Oakland got right back in the win column Tuesday night after having its six-game winning streak snapped by Cleveland Sunday.
Jed Lowrie and Chad Pinder led the way for the A’s offensively, going a combined 4-for-5 with four RBIs, two runs and two walks. San Diego leadoff man Travis Jankowski had Oakland starter Chris Bassitt’s number, singling in all three of his at bats against the righty. And it was his third single sent whistling past Bassitt’s head in the fifth that kickstarted the rally which ended his outing.
But another late-inning uprising by the A’s (47-39) bailed Bassitt (ND, 1-3, 3.00 ERA) out and propelled the green and gold past the Padres (37-50), 6-2, for the third time in as many meetings this season.
Manager Bob Melvin said he almost expects his team to dig out of deficits at this point:
“We’ve had a lot of success doing it, there’s confidence there. The whole road trip it seemed like we were down and we would just come back. I think that carries over, and our lineup is deep. There’s no panic when we’re down.”
Though he held the Padres to two runs, Bassitt labored through each of his 4-2/3 innings, allowing seven hits, three walks and throwing 88 pitches, striking out six. He escaped a bases-loaded no-out situation in the third and also scraped his shin while fielding a dribbler to escape another jam in the fifth inning.
Melvin talked about his starter’s up-and-down performance:
“He was Houdini there for a while. A couple times I didn’t know if he was gonna be able to limit the damage, the next thing you know he’s coming off the mound with nothing. With that [the scraped shin] and the second run being scored, it was time to do something different.”
Emilio Pagan (W, 2-0, 2.75 ERA) settled things down in relief of Bassitt, picking up his second win of the season with 1 1/3 clean innings.
The A’s offense finally cracked the Clayton Richard riddle in the sixth inning.
After making the San Diego starter throw just 55 pitches through the first five innings, Oakland loaded the bases for the second time in the game against Richard (L, 7-8, 4.46 ERA) in the sixth. This time they capitalized with a bases-clearing double (25) from Lowrie. Khris Davis followed with an RBI single, and Mark Canha hit a solo home run (11) to extend his hitting streak to 11 games and turn a 2-0 Oakland deficit into a 5-2 lead.
Lowrie attributed his run-creating aptitude to preparation and awareness:
“Zoning in on your approach, and getting a pitch that you can handle. In those situations they’re gonna try to get you to chase, entice you to try to do more. You have to fight really hard to stay within yourself.”
Bassitt was thankful that his offense picked him up:
“Luckily they overcame what I did. I don’t wanna put the team in that spot, but this offense right now is unbelievable. There’s no quit to them. One through nine, there’s no quit.”
Chad Pinder added one more run with a solo homer (8) in the seventh off reliever Adam Cimber.
The A’s will finish their two-game set with the Padres Wednesday afternoon before heading out on a 10-game road trip prior to the All Star Break. Sean Manaea (8-6, 3.38 ERA) will look to build off a solid June in which he didn’t allow more than three earned runs in any of his five starts. Rookie Eric Lauer (3-5, 5.08 ERA) will pitch for San Diego.
Matt Chapman (right thumb contusion) reinstated from the 10-day disabled list. Franklin Barreto was optioned to Triple-A Nashville to clear a roster space for Chapman. Manager Bob Melvin said of the 22-year-old infielder:
“You can see how impactful his bat is. He’s gonna understand the strike zone; he’s gonna cut down on his strikeouts the more he’s here, and understand how he’s gonna be pitched.”
Trevor Cahill (right achilles) threw a rehab start Tuesday and will throw another on either the 8th or 9th, with a possible return during the A’s next series in Houston, according to Melvin. … Andrew Triggs (right triceps) has not yet received a second opinion on the nerve irritation in his right arm. … Daniel Mengden threw a bullpen session Tuesday. Said Melvin:
“If all goes well and he checks out tomorrow morning, we’ll have him go to Nashville and pitch a game.”