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.
Blake Treinen was unavailable today with elbow discomfort and he is unlikely to be available tomorrow. He will get checked out Monday at home. Not a great development for the A’s, obviously.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) May 5, 2019
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)