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


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


Phegley’s career night helps Athletics end slide

PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 03: Josh Phegley #19 of the Oakland Athletics rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the ninth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 3, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

The Oakland Athletics ended their losing streak in style.

Josh Phegley set a single-game franchise-record for a catcher with eight RBIs and the Athletics snapped their six-game skid with a 14-1 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night at PNC Park.

Phegley led Athletics’ 16-hit attack by going 4-for-5 with two runs scored. The 31-year-old started his career night with a bases-clearing double in the second inning, an RBI single in the third, another bases-clearing double in the fourth and capped it off with a solo homer in the ninth.

Every Oakland starter recorded a hit except for Khris Davis, who contributed with three walks and three runs scored. Matt Chapman and Kendrys Morales each had three hits. Chapman also had a two-run homer. Even starting pitcher Brett Anderson went 2-for-3 and had an RBI overturned on replay.

The A’s did most of their damage against Joe Musgrove, who came into the game with a sparkling 1.54 ERA. Musgrove allowed seven runs (five earned) on six hits, walked two and struck out one in just 2.2 innings.

The prime beneficiary of the offensive outburst was Anderson, who picked up his fourth win of the season. Anderson allowed one run on four hits, walked two and struck out four in six innings.

After a 41-minute rain delay at the start, the Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Josh Bell grounded into an RBI forceout.

Oakland answered with five runs in the second.

Davis led off by reaching first on a throwing error by third baseman Jung Ho Kang. Stephen Piscotty singled to center. Morales drove in Davis with a single to right. Jurickson Profar was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Phegley unloaded the bases for the first time with a sharp ground ball down the third base line.

Anderson laid down a bunt to Musgrove, who spun and threw to third, but Phegley stayed at second. Kang attempted to then throw Anderson out at first, but Adam Frazier couldn’t handle the one-hopper. Phegley advanced to third and Anderson to second. Phegley scored on a groundout by Marcus Semien.

Phegley’s previous high was four RBIs in a game and he matched that with an opposite-field RBI single in a two-run third for Oakland. Musgrove walked in the second run a batter later.

Oakland left no doubt with four runs off Nick Kingham in the fourth. Profar hit an RBI-single with the bases loaded. Phegley unloaded the bases for the second time with a drive over left fielder Bryan Reynolds.

Chapman hit his ninth homer of the season in the seventh off Francisco Liriano. Phegley hit his fourth homer of the season in the ninth off Richard Rodriguez.

Not only was it a memorable night for Phegley, it was also memorable for rookie Skye Bolt, who made his major league debut after being called up from Triple-A Las Vegas for the three-game interleague series.

Bolt pinch-hit for Anderson in the seventh and fouled out. He struck out in the ninth. The 25-year-old North Carolina product owned a slash line of .325/.400/.675 with six homers and 27 RBIs in 80 at-bats in the minors this season.

WP: Brett Anderson (4-2, 3.89)
LP: Joe Musgrove (1-3, 2.63)
Time: 3:26
Attendance: 16,428
Record: 15-19


Athletics sweep Rangers on Pinder’s walk-off

Chad Pinder hit a walk-off single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Oakland Athletics to a 6-5 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum.

After Stephen Piscotty singled with one out and stole second with two outs, Pinder sent everyone home happy with a soft liner into shallow right. It was Pinder’s first career walk-off hit. 

Oakland completed a three-game sweep for a 4-4 homestand and moved back above .500 at 14-13. 

Blake Treinen picked up his first win of the season. Chris Martin took the loss. 

The Rangers scored first in the second inning. Logan Forsythe led off with a double off Aaron Brooks, advanced to third on an out and scored on a groundout by Jeff Mathis. 

Oakland wasted no time responding in the bottom half against Kyle Dowdy, who was making his first major league start. 

After Jurickson Profar walked with one out and Nick Hundley singled with two outs, Marcus Semien followed with his fourth homer of the season. Dowdy left a 91.8 mph fastball waste high, on the inner part of the plate and Semien drove it over the left-field wall. 

Dowdy left the spot start after pitching three innings. He allowed three runs on four hits, walked three and struck out two. 

The Rangers pulled a run back in the third on an opposite-field homer by Nomar Mazara and tied the game in the fourth on a homer by Logan Forsythe.

Oakland regained the lead with two runs in the fifth off Jesse Chavez. Matt Chapman led off with an opposite-field homer on an 0-1 count.

Piscotty followed with a single and Khris Davis walked. After two strikeouts, Profar drove in Piscotty with a single through the second base hole created by a defensive shift. The hit snapped a 0-for 17 slump for Profar. 

Brooks left the game after five innings and 94 pitches. He allowed three runs on six hits, walked none and struck out seven. 

Yusmeiro Petit came on in relief and Mazara promptly greeted him with his second opposite-field homer of the day to pull Texas to within one. 

The Rangers tied the game in the seventh against Joakim Soria. Soria committed the cardinal sin of walking the leadoff batter, Jeff Mathis. After advancing to third on two groundouts. Mathis scored on a wild pitch on an 0-2 count. 

After J.B. Wendelken retired the side in order in the eighth, Treinen was unleashed to pitch the ninth. 

Treinen hasn’t pitched since Sunday and it showed. He issued two walks, but got Delino DeShields to ground into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play. Replays showed that Profar actually took his feet off the second base bag as he was turning the play. 

The Rangers tried to challenge, but was denied by the umpires for taking longer than the allotted time. Oakland took full advantage in the bottom half. 

The A’s hit the road for a nine-game road trip, starting on Friday night in Toronto. Oakland will try to avenge a three-game sweep at home by the Blue Jays last weekend. 

The Jays are expected to call up third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the number one prospect in baseball. 

WP: Blake Treinen (1-1, 0.68) 

LP: Chris Martin (0-2, 5.40) 

Time: 3:22 

Attendance: 18,610 

Record: 14-13 


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 


Piscotty, Laureano power Athletics over Red Sox

The Oakland Athletics will be a team to be reckoned with this season. Just ask the defending world champions. 

Stephen Piscotty went 4-for-4 with a home run and five RBIs, Ramon Laureano threw yet another runner out, and the Athletics took three out of four from the Boston Red Sox with a 7-3 victory on Thursday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum.

After going hitless in 16 at-bats in Wednesday’s loss to Boston, the first four Oakland batters went a combined 8-for-17 with four runs scored and seven RBIs. Piscotty hit a three-run homer in the third and got a gift two-run double in the fourth. 

Brett Anderson earned his second win of the season. He allowed three runs on eight hits, four walks and struck out three in 5.1 innings. Eduardo Rodriguez gave up six runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings to take his second loss. 

The Red Sox scored first for the first time in this series. 

Mookie Betts led off with a single to right field. Andrew Benintendi laid down a bunt towards Mark Canha at first base, who threw late to second for the force out. World Series MVP Steve Pearce made his season debut and struck out. J.D. Martinez singled on the first pitch he saw to load the bases. 

Anderson lost command of the strike zone temporarily and forced in two runs by walking two of the next three batters. He limited the damage by getting Eduardo Nunez to foul out between the walks and Christian Vazquez to ground into a force out. 

The Red Sox added their third and final run on Martinez’s solo homer in the third inning. It counted for only one run because left fielder Robbie Grossman threw out the previous batter, Pearce, as he was attempting to stretch a single walk into a double. Pearce had lined the ball off the base of the left field wall. Grossman played the carom and threw high to Jurickson Profar, who caught the ball above his head and applied the tag on Pearce. 

The A’s tied the game in their half of the inning. Josh Phegley led off with a double. After Grossman flied out, Marcus Semien walked. Rodriguez then threw a 2-0 fastball right down Broadway to Piscotty, who launched it over the center field wall for his second homer of the season. 

Boston loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the fourth, but Anderson struck Pearce out to end the threat. 

Oakland went ahead for good in the bottom of the frame. 

Laureano walked with one out. Phegley lined a one-hopper to third that handcuffed Nunez for a single. Grossman drove Laureano in with an opposite-field double. After Semien flew out to shallow center for the second out, Piscotty hit a fly ball to deep right-center field that should have ended the inning. But there was a miscommunication between Jackie Bradley Jr. and Betts and the ball dropped on the warning track and over the wall for a ground-rule double. Rodiguez’s day would be over one batter later. 

The A’s scored their final run when they hit three consecutive singles after there were two outs in the sixth. 

Oakland Platinum Glover Matt Chapman, who didn’t start after getting hit by a pitch on his wrist Wednesday, entered the game in the eighth as a defensive replacement and made an immediate impact. With one out and a runner on first, Rafael Devers chopped one to Chapman, who dove to his left and threw to second in time for the force out. 

The defensive play of the game, however, belonged once again to Laureano in the ninth. 

Betts led off with a walk off Liam Hendriks. Benintendi then hit a flair to shallow center. Betts saw the ball was going to drop and tried to advance to third.

But Laureano raced in, gloved the ball on the second hop and in one fluid motion threw to Chapman, who backhanded the ball and placed the tag on Betts’ left elbow just before his fingers reached the bag. The Red Sox once again challenged the play to no avail.

Betts should have stayed at second because the Red Sox needed one more baserunner to bring the tying run up. But he made the perfect read. Betts was already halfway to third when Laureano gloved the ball. He would have been safe if it wasn’t Laureano throwing and Chapman on the receiving end.

Lou Trivino pitched .2 innings for his fourth hold of the season. He relieved Anderson in the sixth and struck out both Betts and Benintendi looking with a runner on first. Joakim Soria pitched a clean seventh. Hendriks pitched the final two innings, saving manager Bob Melvin from having to unleash Blake Treinen. 

After completing a 6-4 homestand, including two games in Japan, the A’s embark on a 10-game road trip, starting with Houston on Friday night. It will be sort of a homecoming for Laureano, who was drafted by the Astros in the 16th round of the 2014 MLB Draft and traded to Oakland after the 2017 season. 

WP: Brett Anderson (2-0, 2.38) 

LP: Eduardo Rodriguez (0-2, 12.38) 

Time: 3:16 

Attendance: 15,095 

Record: 6-4 


Athletics hit four homers, blank Red Sox 7-0

The one advantage of having the Boston Red Sox in town is East Coast baseball fans get a rare opportunity to see just how exciting the Oakland Athletics’ brand of baseball will be this season.

Behind dominating pitching and a powerful offense and defense, the Athletics shut out the defending world champions 7-0 on Monday night at the Oakland Coliseum. 

Player of the game: Aaron Brooks 

Brooks was sensational for Oakland in his first major league start since 2015. The 28-year-old pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Brooks threw 24 four-seamers, 23 sliders, 21 sinkers, 13 changeups and five curves. Out of 86 pitches, 58 were strikes.

Brooks received plenty of help from his offense and defense. 

Play of the game: Ramon Laureano nails Xander Bogaerts at home 

Bogaerts doubled with one out in the second inning. Mitch Moreland followed by lining a two-hopper to Laureano in right-center field. Laureano came up and fired a strike to catcher Nick Hundley, who home plate umpire Kerwin Danley determined to have tagged out Bogaerts. The Red Sox challenged that Bogaerts’ foot touched home plate before the tag, but replays were inconclusive and the call was upheld by New York. 

Brooks allowed just a walk after the close call. 

Offense: Left no doubt 

After Laureano prevented Boston from scoring in the top of the inning, Khris Davis opened the scoring in the bottom half. Red Sox starter David Price left an 82.7 mph changeup over the heart of the plate and Davis drove it over the wall in center field for his ML-leading fifth home run of the season. The ball left the bat at 105.6 mph. 

Defense leads to offense and it happened for Laureano, who came into the game batting just .150 with nine strikeouts. Laureano took a 90.9 mph first-pitch fastball over the plate from Price and launched it over the center field wall with plenty of room to spare for his first homer of 2019. The ball had a projected distance of 428 feet.

The A’s got two more runs in the sixth. Mark Canha walked with two outs and Chad Pinder connected on the first pitch he saw from Price for his first homer of the season. Price left an 84.1 mph changeout over the outside part of the plate and Pinder sent it over the left field wall. 

Matt Chapman joined the home run parade in the eighth with his second of the season. The A’s added two more runs, thanks in part to an error by Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers. 

Bullpen: New cast of stars 

Ryan Buchter and Liam Hendriks combined to pitch the seventh. J.B. Wendelken retired the side in order in the eighth. Fernando Rodney finished off the Red Sox in the ninth. There were no hiccups.

Starting rotation: Spectacular so far

Since returning from Japan, the A’s couldn’t have asked for more than what their starters have given them through one rotation.

WP: Aaron Brooks (1-0, 0.00) 

LP: David Price (0-1, 6.00) 

Time: 2:42 

Attendance: 12,417 

Record: 4-3 


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


Davis hits walk-off homer for Athletics

Matt Chapman and Khris Davis powered the Oakland Athletics to a 5-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night at the Oakland Coliseum.

Chapman hit the first two homers of his young career and Davis sent the crowd of 33,021 on Rickey Henderson night happy with a walk-off two-run homer with no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. The A’s have won the first two game of the series against the defending American League champions.

Ryan Madson (2-4, 2.06) pitched a clean top of the ninth inning to pick up the win. Andrew Miller (3-3, 1.60) was charged with the loss after issuing the walk that preceded the game-winner.

Chapman, mired in a 3-of-32 slump, opened the scoring in the third inning by connecting with an 88-mph cutter from Indians starter Corey Kluber and sent it over the fence in center field.

If hitting his first major league dinger off Kluber, a two-time All-Star and 2014 Cy Young Winner, was not impressive enough, Chapman connected for a second time on the first pitch of the eighth inning that tied the game at 3. Chapman blasted a 92-mph sinker into the East Plaza Suite in center field, a projected distance of 455 feet.

Chapman also scored the A’s second run. He doubled with two outs in the fifth inning and scored two pitches later when Rajai Davis lined a single to right field.

All-Star Yonder Alonso started the winning rally by drawing a tough six-pitch walk from Miller. Indians manager Terry Francona called on Bryan Shaw to face Davis. Davis took the first five pitches, fouled the sixth and launched the seventh over the fence in right-center field. It was the A’s seventh walk-off of the season. Davis has two of the game winners.

Oakland (41-50) starter Paul Blackburn pitched six solid innings in his third major league start. The Brentwood native allowed three runs on five hits, walked four and struck out four. Blackburn gave up a two-run homer to Edwin Encarnacion in the fourth inning and an RBI groundout to Carlos Santana in the sixth.

Kluber allowed three runs on five hits, walked none and struck out 12 in 7.1 innings. The Indians ace threw 72 of 106 pitches for strikes. Cleveland (47-42) leads the AL Central by just 1.5 games over the surprising Minnesota Twins.

ON DECK: The A’s and the Indians complete their seven-game season series on Sunday afternoon. Sean Manaea (7-5, 3.76) takes the mound for Oakland against Trevor Bauer (7-7, 5.24). The series is knotted at 3-3.


Athletics open second half with win over Indians

Sonny Gray was scheduled to pitch the second-half opener for the Oakland Athletics on Friday night at the Oakland Coliseum, but was scratched an hour prior to first pitch, leading many to believe that Gray was on the verge of being traded. Unfortunately for the Cleveland Indians, the sudden development was just a hoax.

Gray and three relievers combined on a four-hitter to lead the Athletics to a 5-0 victory over the defending American League champions. Gray gave up two hits, walked one and struck out five batters in his six innings of work. Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle and Santiago Casilla pitched one inning each to complete the shutout.

Gray (5-4, 3.72) and the A’s got all the offense they would need with two runs against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco in the third inning. Rajai Davis opened with an infield single and scored on the next pitch when Matt Joyce hit a gapper into right-center field. Davis scored just ahead of the relay throw from Indians second baseman Erik Gonzalez. Joyce advanced to third on the throw and scored on Marcus Semien’s sacrifice fly.

Oakland (40-50) doubled the lead in the fifth inning. Davis led off by hitting his third homer of the season, a shot on a 2-0 count into the left-field bleachers. After two strikeouts, All-Star Yonder Alonso connected on his 21st homer, a shot on an 0-1 count that just cleared the wall in right-center field.

Rookie Matt Chapman completed the scoring all by himself in the bottom of the seventh inning. Chapman opened by hitting his first triple of the season off Carrasco. He scored later in the inning on a wild pitch by Nick Goody that went no more than 12 feet away from home plate.

Gray was sensational in what might be his final starts for the A’s. He threw 62 of 100 pitches for strikes. Gray induced seven groundouts and five flyouts.

Carrasco (10-4, 3.65) allowed five runs on six hits, walked two and struck out 10 in his 6.1 innings of work. He received no help as Cleveland (47-41) had no runner reached third base.

ON DECK: The A’s and Indians continue their three-game series on Saturday night. Paul Blackburn (1-0, 0.66) will take the mound for the A’s against All-Star Corey Kluber (7-3, 2.80).

BAD TWEET: The following tweet was sent by David Kaplan just prior to the game. It turned out to be way off base.