Kemp, Blackburn, Chapman key group effort in A’s critical, 3-1 win over the Yankees in series finale

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND–The A’s hope Sunday’s rousing finish signals the beginning of a fourth chapter of what has been a very, complicated story to their season.

If so, the dramatic elements were present, and the timing couldn’t be any be better for an Oakland bunch that simply has been hard to figure out.

The A’s got a two-run homer from Tony Kemp in the eighth inning to break up a 1-1 tie and propel them to a series split with the Wild Card-leading Yankees with a 3-1 win. The A’s avoided a 2-7 finish to their homestand, which would have been their worst showing since 2001. Instead, they gained ground on the Yankees, Red Sox in the wild card hunt and moved to within 5 1/2 games of the Astros in the race for the AL West.

In a game dominated by pitching and defense–both scintillating and head-scratchingly poor–Kemp’s home run was only the second extra-base hit of the evening, and came one pitch after the first, a scalding double by Mark Canha that set the stage for Kemp’s heroics.

“The last thing I was trying to do was hit a home run right there,” Kemp said. “I saw a good pitch and put my best swing on it, and I think I was as surprised as everybody else was in the stands.”

After opening the season 0-6, the A’s soared to a stretch of 44 wins in 65 games, including a 13-game win streak. Since then they’re 28-32 and were a season-worst 3 1/2 games out of a playoff spot entering Sunday’s contest. To put it mildly, Sunday’s stand against the Yankees, just off their own 13-game win streak, was put up or shut up.

Both starting pitchers were outstanding. New York’s Jordan Montgomery went six innings, allowing six hits and a run on Matt Chapman’s RBI fielder’s choice ground out. Paul Blackburn put up five, scoreless innings allowing five hits and a walk while departing with a 1-0 lead.

The A’s bullpen appeared equal to the task of backing up Blackburn, but were burned by consecutive errors in the seventh. Catcher Yan Gomes dropped a foul pop between third and home that extended Anthony Rizzo’s at-bat, and allowed him to deliver a ground ball that Chapman misplayed between his legs for an error that allowed Gary Sanchez to score from second and tie the game.

The back-to-back errors came during a streak in which the A’s committed just three miscues in their last 14 games.

In the eighth, the A’s took advantage of Chad Green, the third New York reliever who gave up Canha’s double and Kemp’s home run. Reliever Deolis Guerra pitched a scoreless eighth to earn the win for the A’s.

The A’s back-to-back wins follow a stretch of six, consecutive losses and losses in 10 of 12 games. On a positive note, the stretch precedes a three-game series in Detroit that starts Tuesday, followed by a trip to Toronto and home games against the White Sox. The A’s have had success this season against AL Central opponents, which they hope continues against the Tigers and Sox.

On Tuesday, Cole Irvin is scheduled to get the start for Oakland in a matchup with Hayward-native Tarik Skubal, who has a 8-11 record on the season.

A’s prove resilient, bounce back from heartbreaker with 6-2 win over the Giants

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–Cole Irvin’s answer to four hours of frustrating, fruitless baseball on Saturday night was eight, scoreless innings on Sunday.

For the needy A’s, it turned out to be a pretty good answer.

“The mindset was pound the zone with fastballs and get ahead, and everything seemed to be working,” Irvin said in his post game interview with NBC Sports Bay Area.

Irvin was gifted a 2-0, first inning lead before his first pitch, then he cruised through eight innings, allowing just one Giants’ baserunner to reach second base (in the eighth) on his watch. While the Giants played their usual patient game at the plate, they did so without a payoff this time–Irvin didn’t allow any extra-base hits among the three hits and two walks he surrendered.

“It’s all about getting ahead,” manager Bob Melvin said, well aware of the pressure relieved by Irvin after the A’s dropped a 6-5, extra-inning heartbreaker the day before. “You get ahead, now you force them to swing a little bit more. When you have some sink and you can keep the ball in the strike zone and move both sides, it’s tough to get the barrel on it.”

The Giants–and their sellout crowd–did all they could to loosen Irvin’s grip on the afternoon, but to no affect. The A’s nursed their 2-0 lead into the sixth, then broke the game open with three runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh. The Giants, despite having baseball’s best record, and being the first team to 50 wins, have had some issues with shutouts. They avoided their third shutout in the last 15 games by pushing across a pair of runs in the ninth against reliever Deolis Guerra.

The A’s have surged in June with a 16-8 record, but watching the first place Astros rip off 11 straight wins to surpass them in the division, then run into the hot Giants and have to avoid a sweep may have played a role in their psyche on Sunday. Melvin sensed it, but with a half season still to play, the manager was careful not to overplay it.

“I’m not saying it was the most important game in the world but our guys came out with some fire,” Melvin said. “They were a little upset last night that we lost that game.”

Matt Chapman extended his MLB-best 15-game hit streak with a two-run single in the first. Then with the Giants issuing free passes via two hit batsmen and a walk, the A’s fashioned a three-run rally with just one base hit in the sixth. Aramis Garcia, who did his best work on Sunday behind the plate in support of Irvin, added an RBI single in the seventh to close the books on Oakland’s scoring.

A day off Monday and home games against Texas and Boston are next for the A’s, and the leadup to their next meeting with the Astros at Minute Maid Park a week from Tuesday.

A’s not letting early season struggles define them

By Morris Phillips

Among the encouraging things happening with the A’s the last couple of games?

Seth Brown may finally be ready to bring his big fly game to the Major League level.

The 28-year old is well-known in minor league circles as an unrepentant slugger, the author of 92 home runs since his debut in 2015, including 37 in just 112 games for AAA Las Vegas in 2019.

That last line had the A’s hopeful Brown could elevate his game in Oakland, but in his first 36 games with the A’s over the last three seasons, Brown didn’t clear any fences…

Until Saturday night. With the A’s 6-0 lead cut in half, Brown took reliever Ryan Stanek into the upper deck, a not-high-enough fastball turned into a memory of a lifetime. So majestic was Brown’s homer, the flight of the ball on television revealed the entire Minute Maid Park scoreboard showing Brown’s numbers without a home run for the last time.

“The only thing he doesn’t have on his resume is a homer for a guy who really is a home run hitter,” manager Bob Melvin said. “I know that takes a lot of pressure off him now that he finally has a home run.”

Pressure off Brown? More succinctly, pressure off the entire Oakland roster. Brown’s shot put the finishing touches on a 7-3 win, the A’s third in four games after an 0-6 start. Not wanting to get buried in the competitive AL West two weeks in, the A’s are fighting back, and giving their 2021 season a healthier look.

In the last four games, the A’s have out-manuvered the Dodgers late, come up with some more late game magic in Houston on Friday, and set up a couple of wins with nearly identical, exemplary starts by Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas.

The key? When you don’t fall behind early–as the A’s did repeatedly in their winless start–you can pick your spots and pounce on the opposition in the later innings.

“We grind it out a little bit and stay in the game until we do something nice late,” said Mark Olson, who came up big in Friday’s win. “I think we can take this momentum and ride it out.”

A few key presences must be reclaimed from the injury list with Chad Pinder (knee), Mike Fiers (hips), Burch Smith (strained groin) and A.J. Puk (strained biceps) on the 10-day injured list, and Trevor Rosenthal on the 60-day list after surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome on Thursday.

Matt Chapman and Sean Murphy remain mired in awful slumps, but both have expressed optimism in recent days–not just for themselves, but for the team as a whole.

We’re always rotating guys and new faces, so for us, it always takes a little bit to get going,” Chapman said. “But once we get going, we’re able to really bond and really pick up steam.”

The A’s open a two-game set with the Diamondbacks in Phoenix on Monday. Familiar face Madison Bumgarner squares off against Chris Bassitt in the opener at 6:40pm.

Faulty Replays and Seering Heat: A’s suffer setbacks in 5-3 series deciding loss to San Diego

OAKLAND–With the heat on like never before at the Coliseum, the A’s wilted on Sunday afternoon in the rubber game with the Padres.

Tied 2-2 in the third, a video replay of a bang-bang tag play on baserunner Rex Grossman figured to be reversed, allowing the A’s to regain the lead.

Despite replays from four angles–all revealing but not completely transparent–the league office review crew upheld umpire Nick Mahrley’s call of out.

In an empty stadium, the groans emanating from the A’s dugout spoke volumes. The replays seemed to support the A’s contention that Grossman’s foot crossed the plate before pitcher Garrett Richards’ sweeping tag was applied.

“When you think you have a run and you don’t have a run, that’s tough to swallow,” A’s starter Mike Fiers said.

The momentum shift was all the Padres–winners of five of their last seven games in the midst of their trade deadline talent upgrade–would need. Jake Cronenworth’s RBI double allowed San Diego to regain the lead in the fourth, and Fernando Tatis Jr.’s league-leading 15th home run finished the A’s in a 5-3 decision.

The loss capped a week of vulnerability for Oakland starting with four consecutive COVID-19 cancellations attributed to Daniel Mengden’s positive test, then an injury to Marcus Semien took the always available shortstop out of the lineup and on to the 10-day injured list.

On Sunday, the temperature shot up to 94 degrees at first pitch resulting in the hottest home game in Oakland A’s history. If all that wasn’t enough struggling Matt Chapman was removed in the fifth inning because of a hip injury.

Chapman struck out in both of his at-bats on Sunday, and eight times in his previous nine at-bats going back to Friday night. In making a flawless scoop, spin and throw to retire Jurickson Profar in the fourth, Chapman apparently aggravated a previous flare-up in his hip. Under the watchful eye of the A’s training staff, the third baseman was replaced by Chad Pinder before the start of the fifth.

The A’s have dropped four of their last five, but maintain a 3 1/2 game lead on the Astros on the eve of a five games in four days set against Houston that could settle the division for Oakland or prepare the stage for a photo finish in the season’s final 15 games.

Given the importance of the upcoming series the absences of Houston’s Jose Altuve along with Semien and Chapman will be significant.

“It’s not great timing,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We have a lot of teams with injuries right now. We’ve been pretty fortunate.”

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Chapman and Olson win Gold Gloves; First dual winners for A’s since the ’80s

Photo credit: sfexaminer.com

On Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Oakland A’s third baseman Matt Chapman received the Gold Glove Award with first baseman Matt Olson. Chapman had a .981. fielding percentage and Olson had .993.

#2 Chapman saved 17 runs that led MLB third basemen in defense in runs saved.

#3 Olson saved 13 runs leading all first basemen in the show in defense.

#4 It’s the first time since 1980 and 1981 that the A’s had two players win the Gold Glove in back to back years. Who were they? Centerfielder Dwayne Murphy and pitcher Mike Norris.

#5 The A’s have developed some great defensive players who got nominated for Gold Gloves — infielder Marcus Semien and left fielder Robbie Grossman.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice for Oakland A’s baseball on KIQI 1010 San Francisco and listen to Amaury’s podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: Chapman saves the A’s bacon with 2-run bomb; A’s stay 1/2 game up in wild card

Photo credit: halosheaven.com

On the A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg:

#1 The A’s dropped two crucial games — one against Texas last Sunday at the Coliseum and another on Tuesday night in Anaheim. The A’s in never give up style, down 2-1 on Wednesday night in the top of the ninth, got a two-run jack from Matt Chapman his 34th to get the A’s a 3-2 one-run win.

#2 You look at that score last night in Anaheim 2-1 going to the ninth, manager Bob Melvin just had to have that bad feel in his stomach that the club was going to go down three in a row, but these never give up A’s have a hero every night when they win a game.

#3 Talk about A’s starter Frankie Montas’ return back in the rotation. He misses 60 games and he comes back pitches six innings and gives up four hits and an earned run, two walks and six strikeouts.

#4 Jerry talk about the relievers the A’s used four relief pitchers and they held it together to beat the Angels in the Big A. Everybody is up to beat the A’s in the wild card drive and the A’s are doing everything to stay at the top.

#5 A’s are headed for Seattle to open up a four-game series with the Mariners on Thursday, who can be tough customers in their own right. The Mariners, who got two hits and shutout 3-0 on Wednesday night by the Houston Astros, are not too happy and are looking to take things out on the A’s, but the A’s will scratch and claw to try to keep their heads above water in the AL wild card race.

Jerry does the A’s podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com each Thursday

Texas Tough: Homerin’ A’s finish sweep of the Rangers with 6-1 win

By Morris Phillips

Winning the final six games of a seven-game road trip was exactly what the playoff-hopeful A’s needed to move clear of the Indians and Rays in the hunt for the top wild card spot in the American League.

Except that it wasn’t. Now 30 games above .500 for the first time all season, the A’s are leading the race, but certainly not home free. Upon their return to Oakland for Monday’s home game against the Royals, their mission’s not complete.

So what’s next? Just keep it up for 12 more games.

“We have our eyes on hosting a wild-card game,” said Matt Chapman, who homered for the 34th time in the ninth inning, setting the franchise record for home runs in a season with 244.

“We know this time of year you have to win a lot of games and they’re doing it at the right time,” said manager Bob Melvin.

Sean Manaea turned in his third, straight fantastic start, limiting the Rangers to three hits and a walk in six innings. One day after Mike Fiers departed early due to numbness in his pitching hand, Manaea’s outing was exactly what Oakland needed, another indication that the big lefty could play a significant role in a postseason rotation.

Manaea hit the first batter he faced, then allowed a base hit, but settled in quickly after that, inducing Willie Calhoun to hit into a double play. Come the second inning, Manaea was cruising, on his way to retiring 16 of the last 18 batters he faced.

The A’s provided Manaea the working cushion he needed in the fourth when Marcus Semien hit a two-run homer and Seth Brown added a two-run double.

Sean Murphy knocked in a run, and Jesus Lazardo pitched the final, three innings as the A’s also got vital contributions from their youngsters, participating in their first playoff push.

Semien’s 30th homer gave the A’s a trio of 30-homer guys (Chapman, Matt Olson) for the first time since 2001. The A’s bashed 20 home runs in their six-game win streak, all coming after the club was embarrassed in a 15-0 loss to the Astros on Monday.

Now six games after they were shut out and humbled, the A’s have put themselves on the doorstep of a second, consecutive playoff appearance. The journey from last year’s humbling, lightning fast postseason to the possibility of a return all starts with the A’s losing to the Yankees in New York in October.

That one-game playoff at Yankee Stadium was unsatisfying, and maybe gives the A’s their biggest advantage in navigating the season’s final two weeks. Given last year’s experience, the A’s won’t want to go on the road in the one-game playoff.  They’ll be doing whatever they can to host the game and win it, which will allow them a real, postseason experience.

Winning six straight on the road after losing 15-0 may be the best illustration of how they will react.

On Monday, the A’s will turn to Tanner Roark in a matchup with Kansas City’s Glenn Sparkman at 7:05p.m.

 

 

 

A’s beat the Rangers 8-6 on Saturday night, but it might’ve been a costly win

Tex a
Graphic: @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

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.

Up next

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.

The A’s devour the Tigers 10-2 on Saturday night in Oakland

Det 9-7
Graphic: @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee @Charlieo1320

Oakland — The Oakland Athletics (83-59) did exactly what they had to do on Saturday night – beat up on a lesser opponent. The “Rooted in Oakland” crew demolished the lowly Detroit Tigers (42-99) by the score of 10-2. The Tigers have the worst record in all of Major League Baseball and have been eliminated from any possibility of playing in postseason in 2019.

The A’s realistically are destined to play in the AL Wild Card game. They want desperately to be the home team in that game. To be the home team, the A’s need wins and wins should come easier over teams that have losing records. It is truly a “survival of the fittest” environment from now until the end of the regular season.

The A’s have only four games remaining to play against a team with a winning record. They begin a four-game series in Houston on Monday night with the Astros who are tied with the Yankees for the best record in the majors at 93-50. Their other 16 games are with Detroit (1), Texas (6), Kansas City (3), LAA (2) and Seattle (4). The A’s must devour the weak in order to come out on top.

Chris Bassitt worked hard to earn a win

Bassitt struggled in the first two innings of the game on Saturday night. After giving up two hits in the top of first, Bassitt was bailed out by a 6-1-4 double play that is detailed later in this story.

In the top of the second, the A’s starter faced seven Detroit hitters. He gave up two runs off three hits and he hit a batter. The Tigers left two runners on base. Despite having some difficulties, Bassitt struck out three batters and appeared to be starting to find himself.

Bassitt would go on to pitch 6.0-innings giving up just the two runs (both earned) off eight hits. He walked none but did hit one Detroit batter. Bassitt struck out 11 Tigers in 6.0-innings on the mound. That is a career high for Bassitt and the most for an A’s pitcher in a game this season.

After the game, Bob Melvin said, “Bassitt often gets better as he goes along in a game. He also gave our bullpen a break by going six innings.”

Bassitt is now 10-5 on the season with a 3.64 ERA. This is the first time Oakland has had three 10-game winners since 2013 when they had five.

Wild Card Standings

The A’s now have sole possession of the second Wild Card slot in the American League. They are one game back of Tampa Bay (85-59) who is in the number one spot and would host the one-game playoff if the season ended today.

The Indians are 1.5-games behind the A’s for the second spot in the Wild Card race at 82-61. Boston is 7.0-games back and has an elimination number of 14. It would take a miracle and a massive collapse by the Rays, A’s or Indians for the Red Sox to become a part of the race.

Focus on the A’s

Det c 9-7
Olson gets congratulated Photo: @Athletics

  • Matt Olson went 4-for-4 in the game. He hit his 29th home run of the season in the fifth inning off Jordan Zimmerman on 1-2 pitch that sailed into the right-field seats. Olson also added three RBI to bring his total for the season to 73. He also extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
  • Jurickson Profar matched his career high for home runs when he hit number 20 of the season in the second inning off Zimmerman. Profar is batting .340 over his last 15 games. He has also been very helpful to his team by being able to play both outfield and infield as needed.
  • Matt Chapman hit his 32nd home of the season in the eighth inning which ties Eric Chavez for the most in a season by an Athletics third baseman.
  • Oakland now has six players with 20-plus home runs which is a franchise record.
  • A’s pitchers combined for a total of 19 strike outs on Saturday night – a season high.

Spotlight on Detroit

  • Jordan Zimmerman allowed six earned runs for the first time since July 19. He previously had allowed a total of seven earned runs in four career starts against the A’s. Zimmerman is now 1-10 on the season.
  • Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 in the game which gave him a team-leading 38th multiple-hit game for 2019. It was also the 804th multiple-hit game of his career tying him with Ivan Rodriguez for 39th-most in MLB history.
  • Harold Castro had 4-for-4 game with the bat with two RBI for the Tigers. That tied his season high.
  • The Tigers have not had a winning record versus the AL West since 2014. They are 53-112 against the division since 2015.

Up next

LHP Sean Manaea (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will take the ball for the A’s and make his second start of the season to close out this three-game series with the Tigers. He had a no-decision in first start of the season last Sunday in New York against the Yankees. The Tigers will counter with LHP Daniel Norris (3-11, 4.76 ERA). He had a no-decision in his last start on Tuesday in Kansas City.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 PM at the Oakland Coliseum.

Shouldn’t the infield fly rule have been called?

In the top of the first inning with runners at first and second and one out, the Tigers Christin Stewart hit an infield fly into foul territory on the third-base side. The wind then pushed the ball back into the field of play. Matt Chapman attempted to catch the ball but was unable to do so. Marcus Semien picked the ball up and tossed it to Bassitt who was covering third. The pitcher stepped on the bag and Harold Castro – the runner at second was called out. Bassitt then alertly threw the ball to Profar who stepped on second base and Miguel Cabrera – the runner at first was called out on what scored as a 6-1-4 double play.

As a former amateur umpire, I was immediately looking for one of the four umpires to have his right arm up in the air to indicate that the infield fly rule was in effect. I was shocked when no call such call was being made. So was Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire who immediately came out to discuss the situation with the Homeplate umpire – Dan Bellino.

The umpires explained that the infield fly rule is to be called when the ball can be caught with “ordinary effort”. The “men in blue” said in their opinion Chapman would have needed to use extraordinary effort to have made the catch of Stewart’s fly ball, so the infield fly rule did not apply.

In this reporter’s opinion (and as a former umpire), the umpiring crew was caught off guard when an apparent foul ball came back into fair territory.

 

Giants crush A’s 10-5 in game three of the Bay Bridge Series 2

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Graphic: @Athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

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.

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That’s a lot of fans! Graphic: @Athletics

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.

Up next

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.