Chapman hits walk-off HR in 12th, Athletics win 4-3

OAKLAND, CA – MAY 10: Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics swings and watches the flight of his ball as he hits a solo walk-off home run to defeat the Cleveland Indians 4-3 in the bottom of the 12th inning at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 10, 2019 in Oakland, California. The Athletics won the game 4-3. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Matt Chapman can add a walk-off homer to his growing list of achievements. 

Chapman’s blast leading off the bottom of the 12th inning gave the Oakland Athletics a 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night at the Oakland Coliseum. 

It was Chapman’s first career walk-off hit and he accomplished it against one of the best pitchers in Brad Hand. 

Hand came in with 10 saves and a minuscule 1.08 ERA. Batters were slashing just .155/.234/.207 with 24 strikeouts, including 18 by right-handed batters. 

But Hand mislocated a 3-2 slider on the inner part of the plate and Chapman crushed it over the left field wall. The ball traveled a projected distance of 427 feet. 

Joakim Soria pitched two perfect innings to pick up his first win of the season. After a rough start, Soria has given up just one run in his last 12 innings. Hand suffered his second loss.

Oakland received another solid start from Frankie Montas. Montas allowed two runs on eight hits, walked one and struck out seven. 

Montas threw 64 of 97 pitches for strikes. He generated 15 swinging strikes. The 26-year-old’s ERA stands at 2.78 after eight starts. 

Cody Anderson made his second start for Cleveland and lasted just three innings. The 28-year-old allowed two runs on three hits, walked three and struck out three. 

After being shut out by the other Ohio team on Thursday afternoon, Oakland scored a run off Anderson in the opening inning.

Marcus Semien led off with a double and advanced to third on a ground out by Jurickson Profar. After Chapman popped out, Anderson gifted Oakland a run on a wild pitch. 

Montas couldn’t deliver a shutdown inning as the Indians scored two runs to take the lead. 

Former Athletic Carlos Gonzalez opened with a double and scored on another double by Jake Bauers. Bauers scored on a double-play grounder by Kevin Plawecki a batter later. 

Anderson couldn’t deliver a shutdown inning either as Oakland tied the game with a two-run rally. Robbie Grossman doubled and scored on a single by Josh Phegley. Phegley leads the AL with 22 RBIs. 

The game stay tied until the bottom of the sixth when Ramon Laureano took Neil Ramirez deep for his fourth homer of the season. 

Ramirez threw an 84.1 mph slider over the outer part of the plate and Laureano crushed it over the center field wall. The ball traveled a project distance of 408 feet.

OAKLAND, CA – MAY 10: Ramon Laureano #22 of the Oakland Athletics trots around the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Cleveland Indians in the bottom of the six inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 10, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Lou Trivino relieved Montas in the seventh, but could not deliver a shutdown inning as he often does.  

Plawecki led off with a double, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Leonys Martin and scored on a sacrifice fly by Francisco Lindor. Plawecki slid home just ahead of a perfect throw from Grossman in medium left. 

Trivino gave up a single to Jason Kipnis and a walk to Jose Ramirez, but got Carlos Santana to fly out to keep the game tied. 

Oakland couldn’t push a run across despite leadoff singles in both the eighth and the ninth. 

Ryan Buchter, Blake Treinen and Soria followed Trivino and retired all 15 batters they faced on 52 pitches. 

Treinen passed Hall-of-Famer Rollie Fingers to set a new Oakland A’s reliever record with 32 consecutive scoreless innings at home. 

The Indians bullpen retired nine batters in a row before Chapman’s heroics off Hand. 

WP: Joakim Soria (1-2, 4.66) LP: Brad Hand (2-2, 1.62) 

Time: 3:41

Record 18-22

Attendance: 36,913

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Athletics end Astros’ 10-game win streak with 2-1 win

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 17: Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by Stephen Piscotty #25 after he hit a home run off of Wade Miley #20 of the Houston Astros in the sixth inning at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on April 17, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Oakland Athletics finally got off the schneid against the Houston Astros. 

Riding the arm of Frankie Montas and the bat of Matt Chapman, the Athletics defeated the Astros 2-1 on Wednesday night at the Oakland Coliseum.

The A’s earned a split in the brief two-game series and ended the Astros’ 10-game win streak. It was also Oakland’s first win in five tries against Houston this season.

Montas went 6.1 innings for his third win of the season. He allowed one run on three hits, walked two and struck out six. Montas threw 58 of 88 pitches for strikes and induced eight groundouts to only one flyout. 

Wade Miley pitched well for Houston in defeat, giving up two runs on four hits in six innings. But he made one more mistake than Montas and it was the go-ahead homer by Chapman in the sixth.  

Miley left an 86.5 mph cutter on the inner part of the plate and Chapman crushed it into the left-field bleachers. The ball exited at a velocity of 111.5 mph and traveled a distance of 441 feet. 

The first run for Oakland came in the second inning. With one out, Mark Canha doubled down the left field line. After a groundout, Jurickson Profar lined one just under the glove of Alex Bregman and down the left field line for another double to drive Canha in.

The Astros didn’t get their first hit until one out in the fifth when Yuli Gurriel lined a single to center. Houston’s lone run came in the sixth.

Montas issued a walk to George Springer with one out. An errant pick-off throw advanced Springer to second. After striking out Jose Altuve, Montas walked Bregman.

Michael Brantley drove Springer in with the tying run by hitting a grounder on the first pitch through the shortstop hole created by a defensive shift. Montas regrouped and retired Carlos Correa on a force out to end the threat.

Chapman led off the bottom half with his sixth homer of the season and that was all she wrote.

Montas went back out for the seventh and allowed a one-out single to Josh Reddick. This was the end of a great night for Montas. Lou Trivino came on and protected the lead with two strikeouts.

Trivino went on to retire the side in order in the eighth. Blake Treinen gave up a leadoff walk and a one-out single in the ninth, but got Reddick to pop out and struck out Robinson Chirinos to end the game.

Trivino and Treinen combined to throw 33 of 43 pitches for strikes. 

WP: Frankie Montas (3-1, 2.70) 

LP: Wade Miley (1-2, 3.32) 

S: Blake Treinen (6, 0.79) 

Time: 2:29 

Attendance: 11,323 

Record: 11-10 

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Athletics rally from 6-1 down to beat Rangers 8-6, Davis homers again

Once Khris Davis gets on a roll, he really gets on a roll. 

Davis crushed a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning and the Oakland Athletics rallied from five runs down to beat the Texas Rangers 8-6 on Friday night at Globe Life Park in Arlington. It was Davis’ MLB-leading 10th homer and fifth in three games. 

Ramon Laureano also homered for the A’s, who won their fourth in a row. 

Lou Trivino pitched 1.1 innings to pick up his first win. Chris Martin gave up the homer to Davis and suffered his first loss. Blake Treinen got four outs for his fifth save. 

After rallying from eight runs down in the seventh to beat the Rangers last July, the A’s had to come back from only five down in the sixth this time around. 

Shin-Soo Choo and Logan Forsythe hit back-to-back doubles off starter Mike Fiers to lead off the bottom of the first. Elvis Andrus drove Choo in with a single. Nomar Mazara plated Forsythe with a ground out. 

Oakland pulled a run back with a two-out rally off starter Drew Smyly in the second. Stephen Piscotty singled to center. Jurickson Profar, in his first at-bat in Arlington as a visitor, scored Piscotty with a double down the left field line. 

The Rangers took a 3-1 lead on Asdrubal Cabrera’s fourth homer of the season. They added three more in the fifth as Andrus hit a three-run homer off a mislocated fastball to right-center field. 

Drew Smyly was cruising until the sixth. Josh Phegley opened the inning with a single. Marcus Semien and Mark Canha both walked to load the bases. This was the end of the line for Smyly, who was making his third start since returning from Tommy John Surgery. 

Former Athletic Jesse Chavez came on and Matt Chapman greeted him with a two-run single down the right field line.

Davis followed with a grounder to Cabrera at third. Cabrera threw home, but Canha scored when the ball hit him in the back. Chapman tried to advance to third on the play, but was thrown out by Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

Pinder hit into a force out. But Piscotty came through with a run-scoring double to make it a one-run game.

The A’s tied the game on Laureano’s lead-off homer in the seventh off former Athletic Shawn Kelley. Kelley left a fastball belt-high on the outer part of the plate and Laureano launched it into the Rangers bullpen in right-center field. 

The moment of the game occurred with one out in the top of the eighth and came courtesy of Davis. Martin tried to steal a strike with a curve, but hung it in the middle of the zone and Davis crushed it over the center field fence. The ball exited at a velocity of 106.2 mph and traveled a projected distance of 426 feet. 

Davis continues his mastery of Rangers pitching.  In 207 career at-bats, Davis now has 29 homers and 66 RBIs. In 112 career at-bats at Globe Life Park, Davis now has 16 homers and 34 RBIs. 

The A’s added an insurance run on three consecutive singles to open the ninth. 

WP: Lou Trivino (1-0, 1.64) 

LP: Chris Martin (0-1, 5.40) 

S: Blake Treinen (5, 0.87) 

Time: 3:16 

Attendance: 24,817 

Record: 10-8 

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Astros walk-off on Athletics, complete sweep

It was a lost weekend in Houston for the Oakland Athletics. 

Blake Treinen walked Jose Altuve with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, and the Astros completed a sweep with a 9-8 victory on Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.

The A’s got off to a promising start. 

Robbie Grossman led off with a single off Brad Peacock to center. Matt Chapman chopped one in the infield that eluded the glove of third baseman Alex Bregman and went through to short left field for another single. Stephen Piscotty walked to load the bases. 

Peacock got a temporary reprieve when Kendrys Morales lined out to Jose Altuve, who threw to second to double off Chapman. But Chad Pinder came through with a two-run double that hit the beam supporting the roof on the fair side.

The lead would not stand for long as the Astros scored five times off Mike Fiers in the bottom half. After striking out George Springer on three pitches, Fiers walked Altuve and gave up three straight singles that tied the game. 

There would have been a fourth straight hit and two more runs scored if Piscotty had not caught Josh Reddick’s fly ball down the right field line with an all-or-nothing dive. 

After getting two strikes on Aledmys Diaz, it looked as if Fiers would escape with no further damage. But he mislocated an 0-2 fastball and Diaz hammered a three-run opposite-field homer. Piscotty tried for another spectacular catch, but the ball eluded his glove and landed in the first row.

Houston got two more runners on before Fiers was able to induced a groundout from Springer to finally end the inning.

The A’s pulled two runs back with a two-out rally in the next half-inning. After Josh Phegley singled to no man’s land in left-center field, Grossman launched a two-run homer to right field. 

But Fiers couldn’t deliver a shutdown inning. Altuve singled to deep short. Bregman popped out to third after a nine-pitch battle. Brantley singled to right. Carlos Correa struck out. Fiers then walked Reddick to load the bases and Diaz to force in a run.

The last two pitches to Diaz were closed enough to have been call strikes, but weren’t called by home plate umpire Marvin Hudson. This would be the end of the line for Fiers. 

J.B. Wendelken relieved Fiers and struck out Max Stassi to strand the bases loaded.

Final line for Fiers: 1.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO, 59 pitches.

Despite the poor outing, Fiers received a no-decision because he was picked up by the offense. The A’s scored four runs to take an 8-6 lead. 

Ramon Laureano singled with one out in the fourth and scored when Grossman lined a double on the left field foul line. 

Oakland scored two runs off Josh James to take the lead in the sixth. Again, it was Laureano who started the rally off with a single. Phegley followed with a two-run homer to the Crawford Boxes. 

The A’s took a two-run lead in the eighth when Chad Pinder homered just above the yellow line in left-center field. Astros challenged the call to no avail. 

Oakland might have had a chance for more breathing room. But Marcus Semien was thrown out trying to stretch a double down the right field line into a triple. Reddick threw to Correa, who made a perfect relay throw to Bregman, who tagged Semien on the thigh before he reached the bag. The A’s challenged the call to no avail.

The A’s received another scoring opportunity right away. Jurickson Profar was hit by a pitch, stole second and advanced to third on Stassi’s error. But Laureano hit a grounder to third and Profar was tagged out after a rundown.

Wendelken made Oakland’s comeback possible. He allowed one hit and struck out four in 3.1 innings. Joakim Soria pitched a scoreless sixth inning. 

Lou Trivino came on in the seventh and retired the first four batters he faced on 13 pitches. But he left a cutter on the inside part of the plate to Kemp, who hit it over the right field wall for his first home run of the season. 

Kemp has become a nemesis of the A’s. The 27-year-old outfielder owns a slash line of .341/.438/.756 with three home runs and eight RBIs in 41 career at-bats. 

Trivino, who had been unscored upon in his first eight innings, gave up a double to Springer and Treinen was called upon for a five-out save.

Altuve greeted Treinen with another infield single, advancing Springer to third. Springer scored the tying run when Bregman hit a sacrifice fly on the second pitch to medium center field. After an international pass was given to Michael Brantley, Correa grounded out to third to keep the game tied.

Treinen had not given up an earned run in the regular season since last August 23. But the streak ended in the bottom of the ninth.

Reddick led off with a walk. Hudson missed a 2-0 pitch that was clearly a strike. Diaz lined the first pitch he saw to left for a single. Robinson Chirinos bunted to Treinen, who picked up the ball and threw a strike to Chapman for a force out at third. But Kemp walked to load the bases. After striking out Springer, Treinen walked Altuve on four pitches to force in the winning run.

None of the pitches were close to being strikes.

WP: Roberto Osuna (1-0, 2.25) 

LP: Blake Treinen (0-1, 1.13) 

Time: 3:39 

Attendance: 34,902 

Record: 6-7 

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Laureano stuns Red Sox with another throw, A’s win 1-0

Ramon Laureano and the Oakland Athletics did it to Xander Bogaerts and the Boston Red Sox again.

Laureano threw Bogaerts out at third base in the top of the ninth inning to help the A’s defeat the defending world champions 1-0 on Tuesday night at the Oakland Coliseum.

Play of the night: Laureano nails Bogaerts at third

With one out in the ninth, Bogaerts sent a hanging slider from A’s closer Blake Treinen into deep right-center field. The ball missed being a homer by mere inches, bounced off the 15-foot wall and away from Laureano.

Laureano barehanded the ball in center and fired a one-hopper to Matt Chapman, who placed a great tag on Bogaerts’ left elbow for the out.

As they did on Monday night, the Red Sox challenged the call to no avail. Bogaerts pounded his right arm in disgust because he had hesitated coming out of the batter’s box and again when he was running around second base.

Player of the game: Mike Fiers 

The stunning throw preserved a win for Fiers, who pitched six innings for a second straight outing. He allowed five hits, walked none and struck out three. Fiers threw 57 of his 81 pitches for strikes and used an assortment of pitches. He threw 32 fastballs (39.5 percent), 21 curveballs (25.9 percent), 15 sliders (18.5 percent) and 13 changeups (16.0 percent). 

Oakland starters have allowed just one run in the last 38.2 innings. 

Bullpen: Lights out 

Ryan Buchter gave up a two-out double in the seventh, but struck out three batters, including all three left-handers he faced. Lou Trivino continued his hot start and retired the Red Sox on 11 pitches in the eighth. Treinen gave up a walk after the Laureano play, but struck out Brock Holt to end the game. 

The Oakland bullpen gave up two hits and struck out six in three innings. 

Offense: One run was enough 

The A’s needed only a run to win the game and they got it from Chapman in the bottom of the first inning. Chapman took the seventh pitch he saw from Red Sox starter Chris Sale and deposited it over the left field wall for his third homer of the season. The fastball came in belt-high at 88.8 mph and exited at a velocity of 103.0 mph. 

Sale did not make any more mistakes. He allowed only one runner to reach second base for the rest of his outing. Brandon Workman and Ryan Brasier worked the seventh and eighth inning, respectively.

Defense: Kendrys Morales shows off his skills at first

Morales made two key defensive plays. With one out and Rafael Devers on first base, Morales snagged a pick-off throw from catcher Josh Phegley that kept Devers at first base. The play turned out to be important because Mitch Moreland singled to right field a batter later.

In the fifth inning, Morales picked a one-hopper from Chapman that prevented the leadoff batter to reach.

Morales has filled in capably for Gold Glover Matt Olson.

WP: Mike Fiers (2-1, 3.00) 

LP: Chris Sale (0-2, 8.00) 

S: Blake Treinen (3, 0.00) 

Time: 2:42 

Attendance: 12,721  

Record: 5-3 

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Montas, Davis lead Athletics past Angels

The Oakland Athletics will be hard to beat this season if they continue to get quality start after quality start from their starting rotation. 

Frankie Montas allowed one run in six-plus innings, leading the A’s to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum. 

Player of the game: Frankie Montas 

Montas might have been the first Oakland starter in this series to give up a run, but he might have been the most impressive. After allowing a leadoff double and a hit-by-pitch to begin the game, Montas retired 17 straight batters before Kole Calhoun crushed a 440-foot home run to right center field with two outs in the top of the sixth. The run snapped a streak of 26.1 scoreless innings by an A’s starter. 

After Calhoun’s homer, Montas regrouped and struck Mike Trout out on a 96.4 mph fastball. 

The end of the line for Montas came when he allowed a leadoff double to Justin Bour in the seventh. Montas received a rousing ovation as he walked off the mound. 

Bullpen: TST delivered 

Lou Trivino was called upon to preserve the lead and did just that. He induced a groundout from Andrelton Simmons, a foul pop out from Zack Cozart and struck Tommy La Stella out looking. 

After a disastrous outing Friday night, Joakim Soria returned to the mound and got much better results. He retired the Angels on 11 pitches. 

Treinen was unleashed in the ninth and picked up his second consecutive save to help Oakland win its first series of 2019.

The final line for Montas: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. 

Offense: Just enough 

The A’s produced just enough offense. Khris Davis opened the scoring in the fourth inning with his AL-leading fourth home run of the season, a 388-foot shot to deep left off Angels starter Tyler Skaggs. 

Oakland picked up what turned out to be the winning run in the fifth. Marcus Semien doubled with two outs and scored on Matt Chapman’s blooper to left field. 

The A’s had an opportunity to get some insurance runs when they loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but failed to score. 

The final line for Skaggs: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.

On deck: Boston Red Sox

The defending world champions are coming to town for a four-game series starting Monday night. It will be the Red Sox’s only appearance in Oakland until the playoffs.

WP: Frankie Montas (1-0, 1.50) 

LP: Tyler Skaggs (0-1, 3.86) 

S: Blake Treinen (2, 0.00)

Time: 2:40 

Attendance: 23,265 

Record: 3-3

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Athletics blank Angels for first win of 2019

The Oakland Athletics returned to the friendly confines of Oakland Coliseum on Thursday afternoon for their second Opening Day of the 2019 season.

Mike Fiers and three relievers made sure it was a winning one by combining on a three-hitter to lead the Athletics to a 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels and their first win of the season.

Player of the game: Mike Fiers

Fiers rebounded from a rough Opening Day start in Tokyo with six strong innings. He allowed only one hit and walked three. Fiers struck out only two, but threw first strikes to 14 of 21 batters.

Play of the game: Chapman 6-3 double play

Fiers was in control throughout the game and ran into trouble only once. With one out in the fifth inning and Oakland leading 3-0, Tommy La Stella doubled over the head of center fielder Ramon Laureano. Former Athletic Jonathan Lucroy then drew a four-pitch walk. But Fiers got out of the pressure-pack situation when Peter Bourjos lined a one-hopper to Platinum Glover Matt Chapman, who snagged it, stepped on third and threw across the diamond to complete the double play.

Offense: Just enough

Oakland provided all the offense Fiers would need in the second inning. Jurickson Profar led off with a triple off losing pitcher Trevor Cahill and scored on the next pitch when Chad Pinder delivered a sacrifice fly to center field.

The A’s scored their second run in the third inning. With one out, Robbie Grossman singled and stole second. Chapman worked a six-pitch walk. Stephen Piscotty lined a double to shallow left field on the first pitch he saw to score Grossman.

Marcus Semien continued his hot start with his first home run in the fourth inning. Khris Davis connected on his second homer in the sixth inning to complete the scoring. 

Defense: Solid

The hit by La Stella in the fifth inning might have been an out if Ramon Laureano had gotten a better read on the ball. He broke in before realizing the ball was hit with much more authority.

Laureano was charged with an error in the eighth inning when he misplayed a single by Mike Trout that allowed the two runners to advance a base.

Otherwise, the A’s played solid defense. Chapman started two double plays that snuffed Angels’ rally before it can begin.

Bullpen: As advertised

Lou Trivino, Joakim Soria and Blake Treinen completed the shutout with one inning apiece. Trivino walked one and struck out one. Soria allowed two two-out hits. Treinen needed just seven pitches to finish off the Angels.

WP: Mike Fiers (1-1, 5.00)

LP: Trevor Cahill (0-1, 6.00)

Time: 2:18

Attendance: 22,691

Record: 1-2

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