Laureano delivers Oakland’s third walk-off win in four days

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – MAY 11: Ramon Laureano #22 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates a walk off single during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 11, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

The current homestand might serve as the catalyst if the Oakland Athletics turn this season around. 

In the first five games, the Athletics have pitched a no-hitter and three walk-off wins. 

The latest to play the starring role is Ramon Laureano. The 24-year-old hit an RBI single with one out in the bottom of the ninth to lift Oakland to a 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday afternoon at Oakland Coliseum. 

Matt Olson started the winning rally by working a seven-pitch leadoff walk from losing pitcher A.J. Cole. Kendrys Morales followed with a single on a 1-2 pitch. Stephen Piscotty laid down a perfect bunt on the first pitch to advance both runners.

It was Oakland’s first sacrifice bunt of the season and first in 84 games.

With the infield drawn in, Laureano popped one into no-man’s land in shallow right. The ball dropped behind second baseman Jason Kipnis and in front of hard charging right-fielder Jordan Luplow to give the A’s their fourth victory in five games. 

According to Baseball Savant, the ball had an expected batting average of .070. 

Blake Treinen picked up the win despite blowing his second save of the season. Treinen allowed a game-tying single from Leonys Martin with two outs in the top of the ninth.

It was the first run Treinen has given up at home since July 31, 2018, a record span for an Oakland reliever of 32.2 innings.

Cole suffered the loss while making his first appearance of the season. The 27-year-old was called up by the Indians prior to the game. Cole pitched 1.1 innings in relief of a sensational Trevor Bauer. 

Bauer allowed two runs on two hits, walked three and struck out 10 in seven innings. Both runs were unearned. 

Marcus Semien opened the bottom of the first by reaching on an error by Jose Ramirez. Semien stole second and scored on a single by Matt Chapman. 

Oakland deployed the opener strategy for the first time this season. Liam Hendriks got the starting nod and pitched one scoreless inning. 

Aaron Brooks replaced Hendriks in the second inning and pitched into the sixth. Brooks allowed seven baserunners in four-plus innings, but the only run he gave up was Martin’s solo homer in the fifth. 

Bauer couldn’t deliver a shutdown inning as Nick Hundley hit a Little League Home Run to give the lead back to Oakland. 

Hundley crushed a drive that bounced off the out-of-town scoreboard in left. After misplaying the carom, Jake Bauers threw wildly past third base, allowing Hundley to score. Hundley was credited with a triple. 

Brooks left in the sixth after putting the first two batters on. Yusmeiro Petit relieved Brooks and needed just 10 innings to escape the inning with no damage. 

The game stayed status quo until the ninth.

After needing just 12 pitches to pitch two innings Friday night, Treinen allowed a leadoff single to Luplow. Mike Freeman sacrificed Luplow on the first pitch as well.

After Carlos Gonzalez struck out, Martin tied the game with an opposite-field single off a 1-0 cutter on the inner part of the plate.

The Indians were hitless in 11 at-bats with RISP before Martin’s hit.

WP: Blake Treinen (2-2, 2.70) LP: A.J. Cole (0-1, 6.75) 

Time: 3:13 Attendance 18,278 Record: 19-22 


Piscotty hits walk-off HR in 13th, Athletics win 5-4

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – MAY 08: Stephen Piscotty #25 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates a walk off home run during the thirteenth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 08, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

The Oakland Athletics are back on track after two special wins at the Oakland Coliseum.

After Mike Fiers tossed a no-hitter Tuesday, Stephen Piscotty hit a walk-off homer in the 13th inning on Wednesday to beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4.

Piscotty, a Pleasanton native, hit the game-winner off Robert Stephenson, a Martinez native. It was also Piscotty’s first career walk-off hit.

Former Athletic Sonny Gray had a rough outing in his first return to the Oakland Coliseum. He allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits, walked five and struck out three in just 4.1 innings. 

Jurickson Profar batted second for the first time this season and paid immediate dividends by taking Gray deep for a two-run homer in the bottom of the first.

Gray left a 3-1 fastball over the heart of the plate and Profar crushed it into the right field bleachers. The ball left the bat with an exit velocity of 104.5 mph and traveled a project distance of 425 feet.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – MAY 08: Jurickson Profar #23 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates a home during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 08, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

The lead was short lived as the Red batted around for four runs in the top of the second. 

Anderson issued back-to-back walks to open the frame. Kyle Farmer drove in the first run with a double down the left field line. Curt Casali tied the game with a ground out.

Jose Peraza singled up the middle to drive in the third run. After a single by rookie Josh VanMater, another rookie Nick Senzel drove in the fourth run with a single to right.

Anderson settled down and pitched six innings. He allowed four runs on five hits, walked five and struck out none.

The last Athletics starter with 6 IP, 5 BB and 0 K was Bobby Shantz in 1949.

Gray stayed out of trouble until the fifth when he was removed after Oakland loaded the bases with one out. 

Amir Garrett relieved Gray and struck out Matt Olson on eight pitches for the second out.

Piscotty then hit a grounder to the right side of the infield. Kyle Farmer ranged far to his left to retrieve the ball, but proceeded to throw wildly to first, allowing two runs to score.

Piscotty was credited with a single and an RBI. Farmer was charged with an error that allowed the tying run to score.

The game stay tied until Piscotty lined the fourth pitch he saw from Stephenson just over the out-of-town scoreboard in left. The homer was confirmed after an umpire review.

The ball was hit at a 19-degree launch angle with an exit velocity of 109.5 mph and traveled a projected distance of 392 feet.

Anderson and the bullpen held Cincinnati scoreless for the final 11 innings. The Reds held Oakland scoreless for 7.1 innings before Piscotty’s blast.

Liam Hendriks picked up his first win despite having warmed up in the second when Anderson was struggling. Stephenson suffered his first loss.

Khris Davis left the game in the fifth with lingering effects from the hip injury he sustained on Sunday. Kendrys Morales pinch-hit for Davis and hit a single to chase Gray from the game.

WP: Liam Hendriks (1-0, 1.77) LP: Robert Stephenson (2-1, 3.12)

Time: 3:58

Attendance: 9,096

Record: 17-21


Athletics blow lead in 13th to complete disastrous road trip

PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 05: Starling Marte #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is hugged by Melky Cabrera #53 as he crosses home plate after hitting a walk-off three run home run in the thirteenth inning during the game against the Oakland Athletics at PNC Park on May 5, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

The silver lining for the Oakland Athletics is that they are still only six games behind the Houston Astros in the AL West despite a 1-8 road trip.

Starling Marte hit a walk-off three-run homer off Fernando Rodney in the bottom of the 13th inning to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 5-3 victory on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.

This marked the second Sunday in a row in which the Oakland bullpen blew a lead in extra innings. Last week, Blake Treinen gave up four runs in the bottom of the 11th to the Toronto Blue Jays.

A week later, Rodney couldn’t protect a 3-1 lead against the Pirates. Rodney allowed a one-out single to Cole Tucker, walked Jung Ho Kang despite getting ahead 0-2, an RBI single to Adam Frazier and the game-winner to Marte.

All three hits Rodney allowed in the 13th inning came off first-pitch fastballs right down the middle. (Diagram courtesy of MLB)

The Oakland bullpen had retired 14 batters in a row before the 13th inning meltdown.

Tyler Lyons picked up the win. He allowed two runs on in two innings. Rodney suffered his second loss.

The Pirates got on the scoreboard first in the second inning. Josh Bell led off with a double to the gap in left center. Bell advanced to third on a groundout by Melky Cabrera and scored on a sacrifice fly by Colin Moran.

Khris Davis was replaced defensively in the bottom half with a left hip contusion after reaching into the stands for a sensational catch in the opening inning. His hip made hard contact with the side wall on the follow-through and was in obvious pain.

Jordan Lyles started for Pittsburgh and allowed just three hits and two walks in the first 6.2 innings. But Oakland finally broke through with a two-out rally in the seventh.

Nick Hundley doubled down the left field line and scored the tying run on Robbie Grossman’s pinch-hit opposite field single.

Frankie Montas started for Oakland and earned a well deserved no decision. The 26-year-old allowed one run on five hits, walked none and struck out five in six innings. Montas threw 58 of 90 pitches (64.4%) for strikes.

The most stressful inning for Montas came in his final inning when the Pirates put runners on first and third with no outs with the heart of the order due up.

But Gregory Polanco flew out to Ramon Laureano, Bell struck out and Melky Cabrera lined out. Laureano’s reputation forced the Pirates to hold the runner at third twice.

The A’s got two innings each from Lou Trivino and Joakim Soria and an inning each from Ryan Buchter and Yusmeiro Petit.

Lyons was pitching his second inning in the 13th when he issued leadoff walks to Laureano and Chapman.

After Chad Pinder grounded into a force out, Kendrys Morales drove in Laureano with a bloop single into center. Stephen Piscotty drove in Chapman on the next pitch with a double off the out-of-town scoreboard in right.

With Petit on deck, the Pirates walked Jurickson Profar intentionally to load the bases. Then Oakland got unlucky.

Petit grounded sharply up the middle. The ball hit Lyons and caromed to Kang at third. Kang stepped on the bag for a force out and threw to first for a 1-5-3 double play.

The unlucky bounce was a prelude to what was about to come in the bottom half.

The A’s will get a day off before starting a six-game homestand on Tuesday night against the Cincinnati Reds.

WP: Tyler Lyons (1-0, 9.00)

LP: Fernando Rodney (0-2, 8.78)

Time: 3:58

Attendance: 18,517

Record: 15-21


Athletics pound out 14 hits in rout of Rangers

OAKLAND, CA – APRIL 23: Stephen Piscotty #25 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by Josh Phegley #19 after Piscotty scored against the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the fourth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on April 23, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Oakland Athletics offense is back after a weekend hiatus. 

Stephen Piscotty went 4-for-5 and the Athletics used a 14-hit attack to beat the Texas Rangers 11-5 Tuesday night at the Oakland Coliseum. 

Every batter recorded at least one hit and seven drove in runs. 

Frankie Montas benefited from the outburst and picked up his fourth win of the season. The 26-year-old allowed three runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out six in 5.2 innings. 

Lance Lynn suffered his second loss. He allowed eight runs on nine hits, two walks and struck out three in 3.1 innings.  

The Rangers also had 14 hits, but they were only 3-for-13 with RISP and hit into two double plays. The A’s went 6-for-19 with RISP. Both teams left 10 on base. 

Texas got on the board with a two-out rally in the first. Elvis Andrus singled and stole second. Nomar Mazara drove in Andrus with a double to the gap in left-center. 

Oakland tied the game in the bottom half when Matt Chapman launched his seventh homer of the season with two outs. The towering drive just stayed inside the left-field foul pole. 

Texas went up 2-1 in the top of the second. Hunter Pence led off with a double and scored on a single by Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera moved to second on a wild pitch and third after a ground out.

But Montas got a grounder from Isiah Kiner-Falefa to a drawn-in infield and Shin-Soo Choo to strike out looking.

The A’s tied the game again in the bottom half. Piscotty led off with a triple and scored on a groundout to second by Kendrys Morales.

The turning point of the game came in the top of the fourth. Texas loaded the bases with no outs on a walk, infield single and an error by Montas. 

Montas needed to pull off a Houdini act to escape unscathed and he did. Logan Forsythe hit a high bouncer to Chapman, who caught it and started a 5-2-3 double play. Montas escaped the jam by inducing a groundout from Kiner-Falefa. 

The Oakland offense rewarded Montas for his efforts by scoring six runs in the bottom half. 

Piscotty and Morales opened the inning with back-to-back singles. After Chad Pinder grounded into a forceout, Ramon Laureano singled in Piscotty. Josh Phegley hit a two-run double down the left-field line. Robbie Grossman singled to put runners on first and third. 

Marcus Semien followed with a two-run double of his own. After a wild pitch and a walk to Chapman, Khris Davis drove in Semien with a single to left. 

Lynn was finally pulled and replaced by Wei-Chieh Huang, who was making his Major League debut. Huang got out of the inning by inducing two flyouts.

The A’s added two runs in the fifth. Laureano drove in the first run with a double and scored two batters later on a throwing error by second baseman Danny Santana. 

Montas left after giving up a run in the sixth. Yusmeiro Petit pitched 1.1 scoreless innings and Ryan Dull pitched the final two innings. 

Montas threw 68 of 107 pitches for strikes. He induced eight groundouts and just one flyout. Montas threw 48 two-seamers, 32 sliders, 14 splitters and 13 four-seamers. He utilized his splitter for four strikeouts.

WP: Frankie Montas (4-1, 3.10) 

LP: Lance Lynn (2-2, 6.51) 

Time: 3:17 

Attendance: 10,496 

Record: 13-13 


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 


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