlie talks about what it means to have Canha back in the lineup again.
#4 It’s a while, but Khris Davis slugged two home runs at Safeco Field on Monday night for his 11th and 12th homers of the season. Davis looks like he’s got that old swing back again.
#5 Taking a look at Tuesday night’s pitchers at Safeco, the Oakland A’s will be starting with Brett Anderson (4-2, 4.19 ERA) for the Seattle Mariners Mike Leake (2-4, 4.37 ERA).
The Oakland Athletics shot out of the gate quickly on Saturday night in Pittsburgh, hanging three runs up on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning. Khris Davis singled to right to drive Matt Chapman home to score. Kendrys Morales hit his first triple of the year to drive Davis home to score, and Morales would score the third Oakland run of the inning on a Stephen Piscotty single to left field. That was a very promising start for the green and gold.
The Pirates put their first run up on the board in the home-half of the second inning when Josh Bell hit a Chris Bassitt 84 mph cutter over the right field wall.
Bell came back to haunt the A’s again in the bottom of the third inning with two out and Starling Marte on at first. Bell hit his eighth home run of the season over the center field wall off a 93 mph sinker that tied the game at 3-3.
The A’s retook the lead in the fifth inning when Khris Davis hit a single to center field that drove Matt Chapman home to score the fourth run of the contest for Oakland.
Pittsburgh broke this game open in the bottom of the seventh inning when they scored three runs. Kevin Newman hit his first triple of the season off Wendelken that drove in two runners on base to score and gave the Pirates a 5-4 lead. Francisco Cervelli then hit a 2-2 change up from Wendelken into left field that allowed Newman to score easily from third base. After seven complete innings, the Pirates held a 6-4 lead.
Pirates (15-15) focus
Josh Bell was the star of the game for Pittsburgh. He hit two home runs, picked up three RBI and scored two runs. Bell is batting .291 for the Pirates.
Gregory Polanco went 2-for-5 for Pittsburgh on Saturday. He hit a double and scored a run for his team in the win.
Outfielder Bryan Reynolds had a good night for his team, going 2-for-3 at the plate. Reynolds also scored a run.
Michael Feliz picked up his first win of the season working in relief.
Felipe Vazquez recorded his ninth save of the year preserving the win for his team.
A’s (15-20) spotlight
Matt Chapman had a 2-for-4 game scoring two runs. He hit a double and a triple in the game.
Khris Davis picked up two RBI and scored a run in his 2-for-4 night for Oakland. Davis played left field in the game because there is no designated hitter because this is a National League ballpark.
The A’s are hoping that this was a breakout game for Kendrys Morales who went 2-for-4 with the bat scoring a run and adding an RBI.
Skye Bolt, who was just called up to the majors, picked up his first major league hit in the game.
Starting pitcher Chris Bassitt did not figure into the final decision. The loss was charged to J.B. Wendelken (0-1) who pitched 1.0 innings giving up three runs (all earned) off four hits. He walked one and struck out one.
The third and final game of the series will be played on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 10:35 AM Bay Area time. Frankie Montas (4-2, 2.97 ERA) will take the hill for Oakland. The Pirates will counter with Jordan Lyles (2-1, 2.42 ERA).
OAKLAND — Saturday was supposed to be all about Matt Chapman. The Gold Glove-winning third baseman was honored by having his image immortalized as a bobblehead and given away to eager fans who love to collect limited edition pieces. 33 members of Chapman’s family traveled from Southern California to attend the game. However, instead of a day of celebration, the game became just a very ugly 10-1 lost to the surging Toronto Blue Jays.
The player who really had the opportunity to celebrate on Saturday grew up about 90 miles away from the Oakland Coliseum and had a large contingent of family and friends in the stands. Rowdy Tellez plays first base for the Blue Jays. Tellez came into the game struggling with just a .191 batting average. When the game ended, the big man from Elk Grove had picked up his fourth home run of the season to go with a double, two runs scored and three RBI.
Tellez had a partner in crime that helped defeat the A’s in Brandon Drury. Drury also started the day hitting below the “Mendoza Line” at .147. Drury went 3-for-4 in the game with two RBI and two runs scored.
The A’s used six pitchers in the contest. The final player to take the mound for Oakland was first baseman Kendrys Morales. Yes, the A’s were waving the white flag at the point in the top of the ninth inning.
Oakland did manage to manufacture one run in the bottom of the ninth to prevent the game from being a shutout.
The A’s have fallen under .500 with this loss. Their record now stands at 11-12.
Oakland has lost four of their last five games. They are 1-3 on this eight-game homestand.
This will be the first home series loss for the A’s since being swept by the Astros in June of 2018.
Mike Fiers was charged with the loss and falls to 2-2 for the season. He worked just 3.1 innings allowing six runs (all earned) off nine hits (2 HR). Fiers struck out four batters and walked none.
The A;s used a total of six pitchers who gave up 10 runs (all earned) on 15 hits to the Jays. A’s pitchers struck out 12 batters and walked just three. They did allow three home runs.
The A’s scattered six hits in the contest. Matt Chapman and Steven Piscotty both collected two hits off Toronto pitching.
The only extra base hit for the A’s came in the ninth inning. Robbie Grossman hit a double and eventually came home to score the only run for the green and gold.
The A’s left six men on base and were 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Fernando Rodney pitched a 1-2-3 top of the eighth inning for Oakland. It was his 906th career pitching appearance tying him with Cy Young for 24th on the all-time list. That is pretty “heady” company.
The Blue Jays have now won five of their six games on this seven-game road trip.
They will win both series on the road.
The Jays’ record has improved to 10-12 for 2019.
Sam Gaviglio (2-0) gets credit for the win.
Matt Shoemaker made the start for Toronto and was pitching a fine game when he had to exit due to injury. The pitcher became involved in a rundown play of Matt Chapman between first and second in the bottom of the third inning. Shoemaker put the tag on Chapman and then fell to the ground. He left the field under his own power, but the club reported later that he was being evaluated for a left knee injury.
The Jays left nine men on base and went 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Toronto hit three doubles and three home runs off A’s pitching.
It was a day for the Blue Jays where they could do no wrong.
There was something in the air
There were two separate incidents of fans jumping out of the stands and on to the field of play on Saturday. One occurred in the sixth inning and was ended fairly quickly.
The second incident happened in the ninth inning and the man spent a considerable amount of time running around on the infield. The trespasser thought he was about to elude security again when second base umpire and crew chief Bill Nelson grabbed him by the waist. Nelson threw the unruly fan to the ground and security took care of the rest. The big crowd of 31,140 gave Nelson a roar of approval.
The easy answer is to say it was 4/20 day, but that is too easy. The most import thing is that no player, umpire or employee was injured.
The three-game series with Toronto wraps up on Easter Sunday. The Blue Jays will send RHP Aaron Sanchez (2-1, 2.86 ERA) to the mound while the A’s will counter with the undefeated LHP Brett Anderson (3-0, 2.63 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 PM.
The Oakland Athletics (6-6) lost their second consecutive game to the Houston Astros on Saturday as they were shutout by a combination of five Houston pitchers. The managed to pick up six hits off the Astros pitching, but only one of those hits was for extra bases.
Oakland went 0-for-5 with RISP and left a total of nine men on base. They struck out seven times and picked up four walks. It was a classic night where strong pitching dominated professional hitting.
Wade Miley made the start for the Astros and worked 5.2-innings. Miley gave up no runs on four hits. He struck out four A’s batters and walked two hitters. Miley threw 95 pitches (56 strikes). He was credited with the win, which was his first for the season.
Will Harris, Josh James, Chris Devenski, and Framber Valdez combined to work 3.1-innings of scoreless relief for the Astros. The four relievers gave up just two hits and walked no Oakland hitters. The relief corps combined for three strikeouts.
Houston Offense (4-5)
Free-agent addition Michael Brantley led the Astros attack with the bat by going 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBI. Brantley hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning which was his second HR of the season.
Yuli Gurriel had a 3-for-4 day with the bat. He added one RBI to his season total.
George Springer went 2-for-4 in the game versus A’s pitching. Springer hit his third home run of the young season off Aaron Brooks in the fifth inning. The round-tripper was a two-run shot.
The Astros scored six runs off 11 hits while leaving six runners on base.
Aaron Brooks really struggled in innings four, five and six. Brooks gave up five runs on nine hits. All five runs were earned. Brooks struck out two and walked out one. He also gave up two home runs.
The A’s used three relief pitchers–Yusmeiro Petit, Liam Hendricks, and Ryan Buchter, combined–to work the final three innings. They gave up no runs off just two hits. The relievers walked one and struck out two Astro hitters.
Brooks was charged with the loss – his first of the season. Brooks record is now 1-1 on the year.
Stephen Piscotty was the A’s leader with the bat. He went 2-for-3 at the plate and picked up the only Oakland extra-base hit. Piscotty also reached base via a walk.
Khris Davis, Chad Pinder, Kendrys Morales, and Mark Canha each picked up a base hit off Houston pitching.
Unfortunately for A’s fans, the Oakland hitters were unable to put those hits together to produce runs.
Manager Bob Melvin reaction after the game was that his team ran up against some great pitching and that is sometimes just too much to overcome. In other words, tomorrow is another day.
The A’s and Astros will wrap up their three-game series on Sunday with a game that is scheduled to begin at 11:10 AM on Sunday morning. RHP Mike Fiers will make his fourth start of the season. His record is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA.
RHP Brad Peacock will make the start for the Astros. It will be his second start of the season. Peacock is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA.
In a road game at Safeco Field, the A’s beat the Seattle Mariners, 8-2, and won home field advantage in the ALDS, beginning Friday, October 4.
The batting barrage began in the top of the first inning when Brandon Moss hit his ninth homer of the year, to right over the Safeco sign, after Coco Crisp had doubled to center and Jed Lowrie had singled to left. In the bottom of the inning, Franklin Gutierrez answered with a solo shot to left for his tenth home run of the year. Seattle’s other run came when Kendrys Morales went deep to right for his twenty-third.
In the seventh, Derek Norris hit his ninth homer of the season to right, after Josh Reddick had walked. Daric Barton reached first base on a throwing error by second baseman Nick Franklin; then Crisp doubled to left advancing Barton to third. When Josh Donaldson grounded out 5-3, Barton scored. In the following inning Chris Young walked, and Norris doubled to left scoring him. Norris then came to the plate when Barton singled to left.
The winner is Bartolo Colon (18-6; 6 ip, 3 h, 2 er, 1 w, 8 k, 2 hr) and the loser Felix Hernandez (12-10; 6 ip, 5 h, 3 er, 1 q, 6 k, 1 hr).
The two teams meet again at 1:10 p.m. PDT on Saturday, September 29 with Jarrod Parker (12-7) facing Brandon Maurer (4-8).