The Oakland A’s stretched their win streak to ten games Monday afternoon, marching to an 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels to open a three-game series.
In the second inning, Chris Bassitt (W, 3-1, 3.27 ERA) gave up his first hit of the game to Albert Pujols who sent a line drive down the first base line. A wild pitch to Kole Calhoun sent Pujols to second, and with a full count, Calhoun smacked a stand-up double to right field which brought in Pujols for a 1-0 lead.
The first Oakland run came in the bottom of the third. Ramon Laureano lined down the third base line for a double off starter Trevor Cahill (L, 2-5, 6.92 ERA). Marcus Semien walked, and Robbie Grossman followed with a line drive to right-field which brought in Laureano to tie the game 1-1.
Bob Melvin said on his team’s offense:
“Another day, another Josh Phegley homer. Chapman, each one of those late in the game, especially when it was a one run game at one point, to add on, ends up being huge. We are a little bit relentless right now with kinda how we are going about our business. It’s not always just a homer, we are finding a way, like yesterday to manufacture a run with get them over and get them in too. We are doing some good things right now.”
Pujols would lead off the fourth, hitting his ninth home run of the season just over the left-field wall to give the Angels a 2-1 lead. Calhoun followed with a double into the left-center gap to the track. Laureano missed the catch by inches.
David Fletcher hit a line drive to right and put runners on the corners. With no outs, Brian Goodwin blooped to Bassitt, who threw home and Calhoun ended up in a pickle. He was tagged out but runners advanced to second and third with one out. Dustin Garrneau was pegged, loading the bases but Bassitt was able to get out of the inning only allowing two runs.
Bob Melvin on Bassitt’s pitching:
“He was a little spotty with his command as the game went along and then the fifth was his best inning… But again, he kept us in the game. The last two times probably not his best outings, but kept us in the game and end up winning.”
Bassitt said he is going through a rough patch physically. His arm is fine he is just tired. He talked about how the offense helped pick him up today:
“I think we were talking like 2 weeks ago and people were kinda freaking out about our offense and now its like, well here it is. We have one of the best offenses in the league. We knew this was coming, it was a matter of time and it is here so keep riding the wave kinda thing.”
The Angels were up 3-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth, but they weren’t the only ones to plate a pair of runs that inning. Mark Canha walked, then Profar stepped up to the plate with two outs and, with a full count, hit his eighth homer of the season to tie the game 3-3.
Phegley lead off the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo home run near the left-field foul pole, his seventh of the season. With the A’s up 4-3, Grossman hit a line drive to right-center for a sliding double and Chapman followed with a blooper to shallow right-center for a base hit that put runners on the corners.
Cahill was then relieved by Cam Bedrosian who uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Chapman to get to second. Piscotty hit a base hit up the middle which allowed both Grossman and Chapman to score to make things 6-3.
In the top of the sixth, Calhoun was walked before Fletcher hit a hard ball down third base line, and Chapman was unable to get to it. Calhoun scored on Fletcher’s standing double to cut the Oakland lead to 6-4.
Bob Melvin on how the teams offense has helped take stress off pitching:
“It starts with our starting pitching. It looked like that was going to be a weak link for us and it has been nothing but, especially here recently. We are getting consistent outings and we are scoring some runs, you got the luxury as a starter to give up a couple runs and throw the ball over the plate too. The confidence of the team starts with your starting pitcher and they are doing a great job, every one of them.”
Bassitt went five innings and gave up five runs off six hits making todays game his season high for earned runs.
Bassitt was relieved by Petit, then Goodwin hit a base hit to shallow center-field. Phegley missed Laureano’s throw home and the ball ended up hitting the backstop. Buchter relieved Petit, and, facing the top of the order, struck out LaStella to end the inning 6-5 A’s headed to the seventh.
Bassitt on how effective the bullpen has been:
“I feel like two-three starts ago, they (bullpen) were kinda riding the wave of us going eight innings and now its kinda like hey we need you guys. Hopefully we start repaying that back and say hey take a couple days off kinda thing. We are riding them kinda hard right now but they are doing a heck of a job to say the least.”
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Chapman (14) hit a line drive home run to left field near the foul pole. The crew chief put the play under review and after 25 seconds, the call stood as a solo home run. Chapman now leads AL third-basemen in homers.
Chapman on the team’s success:
“It just feels good to be able to find ways to win. They were up on us a little bit, we came back. We haven’t let anything get us down and we kept rolling and i feel like that is kinda how it felt last year when we started playing good. No matter what the situation was, if we were up a little bit or down a little bit we still took really good at bats and we were able to score late in ball games and close out games or come back so I feel like we are showing signs of being able to do that and it is just nice to keep it rolling. “
In the eighth inning, Piscotty hit a double down third base line for a standing double, and Canha followed with a base hit between second and first which allowed Piscotty to score for an 8-5 lead.
Chapman wanted to go on the record about Khris Davis:
“We have been playing our kind of baseball and this season kind of started out slow for us and you know there are some ups and downs and injuries and we still don’t even have KD back. I wanted to go on record that we really need him back. That dude is our best player and we still need that guy big time.”
The team has been playing well without their power hitter Davis and can only get better offensively when he returns. The entire line up has been doing their job whether it is small ball or long ball, the runs are coming and the wins keep adding up.
Bassitt pegged Garneau twice, the first time he hit two batters since 2015. … Mike Trout went 0-for-4 with a walk. … Chapman has now homered in three straight games for the second time in his career. … Laureano extended his career high hit-streak to ten games.