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

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Davis, Athletics power past Orioles

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 

The Oakland Athletics defeated the Baltimore Orioles for a second straight game with a five-homer attack, including two from Khris Davis. The final score was 8-3 on Thursday afternoon at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 

Josh Phegley, Kendrys Morales and Marcus Semien also went yard for the Athletics, who hit 14 home runs in taking three out of four from the Orioles. 

Aaron Brooks picked up his second win of the season. He allowed three runs on three hits, walked three and struck out three in six-plus innings. Blake Trenien struck out two in the ninth for his fourth save. 

Dylan Bundy suffered his first loss. He gave up six runs on seven hits, including four homers, walked none and struck out eight over five-plus innings. 

The Orioles got off to a positive start. Dwight Smith Jr. homered with one out in the bottom of the first. The 90.7 mph fastball in the middle of the zone exited at a velocity of 107.4 mph and traveled a projected distance of 440 feet. 

After fanning five in the first three innings, Bundy ran into trouble in the fourth. Semien led off with a double and scored on Davis’ first homer of the day. Bundy left a fastball in the bottom of the zone and Davis deposited it over the left-center field fence. 

Oakland got some breathing room with two runs in the fifth. Ramon Laureano led off with a single and Phegley followed with his third homer of the season. 

The A’s finally chased Bundy from the game in the sixth. Davis opened the inning by crushing his second homer to left field and Morales followed with his first round-tripper of the season to right-center field. 

Chad Pinder greeted new reliever Josh Lucas with a single to center and advanced to third when Cedric Mullins misplayed the ball. Jurickson Profar hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Pinder. 

The gift run turned out to be enormous because Baltimore scored four times in the bottom of the seventh. Rio Ruiz walked. Renato Nunez reached on a single when Ramon Laureano lost his fly ball in the sun. 

J.B. Wendelken relieved Brooks and retired none of the two batters he faced. He walked Chris Davis to load the bases and hit Pedro Severino in the helmet with a curve to force in a run.  

Lou Trivino replaced Wendelken. After he got Richie Martin to pop out, he threw a wild pitch to score the second run. Mullins plated the third run with a groundout to first. Smith drove in the fourth run with a double to right. 

It looked as if the Orioles would get at least one more run, but Stephen Piscotty made a diving catch while running to his left to rob Jonathan Villar of an extra-base hit. 

Joakim Soria came on to pitch the eighth. The Orioles got two on with one out, but Davis struck out and Jesus Sucre flied out to right. 

Oakland added an insurance run with one out in the ninth on Semien’s third homer of the season. Blake Treinen struck out two in the bottom half to pick up his fourth save. 

The A’s are headed for Arlington for a three-game weekend series against the Texas Rangers, who Davis rakes against.

In 203 career at-bats against the Rangers, Davis owns a slash line of .305/.388/.783 with 28 home runs and 64 RBIs. In 108 career at-bats at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Davis owns a slash line of .333/.400/.843 with 15 homers and 32 RBIs.

While Khris is on a hot streak, Chris went 0-for-3 to extend his hitless streak to MLB-record 53 at-bats. Davis lined out to Laureano, who made a leaping catch at the warning track in center, in the second inning. The ball exited at a velocity of 105.1 mph and had an expected batting average of .650. Davis grounded out to Semien in the fourth.

WP: Aaron Brooks (2-1, 4.24) 

LP: Dylan Bundy (0-1,8.76) 

S: Blake Treinen (4, 1.00) 

Time: 2:50 

Attendance: 8,374 

Record: 9-8 

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Anderson shuts down Angels, Athletics win 4-2

The Oakland Athletics might not need to deploy the opener strategy if their starting pitchers continue to perform as they have in the first three games against the Los Angeles Angels. 

Brett Anderson pitched six scoreless innings, leading the A’s to a 4-2 victory over their Orange County rivals on Saturday night at the Oakland Coliseum. 

Player of the game: Brett Anderson

Anderson invited trouble when he walked the first batter of the game, Zack Cozart, but retired Mike Trout on a groundout, Andrelton Simmons and Albert Pujols on fly outs.

Anderson walked the leadoff batter once again in the second inning and followed by giving up a single to put two runners on with no outs. But he managed to escape unscathed when Kole Calhoun grounded into a force out, Peter Bourjos struck out and David Fletcher flew out to left.

Anderson was not in a giving mood for the rest of the game. He allowed only a one-out double to Trout in the third and a two-out single to Pujols in the sixth.

The final line for Anderson: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

In 18 innings, the trio of Anderson, Mike Fiers and Marco Estrada has allowed just six hits and seven walks, while striking out nine.

Bullpen: Took care of business

J.B. Wendelken relieved Anderson in the seventh and retired the side in order on just nine pitches. He started the eighth and that’s when things got dicey. 

Fletcher reached first base on an error by Jurickson Profar. Cozart doubled to put runners on second and third. The dangerous Trout hit a sacrifice fly that scored Fletcher and moved Cozart to third. Simmons singled home Cozart to make it a 4-2 game. 

Oakland manager Bob Melvin knew it was time to unleash Blake Treinen. Treinen gave up a single to Pujols to put runners at the corners with one out. Simmons had moved to second base on a passed ball. Treinen then fell behind Bour 3-0, but recovered to struck him out looking on a borderline pitch. Treinen then got Lucroy to pop up to Profar to end the threat.

Los Angeles went quietly in the ninth as Treinen picked up his first save.

Offense: Clutch two-out hits 

Angels starter Felix Pena retired the first eight batters, but Josh Phegley and Robbie Grossman hit back-to-back singles. Pena plunked Matt Chapman to load the bases. Stephen Piscotty made Pena pay for the two-out mistakes by lining a two-run single to center. 

Pena issued a leadoff walk to Morales in the fourth. After two fly outs, it looks as if Pena would escape trouble. But he threw a fastball right down the middle to Mark Canha. One swing and a bat flip later, Oakland had doubled its lead to 4-0. It was Canha’s first start of the season and he capitalized on the opportunity. The homer turned out to be the last pitch for Pena.

WP: Brett Anderson (1-0, 0.00) 

LP: Felix Pena (0-1, 9.82) 

S: Blake Treinen (1, 0.00) 

Time: 2:42 

Attendance: 16,051 

Record: 2-3

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