The A’s might have lost more than a game Sunday afternoon, as All-Star third baseman Matt Chapman left with a right hip strain in Oakland’s 5-3 loss to the Padres.
Chapman appeared to feel some discomfort after fielding a ground ball by former Athletic Jurickson Profar in the top of the fourth. He stayed in to complete the inning but was seen talking to the trainer and trying to stretch out his leg in the hallway. Chad Pinder replaced the two-time Platinum Glove winner to start the fifth.
A’s manager Bob Melvin described the injury:
“He went and got in the hole and had to pivot and go the other way. It’s been off-and-on bothering him some. But that got him to the point where he had to get out of the game. He’s getting an MRI. We’ll see. … To lose a guy like Chappy would hurt if it was an extended period.”
Chapman, 27, has been mired in a horrific slump at the plate, striking out in each of his last seven plate appearances and 10 of his last 11. For the season, he is slashing .232/.276/.535 with 10 home runs and 25 RBI.
The game also involved a bit of controversy, as the A’s (23-14) once again found themselves on the wrong side of a replay review. Leading 1-0 in the second inning, Robbie Grossman scampered home on a pitch that bounced away from Jason Castro. The Padres catcher flipped the ball to pitcher Garrett Richards, who tagged Grossman as he slid across the plate.
Grossman was called out by home plate umpire Nick Mahrley, but replays seemed to clearly show the A’s outfielder’s foot touching home plate before the tag. Upon review, the call on the field stood, leaving Grossman stunned:
“Are we going to win one (a review) at some point? I don’t know. Everyone saw it, but they make the decision. … We’ve got to win one at some point. I thought I was safe. I thought through the video I was safe and they’re the only ones that thought I was out.”
A’s starting pitcher Mike Fiers was equally frustrated:
“When you think you have a run and you don’t have a run, that’s tough to swallow, even with replay. But after it’s called an out, there’s not much we can do but keep playing. … Every run is crucial. It would’ve been nice to have that run, but like I said, after it’s called an out, we’ve got to just keep going.”
Oakland answered in the bottom half of the third on an RBI single by Matt Olson, his second of the day, giving him 24 RBI on the season.
San Diego regained the lead in the fourth, as Jake Cronenworth doubled home Wil Myers to make it 3-2. The Padres added some insurance in the seventh on a two-run home run by Fernando Tatís Jr., his 15th of the season to tie the Angels’ Mike Trout for the major league lead.
Oakland got a run back in the bottom of the seventh when Sean Murphy crushed his third homer of the year, a 422-foot blast to left.
Fiers (L, 4-2, 4.93 ERA) lost his first home game since April 20, 2019, snapping a 9-0 stretch over his last 16 home starts. It was just his third home loss since joining the A’s in 2018, dropping his record to 14-3. The right-hander allowed three earned runs on five hits and two walks in five innings, with four strikeouts. Oakland is 22-5 in his starts at the Coliseum.
Fiers came away highly impressed by the Padres’ young lineup:
“The obvious (strength) is the top of their lineup, but even the middle to the end — every one of those guys can hit it out of the ballpark. They put together good at-bats.”
Richards (W, 2-2, 4.50 ERA) earned the win, limiting the A’s to three runs on seven hits in seven innings while striking out nine.
Trevor Rosenthal pitched a scoreless ninth for his eighth save of the season.
Oakland’s Tommy La Stella stayed hot with his second straight two-hit game. The former Angels All-Star scored two of the A’s three runs.
Olson and Grossman also finished with two hits apiece. As a team, San Diego outhit Oakland 9-8. The Padres went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position, while the A’s finished 2-for-10.
San Diego won two of the three games, handing the A’s their first home series loss of at least three games in more than a year. Oakland has lost four of its last five games but still remains in first place in the AL West, 3 1/2 games ahead of the Astros.
Semien nears return
A’s shortstop and leadoff hitter Marcus Semien has missed the last four games with a left side injury but he could be back in the lineup in the coming days. Semien will likely take batting practice on the field Monday. If he does, Melvin expects him to return soon thereafter:
“We’d love to have him back. You just get used to a guy that’s in the lineup every day for 450 games or whatever it was to that point. You know at times during the course of a season, you’re going to have key guys out and that’s the case for us right now. But you hold down the fort and look forward to getting them back.”
Chris Bassitt (2-2, 3.72 ERA) takes on Cristian Javier (4-1, 3.35 ERA) as the A’s open a rare five-game series against the Astros. The AL West rivals will play a single game Monday at the Coliseum, followed by a pair of seven-inning contests Tuesday. The series continues Wednesday and Thursday with full nine-inning games.