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A’s can’t keep the party rolling, get shut out by Roark, Reds

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The A’s couldn’t create magic for a third-straight time as the offense sputtered in a 3-0 loss to close out a series with the visiting the Reds.

Cincinnati starter Tanner Roark (W, 3-1, 3.27 ERA) tossed six shutout innings, befuddling every Oakland batter not named Matt Olson.

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the A’s clubhouse at the Oakland Coliseum.

Marcus Semien acknowledged Roark’s performance:

“He had good stuff. Sometimes those crafty guys get us. Throwing everything on the corner, he’s got 95 [mph] in the tank. He did a good job.”

Raisel Iglesias (S, 7, 4.34 ERA) closed out the the shutout for the Reds (16-22) to end what had been nothing short of an amazing series, featuring a no-hitter and a 14th-inning walk-off homer, for the A’s (17-22).

Roark’s counterpart, Chris Bassitt (L, 1-1, 2.55 ERA) looked poised to have a vastly different outing early on.

Derek Dietrich popped a two-run home run (10) just out of Stephen Piscotty’s reach in the first inning, and Eugenio Suárez clocked a solo shot (11) in the third inning. Overall, Bassitt allowed four extra-base hits within his first three innings.

Bassitt said the two home runs were part of a cluster of miscues he’s made over his past couple starts:

” I feel like I’ve made four or five mistakes the last couple outings, and I feel like four or five mistakes have been all home runs. So it’s frustrating, but at the same time, tip your hat. They’re really good hitters.”

However, he managed to settle in after that, allowing just two more hits and lasted two outs into the eighth. He finished with season highs in innings pitched (7-2/3) and strikeouts (9), while allowing three earned runs on seven hits.

Bassitt has shown a lot of improvement through his four big league starts in 2019 after starting the season on the injured list then being optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas. He chalks the improvement up to using his time wisely while being injured:

“I think I just kinda learned to pitch. When you’re throwing 89, 90, 91, 92 [mph] you gotta learn to pitch without a really good fastball. And then, luckily for me, my fastball kinda came back, and I was able to take what I learned from Tommy John [surgery] and that whole process. When you’re back to throwing 95, 96 [mph] again, it makes life a whole heck of a lot easier.”

Despite holding the Reds scoreless from the fourth inning on, the A’s offense was unable to support Bassitt. Olson was the only Oakland batter with an extra-base hit until a Piscotty double in the seventh. Chad Pinder added his own doubled in the ninth, but nothing was ever made of the few chances created, largely due to the A’s 0-for-4 effort with runners in scoring position.

The offense was supposed to be Oakland’s greatest strength. Instead, the A’s currently sit eighth in the AL in total runs scored (176), 10th in team average (.240) and 11th in slugging percentage (.400). Part of the problem is the injury absence of Khris Davis, but a lineup built arounf Olson Piscotty, Matt Chapman and Kendrys Morales should be able to put more together than it did Thursday.

Melvin said his offense has been too inconsistent:

“We’re still kinda hit-and-miss. We’ll have some good games — more bad than good right now. We just gotta stay at it. A couple good games, hopefully, and we start swinging the bats like we’re capable of.”

Up Next

Oakland continues its six-game homestand Friday against Cleveland. Frankie Montas (4-2, 2.75 ERA) will battle Cody Anderson (0-1, 11.12 ERA) in the first game of the three-game set.

Notes

Matt Olson posted his second straight multi-hit game on Thursday in just his fifth game of the season, going 2-for-4 with a double. … The A’s are now 0-14 when going homerless. … Khris Davis was left off the starting lineup after being lifted in the fifth inning Wednesday. He has made just two plate appearances since injuring his hip Sunday in Pittsburgh. … Jurickson Profar went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout ending what had been a modest six-game hitting streak.


Follow @SFBay and @gabe_agurcia on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.

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