Athletics hit five HRs in a 17-3 rout over Tigers

DETROIT, MI – MAY 16: Jurickson Profar #23 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates his grand slam against the Detroit Tigers with Stephen Piscotty #25 of the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at Comerica Park on May 16, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

The Oakland Athletics needed a laugher on the road and they got it on Thursday afternoon in Detroit. 

Oakland pounded out five home runs in a 17-3 rout over the Tigers at Comerica Park. The A’s won for just the sixth time in 21 games on the road. 

Jurickson Profar led the way with his first career grand slam. Marcus Semien crushed a three-run homer . Josh Phegley and Mark Canha blasted two-run homers. Matt Olson added a solo shot. 

Chris Bassitt worked a career-high-tying eight shutout innings to pick up his second win of the season. He allowed four hits, walked two and struck out seven. Bassitt lowered his ERA to 1.93 in five starts since being called up in April 17. 

Spencer Turnbull suffered his third loss. He allowed six runs on five hits, walked two and struck out six in four innings. But only one of the runs were earned. The A’s added 11 runs off the Tigers bullpen, including two against second baseman Brandon Dixon. 

The Tigers wasted the game’s first scoring opportunity in the second inning. 

Ronny Rodriguez tripled with one out, but was thrown out by Matt Chapman trying to score on a Josh Harrison grounder to the edge of the infield grass. 

The A’s took advantage of their scoring opportunity in the third. 

Robbie Grossman led off with a triple and scored on an RBI single by Phegley on the next pitch. After Semien grounded into a forceout, Chapman walked on five pitches. 

Olson followed with a grounder to Niko Goodrum at first base, but Goodrum threw wild to second trying to start an inning-ending double play and the bases were loaded. 

After striking out Davis for the second out, Turnbull threw a wild pitch on a 2-1 count to Stephen Piscotty, allowing Semien to race home for the second run. 

After walking Piscotty on the next pitch to reload the base, Turnbull tried to get ahead of Profar with a curve on the first pitch.

But it was a hanger and Profar deposited it into the right field bleachers for a 6-0 Oakland lead.

The farthest (419 feet) and highest exit velocity (105.9) of the homers belonged to Canha off Dixon, who was making his third career pitching appearance. Dixon had worked 1.1 perfect innings as a member of the Cincinnati Reds last season.

The bottom four of the order (Profar, Ramon Laureano, Grossman, Phegley) were a combined 9-of-19 with seven runs and 10 RBIs. The A’s now have seven players with five or more home runs and six with 20 or more RBIs.

While the A’s were raking, Bassitt was cruising against Detroit. He did not allow a runner to reach second base after the second inning. 

Bassitt threw 69 of 105 pitches for strikes. He threw 39 sinkers, 33 four-seamers, 14 cutters, 12 curves and 3 changeups. Bassitt generated 21 called strikes and just nine swinging strikes. 

Dawel Lugo broke the shutout with a two-out, three-run homer off Aaron Brooks in the bottom of the ninth. It was the second career homer for Lugo, who was recalled from Triple-A Toledo earlier in the morning. The 24-year-old was the 17th-ranked prospect in the Tigers farm system. 

WP: Chris Bassitt (2-1, 1.93) LP: Spencer Turnbull (2-3, 2.40) 

Time: 2:55 Attendance: 18,527 Record: 20-25 


Takeaways from Athletics’ 6-4 loss to Pirates

PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 04: Felipe Vazquez #73 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Francisco Cervelli #29 after the final out in a 6-4 win over the Oakland Athletics at PNC Park on May 4, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

The Oakland Athletics continue a dreadful road trip with a 6-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night at a rainy PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

The Athletics have lost seven of the first eight games on the nine-game road trip.

Oakland got to Pirates starter Trevor Williams for three runs with a two-out rally in the first inning.

Matt Chapman doubled and scored on a single by Khris Davis. Davis scored on an unlikely triple by Kendrys Morales. Morales hit a line drive that got past right fielder Gregory Polanco for his seventh career three-bagger and first since Sept. 20, 2015. Morales scored on a bloop single by Stephen Piscotty.

But the Oakland offense scored only one run for the rest of the game and it cost them.

The Pirates scored one in the second on a homer by Josh Bell, two on a two-run no-doubter by Bell in the third and went ahead in the seventh. 

Bell leads Pittsburgh with eight home runs and 25 RBIs. The next closest on the team is Jung Ho Kang with four homers and Starling Marte with 12 RBIs.

The A’s regained the lead on an RBI single by Davis in the fifth. Although Davis hasn’t homered in 17 straight games, he is 7-for-24 with four RBIs, two doubles and five walks in the last six games.

Chris Bassitt started for Oakland and allowed three runs on five hits, walked two and struck out six in five innings.

The homers Bassitt gave up to Bell were on an 86.4 mph cutter on the inner part of the plate and a 93.2 mph sinker right down the middle. The latter traveled a projected distance of 451 feet.

The Pirates loaded the bases off Liam Hendriks with one out in the sixth, but Hendriks struck out pinch-hitter Kang and got a pop out from Adam Frazier.

J.B. Wendelken was called upon to face the heart of the Pirates’ order in the bottom of the seventh.

Wendelken suffered the loss after allowing three runs on four hits. Kevin Newman hit a go-ahead two-run, opposite field triple. Francisco Cervelli added an insurance run with an RBI single to left. The runs came with two outs.

Wendelken threw 16 of 24 pitches for strikes. He generated just two called strikes and two swinging strikes.

After giving up six runs in the last two appearances spanning 1.2 innings, Wendelken’s ERA stands at 5.85. 

Even though it was just the seventh, the A’s needed their best arm on the mound and that is Lou Trivino. Trivino is well rested after coming off a right thumb injury. He might have been able to pitch two innings.

If Trivino pitches just one inning, Joakim Soria and Blake Treinen were available in the pen.

Soria has allowed just one run in the last seven innings. If Soria ran into any trouble at all with the bottom of the order, Treinen would have been available for a four or five-out save. Treinen hasn’t pitched since Sunday.

Update: It turned out Treinen wasn’t available because of elbow discomfort, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

It makes more sense now. Trivino was going to be the closer.

The Pirates picked up outfielder Bryan Reynolds and pitcher Kyle Crick from the San Francisco Giants in the Andrew McCutchen trade prior to last season. Both played important roles in the game.

Rookie Reynolds went 2-for-3 and now has a 11-game hitting streak to begin his career, tying Polanco for the longest in Pirates history.

The 24-year-old owns a slash line of .417/.447/.667 with one homer and four RBIs in 36 at-bats. The Giants sure could use Reynolds in their lineup.

Crick retired the side in order on nine pitches in the eighth to pick up his third hold of the season. The 26-year-old is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA and 0.67 WHIP in 10 games this season. 

Felipe Vazquez pitched the ninth for his ninth save of the season.

Oakland Rookie Skye Bolt picked up his first major league hit with a double off the 21-foot fence in right. Bolt thought he had homered and went into a slow trot before speeding up to reach second base just ahead of the throw from Polanco.

There were no delays despite steady rain throughout the game.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was pushing hard for the winning runs in the middle innings that the backup catcher was the only position player left by the time the seventh inning rolled along. Hurdle had to sent pitcher Joe Musgrove up to bat.

Musgrove laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line for his first hit of the season.

Oakland will try to salvage the final game of the trip on Sunday afternoon. Frankie Montas (4-2, 2.97) will oppose Jordan Lyles (2-1, 2.42).

WP: Michael Feliz (1-0, 0.00)
LP: J.B. Wendelken (0-1, 5.85)
S: Felipe Vazquez (9, 0.61)
Time: 3:08
Attendance: 26,447
Record: 15-20


Drury, Smoak lift Blue Jays over Athletics in extras

TORONTO, ON – APRIL 28: Justin Smoak #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays is congratulated by teammates after driving in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the eleventh inning during MLB game action against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on April 28, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

It was a lost weekend north of the border for the Oakland Athletics.

The Toronto Blue Jays scored four runs in the bottom of the 11th to stun the Athletics 5-4 on Sunday afternoon at the Rogers Centre.

Oakland scored three times in their half to take a 4-1 lead. But Blake Treinen gave up a game-tying three-run homer to Brandon Drury with one out in the bottom half and a walk-off single to Justin Smoak four batters later.

Toronto swept the six-game season series by the cumulative score of 36-13. The Jays allowed only one home run to Oakland in 56 innings.

Rookie Elvis Luciano got the last out in the top of the 11th to pick up his first major league win. Treinen suffered his second loss.

Chris Bassitt started for Oakland and pitched seven strong innings. The 30-year-old allowed one run on three hits, walked none and struck out nine. Bassitt threw 70 of 103 pitches for strikes and induced eight groundouts to two flyouts.

The only mistake Bassitt made all day was leaving a cutter over the heart of the plate on the fourth pitch of the game to Eric Sogard, who launched it into the visitors bullpen for a leadoff homer.

The A’s will lament the fact that they scored only one run against rookie starter Trent Thornton, who struggled with command.

Thornton walked five in five innings, but gave up just two hits. Thornton helped his cause by allowing the lead-off batter to reach base only once in five innings.

That was in the first when Marcus Semien led off with a single. The A’s loaded the bases with two outs, but Thornton struck out Chad Pinder.

The second hit belonged to Khris Davis and tied the game at 1-1 in the third. Matt Chapman walked with one out. Davis followed with a double down the left-field line to drive in Chapman.

Thornton threw just 56 of 103 pitches for strikes.

The game stay tied until the top of the 11th when Oakland pushed across three runs off Thomas Pannone.

Pannone issued a dreaded lead-off walk to Stephen Piscotty. After Pinder flew out, Piscotty went first to third on a single by Kendrys Morales.

Ramon Laureano drove in Piscotty with a sacrifice fly to deep center. Josh Phegley drove in Morales with a double off the left-field wall.

Pannone loaded the bases by issuing two walks, one intentionally. This was the end of the line for Pannone.

Elvis Luciano was called upon and forced in a run by hitting Chapman on the elbow.

But Treinen couldn’t protect the lead in his second inning of work.

Rowdy Tellez opened by hitting a double off the top of the left-field wall. Alen Hanson walked on five pitches. After Billy McKinney grounded into a force out, Treinen left a 95.8 mph sinker in the middle of the zone that Drury did not miss.

All four of Drury’s home runs this season have come against Oakland.

The Jays weren’t finished yet. Freddy Galvis lined a single to right. Danny Jansen walked on five pitches. After Sogard flew out, Smoak sent everyone home on a 1-0 pitch.

Treinen allowed four runs on five hits, walked two and struck out one in 1.1 innings. He threw just 21 of 39 pitches for strikes and generated just three swinging strikes.

The A’s were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left 12 on base.

WP: Elvis Luciano (1-0, 4.50)
LP: Blake Treinen (1-2, 3.00)
Time: 3:57
Attendance: 18,557
Record: 14-16


Bassitt, Piscotty lead Athletics over Rangers

OAKLAND, CA – APRIL 22: Chris Bassitt #40 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Texas Rangers in the top of the first inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on April 22, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Chris Bassitt was just what the doctor ordered for the Oakland Athletics. 

Behind the arm of Bassitt and the bat of Stephen Piscotty, the Athletics defeated the Texas Rangers 6-1 Monday night at the Oakland Coliseum. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Oakland. 

Bassitt made his season debut and allowed two hits, walked four and struck out seven in five scoreless innings. Piscotty went 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs. 

With Mike Fiers struggling and injuries to Marco Estrada and Brett Anderson, Oakland needed a solid outing from Bassitt and the 30-year-old delivered. 

Bassitt saved his best for last. He finished his outing by striking out Elvis Andrus, Rangers’ top hitter, with runners on second and third.

Piscotty put Oakland on the board with one out in the second inning by hitting his fourth homer of the season off starter Mike Minor. The solo shot snapped a string of 31.1 homerless innings for the A’s. Minor left a 94.1 mph fastball down Hegenberger and Piscotty launched it over the center field wall. 

The A’s scored in back-to-back innings for the first time in eight days. Josh Phegley led off the third with a double. After a groundout, Mark Canha singled to advance Phegley to third. Matt Chapman drove in Phegley with a sacrifice fly. 

Oakland added two runs in the sixth. With one out, Minor issued back-to-back walks to Chapman and Khris Davis. Chad Pinder drove in Chapman with a first-pitch double inside the third base bag. Piscotty drove in Davis with a sacrifice fly to center. The out might have gone for extra bases had Delino DeShields not make a running catch in full sprint. 

Minor suffered his second loss. He allowed four runs on four hits, walked three and struck out four in six innings. 

The Rangers scored their lone run in the seventh off Ryan Dull, who was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier in the day. Jeff Mathis led off by laying down a perfect bunt for a single. After a flyout and a single by Shin-Soo Choo, Dull was replaced by J.B. Wendelken. 

Wendelken got Danny Santana to lineout, but pinch-hitter Patrick Wisdom lined a double down the left field line that score Mathis. Wisdom was pinch-hitting for Andrus, who finally couldn’t continue after being hit on the right hand by a pitch in the first inning. Wendelken limited the damage to just one run when he induced a groundout from Nomar Mazara. 

Oakland added two insurance runs in the eighth. With two outs and runners on first and second, Piscotty lined a single to right for the first run. The second run came in when DeShields misplayed the ball. 

Joakim Soria and Fernando Rodney pitched the eighth and ninth inning, respectively, for Oakland. WIth his 907th appearance, Rodney took sole possession of 24th place all-time. 

WP: Chris Bassitt (1-0, 0.00) 

LP: Mike Minor (2-2, 3.21) 

Time: 2:48 

Attendance: 8,073 

Record: 12-13