The Angels scored four runs in the first two innings Saturday, and that was all they would need to snap the A’s nine-game home win streak with a 4-3 victory.
Matt Andriese (W, 1-1, 4.88 ERA) earned the win and Chris Bassitt (L, 2-1, 2,97 ERA) earned his first loss of the season. Ty Buttrey earned the save, his third. The A’s have one of the best defensive squads in the majors but committed three errors Saturday.
The Angels attacked the A’s early but couldn’t score after the second inning.
David Fletcher hit a laser to left field for a standing double to start the game and advanced to third when Tommy La Stella sacrifice bunted to Chapman. Mike Trout followed with a hard grounder to Chapman who saw Fletcher running home and made the throw, but rookie catcher Austin Allen bobbled the ball at the plate and Fletcher was safe to make it 1-0 Angels.
Matt Chapman said he doesn’t regret making the throw home. We have seen him successfully make those plays but he took full blame and said it was a tough throw for the rookie catcher:
“My momentum was kinda taking me towards the line and Fletcher was kinda running down the line so it was a tight window and I tried to throw it off balance and get it to him quickly… I gave Austin a pretty tough throw to handle. Just kinda a tough play but a play… I like trying to save a run there for Bass and not let them jump ahead like that but just set your feet and realize you have more time.”
Anthony Rendon grounded near Tony Kemp at second but the ball hit off Kemp’s knee and Rendon reached on the error. Shohei Ohtani walked to load the bases with one out. Kemp made up for the error in the next at bat when he helped turn a beautiful double play to get out of a bases-loaded first inning. Brian Goodwin hit a line drive to Kemp who dove towards second to make the catch and then flipped it to Semien to end the inning.
Bob Melvin spoke about the teams defense:
“It wasn’t our best day defensively. I think we are probably one of the better teams in the league defensively and sometimes you are going to have off days but it made Bass have to work a little harder, especially in the first couple innings but I thought he pitched well over that… but our guys came back we had a chance.”
It only got worse for the A’s in the second inning. Rookie right-fielder Jo Adell earned his first extra base hit as a major leaguer when he led off the Things inning with a double. Bassitt gave up doubles to lead off the first and second innings and couldn’t rely on his defense on Saturday. All three outs in the second came on strikeouts.
Bassitt has faced the Angels three times in his six starts and earned his first loss. He said he is happy to be done with the Angels:
“I feel like I have faced the Angels at every start and I am sick and tired of facing Fletcher and La Stella and those guys. I think I am done with the Angels this year which is a blessing. I am done with Mike Trout and I am done with Ohtani. I don’t want to face those guys anymore. Today was just more, this is the last time facing them, throw everything at them and just hope for the best kind of thing.”
Chapman, Kemp and Semien all had errors Saturday. Rengifo reached on an infield single to Chapman who ran in on a soft hit and made the throw to Olson at first but Olson stepped off the bag in order to make the catch and Rengifo was safe on the play which put runners on the corners with one out in the second.
Bassitt could have easily been frustrated out there but wasn’t and continued to trust the guys behind him:
“Ya I mean, were kinda spoiled with gold gloves all around so I mean when they don’t make those plays it looks weird. I just kept telling myself to keep getting ground balls and trust the defense behind me.”
The next play, Fletcher hit a hard grounder to Chapman who reached to his left but bobbled the ball and then slipped while trying to recover it. Chapman’s error allowed a run and Fletcher earned an RBI, which made it 2-0 in the second. La Stella struck out for the second out but during his at bat he swung and hit Allen in the head on the follow through. Allen got his helmet knocked off and he was bleeding on his face but stayed in the game to catch the second strikeout of the inning and game.
Bassitt spoke about Allen getting hit by the bat:
“He got really lucky. That could have been bad. He has a nice little cut on his chin but overall, it could have been a lot worse.”
Trout stepped to the plate with runners on first and second with two outs and doubled on a line drive to make it 4-0 in the second before Rendon struck out to end the inning.
The A’s slowly bounced back and it all started when Mark Canha walked on eight pitches to lead off the second inning. Kemp stepped up to the plate with two outs and hit a hard line drive to left center for a double and Canha scored from first as the ball rolled to the left-center wall. His first RBI, his first double, made it 4-1 in the second.
Bassitt was able to keep the Angels scoreless after the first two innings. After 105 pitches in 5-2/3 innings, Bassitt was relieved by Lou Trivino after he walked Rengigo with top of the order due up. Bassitt allowed four runs off five hits and struck out six. He walked off the mound trailing 4-3 and a runner on first. Fletcher flew out to right center to end the sixth inning.
The fifth inning started with an Allen single and Semien lined out to second baseman Rengifo who threw it to first as Allen slipped on his pivot back to first for a double play. Ramon Laureano brought back some excitement with two outs and singled to left center before Matt Olson hit a standing-double to right-center and Laureano scored on the play which made it 4-3. Canning was relieved by Andriese who had to face Matt Chapman with two outs.
Chapman homered (9) in his previous at bat when he led off the fourth inning, which gave the A’s their second run of the game. He walked in the fifth to keep the fifth inning rally alive, but Canha struck out to end the inning leaving both Matt’s stranded on first and second.
Canning was relieved in the fifth after Olson doubled to bring in the A’s third run. Matt Andriese relieved Canning and left two runners stranded in the fifth. He pitched a perfect sixth and seventh inning. Ty Buttrey kept the perfect inning train going in the eighth.
The A’s have the most walk-off wins in the majors. They had three headed into Saturday’s game and two of those walk-offs were grand slams. Trailing 4-3, they were looking to get their fourth walk-off win or at least push the game into extra innings. Buttrey came out to pitch the ninth and didn’t allow a walk-off win for the A’s. Bassitt was optimistic the entire game:
“I thought for sure if we held them to four runs we would win the game but unfortunately that didn’t happen today.”
Liam Hendriks had closed the previous two games and Yusmeiro Petit was the man for the ninth on Saturday trying to keep the game at 4-3 with top of the order. Fletcher hit a line drive to right to start the game and Trout grounded out to Semien directly behind second who flipped to Chapman who tagged second and did a spin to throw to first but Trout was safe. Two outs and one of the scariest batters to face at the plate, Rendon who grounded out to Kemp who flipped it to Semien to end the inning.
Anthony Rendon currently has an 11-game hitting streak. … The A’s line up was presented by their wives, kids, parents, nephews and brought smiles to the dugout prior to the game.