A’s demolished by the Giants, 14-2, division clinching has to wait

By Morris Phillips

It was if the A’s were running late to their division-clinching party. Running late all afternoon.

In a 14-2 loss to the revenge-minded Giants, the A’s just couldn’t get started. And with the Giants piling on early and often, it wasn’t like the A’s got a bunch of chances to chalk up one more home win to capture their first division crown since 2013.

The A’s first hit didn’t materialize until the fourth inning, on an infield job by Matt Olson. Their first runner in scoring position came in the fifth, and Khris Davis couldn’t score. Their first runs were knocked in by Jake Lamb in the sixth, but they already trailed 8-0.

“Everybody came to the field thinking, get another ‘W,’ get another win, lock it up,” said A’s starter Mike Minor, who was roughed up and lifted in the sixth. “Didn’t happen. But you know guys are still positive. They’re going to get to LA and do work there.”

Minor allowed a pair of two-run homers, then gave way to J.B. Wendelken in the sixth. The third batter Wendelken faced–Brandon Crawford–greeted him with a grand slam. Down 8-0, all Oakland social engagements were postponed.

The three relievers that followed didn’t far much better as Jordan Weems, Lou Trivino and T.J. McFarland coughed up six more Giants runs. McFarland somehow managed to surrender six hits and three runs in a 24-pitch span.

Manager Bob Melvin had to get creative to explain his bullpen’s bad day.

“They’re used to coming in games where it’s close and every pitch matters,” Melvin said. 

The A’s turn their attention to a trip to Dodgers Stadium, where they could end up if they advance to the ALDS in a couple of weeks. For now, it’s an opportunity to see baseball’s best team in their environment while chasing that next, critical win.

The A’s then return to the Coliseum to finish the regular season against the Mariners.

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.

A’s get back into the win column by downing the Rangers 6-1

TEX score
Graphic: @NBCS

By Charlie O. Mallonee

Chris Bassitt made his 2019 season debut on the mound for the Oakland Athletics on Monday night and everything went Bassitt’s way. Bassitt worked five scoreless innings giving up just two hits while striking out seven Texas batters and walking four. That was good enough for him to earn his first win of the season.

Bassitt got some help from his friends in the Oakland bullpen. Ryan Dull who was just called up from Triple-A Las Vegas struck out two batters and allowed just one run in 1.1 innings of work in relief.

J.B. Wendelken, Joakim Soria, and Fernando Rodney combined to work 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to close out the game for Oakland to ensure the win for Bassitt.

The A’s scored first

Oakland put the first run up on the board when Stephen Piscotty hit his fourth home run of the season over the centerfield wall in the second inning.

Matt Chapman gave the A’s a 2-0 lead when he drove Josh Phegley home with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third inning.

The A’s added two more runs in the home half of the sixth and eighth innings to raise their final total to six runs.

The Rangers scored their only run in the top of the seventh inning.

In the spotlight

A’s (12-13)

Tex Rodney 2
Rodney in appearance #907 Photo: @Athletics

  • Stephen Piscotty had a 2-for-3 game that included a home run and three RBI. He extended his hitting streak against the Rangers to 15 games.
  • Chad Pinder went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the game. Pinder is batting .354 (17-for-48) in 17 games in the month of April.
  • Fernando Rodney passed Cy Young for 24th on the all-time list of pitching appearances by taking the mound for the 907th time in his career.
  • The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the A’s.

Texas (12-9)

  • Shin-Soo Chin has reached base safely in the first inning of the last 10 games he has been the Texas leadoff hitter.
  • Danny Santana has a hit in six of his first eight games with the Rangers since being called up from Triple-A on April 13.
  • Mike Minor (2-2) took the loss working six innings giving up four runs (all earned) off four hits including one home run. He struck out four and walked three.

Up Next

Tuesday night the Rangers will send RHP Lance Lynn (2-1, 4.44) to the hill to face off against Frankie Montas (3-1, 2.70). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:07 PM.