The losing streak is over as the A’s beat the M’s 3-2 in extra innings

by Charlie O. Mallonee

With one out in the top of the 10th inning and Tony Kemp at second base as the new extra-innings rules require, pinch hitter Robbie Grossman stepped into the batters’ box to face Seattle reliever, Dan Altavilla.

Grossman hit a 2-1 slider into right-center field that drove Kemp home to score the go-ahead run for the Athletics. Grossman motored all the way to third base when center fielder Kyle Lewis threw up his hands that the ball was stuck under the wall. After an umpire review of the ground rules, Grossman was sent back to second base and his hit was scored as an RBI-double.

The bottom of the 10th would be a test

The A’s sent Liam Hendricks to the mound to close out the game and get the win for Oakland. The Mariners Shed Long started the inning at second base. Hendricks set the side down in order to finish the game by striking out J.P. Crawford.

Hendricks picked up his second save of the season and has an ERA of 2.70.

Oakland pitching was strong

Mike Fiers (0-0, 5.40) made his second start of the season. Fiers worked 6.0 innings giving up two runs (both earned) off four hits. He struck out three and walked just one batter. Fiers threw 79 pitches (48 strikes). It was exactly the kind of starting effort the A’s needed.

The Oakland relievers were outstanding on Saturday night. Jake Diekman and Yusmeiro Petit both worked a perfect inning of relief each.

Joakim Soria worked himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth inning and wound up picking up his first win of the season.

The A’s found some hits in their bats

The key hit was Grossman’s pinch-hit RBI double that drove home the winning run for the A’s. The Mariners defense had to play Grossman straight away because of his power which gave him some open alleys to place the ball. It was Grossman’s second double of the season. He is now 7-for-20 at the plate.

Stephen Piscotty went 2-for-4 in the game and raised his batting average to .190. The A’s really need Piscotty to get going as he usually provides some much-needed punch for the Oakland offense.

Mark Canha hit a double in the contest and raised his average to .273. The A’s need Canha’s clutch hitting to put them back into the playoff race.

Tied for first place

The victory on Saturday night raised the A’s record to 4-4. That puts them into a tie for first place in AL West with the Houston Astros. The 60-game streak is certainly going to interesting.

Up next

The A’s and Mariners play game three of this four-game wrap-around series on Sunday afternoon.

The A’s will send RHP Chris Bassitt to the hill to start the game. This will be his second start of the season. Bassitt earned a no-decision in his first start of the year.

The Mariners will counter with RHP Kendall Graveman who is 0-1 so far this season. Graveman lasted just four innings in his last start and currently has a 13.50 ERA.


Yanks get four big flies–LeMahieu, Judge, and Sanchez (2), edge A’s 4-3 in 11

photo from @Athletics

By Jessica Kwong

NEW YORK — The Oakland Athletics lost to the New York Yankees for the first time this season on Saturday afternoon, 4-3 in 11 innings, after DJ LeMahieu hit a home run on Lou Trivino’s first pitch in the 11th inning.

Trevino allowed no runs in two innings before throwing a fastball that LeMahieu hit right field out of the ballpark, his second walk-off hit of the season.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said he has seen signs of Trivino and pitcher Blake Treinen, who allowed no runs in the ninth inning, “pitching better recently” and “hopefully it’s a trend.”

The Yankees gained momentum in the first inning when Gary Sanchez hit a home run on a fly ball to left field for a 1-0 lead.

Oakland responded in the fourth inning when Matt Olson hit a homer on a fly ball to right center field, and Matt Chapman scored, putting the A’s up 2-1. But in the fifth inning, Sanchez hit another home run on a fly ball to right center field to tie the game at 2-2.

The A’s took a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning when Chapman doubled on a line drive to left field, allowing Robbie Grossman to score. New York evened the score at 3-3 in the eight inning when Aaron Judge hit a home run off Joakim Soriaon on a fly ball to right field, and the game went into extra innings. All of New York’s runs were solo home runs.

“That was kind of the theme of the game today—solo shots,” A’s starting pitcher Homer Bailey said.

Oakland left 15 players on base and was 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. A’s manager Bob Melvin did not think (too bad).

“You leave 15 on, it comes back to bite you at some time,” Melvin said. “But you know what, we came back and the lead and were one pitch away from going into the ninth inning with it and Chappie’s ball, unless you have a 10-foot outfielder in right field, it probably goes out.”

Melvin concluded “it’s a game of inches today,” and, “sometimes they don’t come through, most times here recently, they do.”

A’s batter Mark Canha said the bullpen gave them opportunities and “we just couldn’t do it.”

“We just have to have some better at-bats tomorrow because I felt like we were just bon the cusp of breaking it open a few times,” Canha said. “We just needed that one hit and it didn’t work out unfortunately.”

The A’s beat the Yankees 3-0 in Oakland and won Friday night at Yankee Stadium. The A’s (78-57) and Yankees (89-48) play the last game of the series, tied at 1-1, Sunday with first pitch at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Grossman’s 1st walk-off wins it for the A’s 3-2

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Lewis Rubman

In 13 innings
Houston: 2 | 9 | 0 | 12 LOB
Oakland: 3 | 8 | 2 | 6 LOB

OAKLAND, Calif. — Last night’s thrilling roller coaster victory over Houston, following Wednesday’s Perils of Pauline win over San Francisco, left the A’s 8 1/2 games behind the Astros in the Western Dvision, 2 games behind Cleveland for the first wild card slot, and 1 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay for the second wild card berth. The standings and the recent developments that led to them show that the there is reason for cautious optimism about the A’s chances for advancement even if their rehabbing pitchers–almost a starting rotation in itself–don’t recover as quickly and thoroughly as might be hoped.

Here’s a quick rundown of what the Athletic’s roster looks like nowadays.

Mark Canha has continued to show that, although lacking the injured Ramón Laureano’s pizzazz, he’s reliable and powerful at the plate and a more than competent center fielder with good range and a strong arm. He may not be as fleet afoot as Laureano, but who is? And Canha hasn’t a laser arm like Laureano’s, he hits his cutoff man and knows when not to attempt a Hail Mary throw.

Josh Phegley returned from the injured list today. That’s good news, although Dustin Garneau, who filled in for him admirably, was DFA’d to make room for Phegley.

Perhaps it’s too early to celebrate the return of stability to second base, but platooning right-handed hitting Chad Pinder and lefty batsman Corban Joseph at that position seems preferable to leaving the job to the switch-hitting (.304 right, .177 left) and throwing challenged Jurickson Profar. Pinder’s overall BA is .250, .264 from the right side. In the small sample of Joseph we’ve seen since he joined the team on Tuesday, he has gone 3-for-7 with one home run and three RBI. He did, however, commit an error tonight.

The bullpen situation is less encouraging. The acquisition of Jake Diekman, who joined the team on July 29, gave some wiggle room to the left handed relief crew. But his ERA in his 4 2/3 innings in eight appearances going into tonight was 5.79 and his WHIP was 1.93. The A’s go-to lefty had been Ryan Buchter, with an ERA of 3.19 and a WHIP of 1.61, nothing outstanding, but serviceable. His figures for August up until game time were more encouraging, 2 2/3 innings over three games with an ERA of zero and a WHIP of 1.13. The remaining southpaw in the Oakland pen, Weu-Chung Wang, has given up an earned run for each of the three innings he’s pitched so far this month and has a WHIP of 2.

The A’s major right-handed relievers, Joaquim Soria and Yusmeiro Petit, have been uneven, Petit being more reliable than Soria, who has given only occasional glimpses of how effective he can be. He had a chance to do that tonight and took full advantage of it. Last year’s one-two punch of Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen hadn’t seemed to have recovered the form that made them keys to the A’s late 2018 surge. Tonight Treinen pitched the seventh inning and showed some of the indominable skill and guts he exhibited last year. Trivino, the winner of tonight’s thriller, got a chance to strut his stuff starting in the eleventh . Mike Fiers continues to be solid starter if you discount his melt down in last night’s heat, and Homer Bailey was very, very good in his seven innings on Wednesday against the Giants. Brett Anderson has been starting his games well but faltering in the middle innings. Chris Bassitt turned a corner in late July and turned a decent start against the Cubs and an excellent one against the White Sox during the A’s visit to Chicago earlier this month.

This brings us to tonight’s starter. Tanner Roark, who was given the unenviable task of going up against Jutin Verlander. The A’s righty took the mound with a 1-1, 2.31 ERA record since joining the team, which is pretty close to his lifetime numbers of 2-0, 2.53 ERA against the Astros. Verlander, at 15-4, 2.82 ERA, is a strong contender for the Cy Young Award this year and has a good shot at making the Hall of Fame after he retires. At game time, he was 2-0, 0.64 ERA (yes, 0.64 ERA) against Oakland this season.

The teams traded zeroes and Ks for the first three innings, with Verlander striking out seven of the nine Athletics he faced (the two others flew out) and Roark fanning three of his 11 opponents.

Houston fell victim to The Curse of the Lead-Off Double in the top of the fourth, with Roark working his way out of trouble after Michael Bradley’s opposite field two bagger against the shift. But the A’s hurler had, by then, thrown 79 pitches. He also helped his own cause by making a couple of spiffy plays on balls hit sharply to the mound.

Oakland suffered a similar fate in its half of the frame when Marcus Semien led off the inning with a double off the center field wall but was stranded on third when Josh Reddick corralled Matt Olson’s fly to the warning track just in front of the 367 foot sign in right.

Mark Canha finally broke the tie in bottom of the fifth by blasting a 2-2, 95 mph Verlander four seamer into the left centerfield stands for his 18th round tripper of the season.

In their next turn at the plate, the Astros erased Oakland’s slim lead with another double–not a lead off one–by Brantley, a walk to Alex Bregman, a single by Yordan Alvarez, and Carlos Correa’s sacrifice fly to right. They went on to take the lead when Yuri Gurriel’s single to right center drove in Bergman from second. Canha came through defensively to compliment his dinger by throwing Gurriel out at second trying to stretch his hit.

It didn’t take the A’s long to catch up in their half of the sixth. With one out, Semien deposited a 2-2 pitch, a ninety-four mph, four-seam fast ball, over the Xfinity sign in right centerfield for his 20th dinger of the year.

Roark didn’t come out for the seventh, leaving after having thrown 102 pitches, 62 of them strikes. He allowed two runs, both earned, on six hits, and three walks. He symmetrically struck out three.

Melvin entrusted the inning to Blake Treinan, who promptly allowed a single to Robinson Chirinos to open the frame. Treinen then got Reddick to pop out to Olson and struck out Springer and Altuve on full counts.

Treinen’s succcessor, Jake Diekman, yielded a two-out double to rookie sensation Alvarez, but escaped the eighth without allowing a run.

Verlander’s work was over, having hurled 101 pitches (70 strikes) in seven innings, during which he gave up two runs (both earned) on four hits, which included a home run, and struck out 11 without allowing a walk. His replacement, Ryan Pressly, did, however, allow a base on balls, and it almost cost the Astros dearly. Semien got the pass and, with two out, stole second, advancing to third after Chirinos’s throw went into center field for an error. But Pressly dealt with the threat by getting Robbie Grossman to ground out to first, unassisted.

In the top of the ninth, it was another of the A’s bullpen question marks’ chance to preserve the tie. Joakim Soria set down Houston to a conga beat, 1-2-3. A.J. Hinch called on his closer, Roberto Osuna, to do the same to Oakland in bottom of the inning. He did, and the game went into extra innings with Soria back on the hill for the Green and Gold. He got the first two Astros he faced, K’ing Springer and getting Altuve to fly out to Piscotty in right. Then Brantley’s bouncer to Joseph in the shift at second went through the fielder’s legs for an error. He moved up to second when Soria walked Bregman on four pitches. Aledymas Díaz pinch hit for Jake Marisnick, who had pinch run for the DH Alvarez after his eighth inning double. Soria struck him out.

Enter Will Harris to pitch the last of the 10th for the visitors and to set down the home team in order. Lou. Trivino came in for the Houston half of the 11th, and the A’s erstwhile stellar set up man also had a 1-2-3 inning, as did Joe Smith in the bottom the frame for Houston.

Trivino gave up a two-out single up the middle to Altuve in the top of the 12th, but Brantley’s grounder to Olson, unassisted, put an end to the threat, such as it was.

Matt Chapman greeted Houston’s new pitcher, Hector Rondón with a first pitch double to center. He advanced to third on Olson’s slow grounder to Bregman. Chapman tried to score on Davis’s grounder to Correa, but was caught in a rundown between third and home, while the A’s DH made it to second, where Profar ran for him. Canha legged out a single to short, and Profar moved on to third. Piscotty, who was 0-for-4, came to the plate and grounded out to short.

Melvin kept Trivino on the mound for his third inning, the 13th. He struck out Bregman and Díaz. Then, with the count at 3-2, Correa hit a scorcher down the third base line that skipped past Chapman for a questionably scored two base error. After the A’s conceded a walk to Gurriel, Chirinos forced him at second on a ground ball to Semien. To the surprise of some of us in the press box, Houston chose not to request a review of the play, but instead brought in Cy Snead to pitch the bottom of the inning.

Joseph greeted him with a slicing single to left. Chris Herrmann sacrifice bunted him into scoring position. After Semien struck out, Hinch made another negative decision, not to walk Grossman and face Chapman. Grossman, batting from his strong side, laced a single to center, scoring Joseph. It was Grosman’s first career walk off hit.

The well deserved win went to Lou Trivino, who, in three innings, allowed only one walk, which was declared, or intentional, or whatever it’s called under the new rules, and struck out four Astros. His record now stands at 4-5. Snead took the loss.

The A’s now trail Houston 7 1/2 games in the division pennant race and are only a 1/2 game behind Tampa Bay for a play off spot.

Tomorrow afternoon’s game will feature Chris Bassitt (8-5, 3.56 ERA) against an unnamed Houston starter.

A’s make it three wins in a row over the Tigers with a 4-1 victory on Saturday

Graphic/Photo: @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics would be very happy to play the Detroit Tigers every day for the rest of the season. On Saturday afternoon in Detroit, the A’s defeated the Tigers for the 15th consecutive time. That winning streak dates back to May 6, 2017, which means Oakland has not lost a game to Detroit in over two years. That is nothing short of incredible.

The Mustached One wants to stay in Oakland

The pitcher with the handlebar mustache — Daniel Mengden — made his second start of the season for the A’s on Saturday. He made it a quality start by working seven complete innings. Mengden allowed one run (earned) off three hits. He struck out five Detroit hitters while walking just two batters.

Mengden threw 95 pitches (62 strikes) en route to his first win of the 2019 season. This outstanding performance may have earned Mengden a regular spot in the A’s starting rotation.

Lou Trivino relieved Mengden in the eighth inning and held the lead for the starter. Trivino allowed no runs and gave up just one hit.

Blake Treinen came on in the ninth inning to close it out for Oakland. He did not allow the Tigers to score and gave up just one hit. He also struck out one batter. Treinen earned his seventh save of the season.

Graphic/Photo: @Athletics

The A’s scored first and never looked back

The Athletics put the first runs up on the board in the top of the third inning when Nick Hundley hit a home run to right field with Profar on base to give his team a 2-0 lead. Ultimately, that would be all the runs Oakland would need to win the game, but they were not done scoring for the day.

In the top the fifth inning, Jurickson Profar hit his fifth double of the year to left field that drove Robbie Grossman home to score the A’s third run of the contest.

Chad Pinder put the icing on the cake in the top of the seventh inning when he hit his fifth home run of the year to left center field to give the A’s a 4-1 lead.

The Tigers scored their only run in the fourth inning when Ronny Rodriguez scored on a wild pitch thrown by Mengden.

Boyd took the loss for the Tigers

Graphic/Photo: @Tigers

Matthew Boyd made the start for Detroit and he was hung with the loss. Boyd worked 6.1-innings giving up four runs (all earned) on seven hits. He struck out eight Oakland hitters, but he also allowed two home runs.

Boyd’s record now stands at 4-4 for the season.

Season Series Finale on Sunday

The A’s and Tigers will wrap up their 2019 season series on Sunday in Detroit. Former Tigers pitcher Mike Fiers (3-3) will take the ball for the A’s while LHP Gregory Soto (0-2) gets the call to the mound for the Tigers. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 AM Pacific Daylight Savings Time.

Mariners nip the A’s 4-3 to sweep the 2-game series

photo from 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.

Jerry Feitelberg is the Oakland A’s beat reporter for